Report: Apple, Music Labels in DRM-Free Music Talks

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Ever since the four major record labels allowed other stores like Amazon, Napster, and Rhapsody to sell MP3 music tracks without copy protection (DRM), we’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

To date, only EMI has given Apple license to do that, under Apple’s iTunes Plus service. The other three labels have been reluctant to allow Apple the DRM-free licenses in a (misguided, we feel) effort to give some other music stores traction and reduce Apple’s dominance in the music retailer space.

That may finally be about to change. CNET News is reporting that Apple is in discussions with the other three top recording companies about acquiring DRM-free songs, according to two unnamed music industry sources. If this were to come to pass, stores bought from Apple (currently the number one music retailer of any kind in the U.S., physical or online) would work on any cell phone or MP3 player, not just on Apple iPods and iPhones.