Carter Russell Music

iTunes Releases DRM and Offers Price Structure


April 6, 2009 marks the day iTunes announced its change of terms regarding music sales. Starting immediately, and based on its agreements with the major record labels, iTunes will offer single songs for sale at variable prices; from $0.69 to $1.29 each.

In addition to the variable sales price news, iTunes will also be dropping their DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions. Until this point, when you purchased a song from iTunes, it would be accompanied with certain meta data that wouldn’t allow that song to be played on another computer’s iTunes application unless that computer was “authorized.”

iTunes only allowed 5 computers to be authorized at a time with your unique user name and password. This essentially prevented people from buying a song and redistributing it, either for money or for free.

United States’ copyright laws, amongst many other things, permit only a single child generation of protected music to be made and distributed to only one person. For example, it is not illegal to make a one copy of one CD and give it to one person. You cannot make a second copy of that CD, nor can your friend make a copy of that copy and distribute it.

What this change in iTunes represents is a recognition of their place in the market and willingness to succumb to the major label’s requests to help stay on top. iTunes is, and has been, the number one music seller worldwide for over a year.

Their position though, could change and they need to stay competitive. Many have stated that dropping DRM is a smart move and a step in the right direction.

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