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The Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music label, plans to sell a significant portion of its catalog without copy protection software for at least the next few months, according to the New York Times.
It’s one more sign that the industry’s united stance behind digital-rights management anti-piracy technology may be falling apart.
Universal will offer the rights-free music through retail services like RealNetworks, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Google, and other sites, the Times said, but won’t be offered through Apple’s iTunes — a possible sign that Universal wants to compete with iTunes, or at least shift momentum away from Apple which has become the largest, most powerful music service.
Previously, EMI Group moved away from digital-rights, and signed a deal with iTunes. Under that agreement, though, songs are sold at a higher price — $1.29 instead of 99 cents.