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First reactions to EMI’s DRM-free policy

April 3, 2007

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Some say it was bound to happen others praise EMI’s bold decision to drop DRM but everybody agrees this is a huge step for digital music!

The deal between EMI and Apple that was announced yesterday to sell digital music without copy protection is already shaking the world of music. Today, both the Digital Freedom Campaign (DFC) and Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro issued press releases supporting and applauding the decision.

“CEA applauds Apple and EMI Music for recognizing what consumers really want out of their digital music experience – high resolution recordings worthy of both home and on-the-go listening, along with the freedom to move music among devices,” said Shapiro. “This is the future of digital entertainment.”

“Traditional MP3 files are compressed for space purposes, a process which strips frequencies and important details from each recording. For consumers, this announcement means there is no longer a need to sacrifice quality sound simply for convenience. We think music fans are going to like what they hear.”

Shapiro continued, “CEA encourages other content companies and digital music services to follow the lead of Apple and EMI Music. Companies such as these, which listen as well as respond to customer needs, are well-positioned to succeed in the digital age.”

Jake Ward, a spokesperson for DFC, said “EMI’s decision to make its music catalogue available to its customers without mandatory digital rights management (DRM) software is a significant sign of progress and reflects what a new generation of consumers demands.” He added that “while the digital age allows consumers unprecedented access to content, the inclusion of DRM complicates the consumer experience and hinders innovation and progress.”

“EMI has set a new standard for the industry that focuses on the customer’s wishes. We hope other content companies will follow EMI’s lead.”

The Digital Freedom Campaign, which is a national effort to defend the rights of artists and consumers to use new digital technologies, includes organizations such as CEA itself, Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Media Access Project, Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Be The Media, New America Foundation, National Video Resources and FreeNetworks.org, as well as more than 150 artists and labels and has worked to oppose measures designed to place crippling restrictions or impose excessive fees on technologies that allow individuals to lawfully enjoy and create lawfully music, video and other content.

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