MySpace signs with record labels
Not with the major labels, mind you, but with indie labels. Still, it's the first time MySpace will be selling the music of signed artists. Even more striking is the fact that the music will be in the form of unprotected mp3s. That's totally unfettered music that can work on any device and that can be copied ad infinitum. Scary stuff for the major music execs -- or could they be next?
There's some indication that the music studios could soon be ready to give in to the notion that content wants to be free. At the Midem music conference in Cannes going on this week, there's still more soul-searching being done about what to do with digital music, but according to the International Herald Tribune it sounds like the big labels are getting tired of fighting.
Executives of several technology companies meeting here at Midem, the annual global trade fair for the music industry, said this weekend that a move toward the sale of unrestricted digital files in the MP3 format from at least one of the four major record companies could come within months.
Why the change of heart? The industry's strategy thus far has been to push hard for DRM, or digital rights management -- the code that restricts music so that it can only be played on an Apple (AAPL) iPod, Microsoft (MSFT) Zune, etc., and can't be copied. But those digital locks have been picked over and over. So it's all but back to the drawing board -- unless the studios can learn a thing or two from the indie labels who are, as usual, experimenting way out in front.
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