Technical/Computer news site Ars Technica is reporting that EMI will announce on Monday, April 2, plans to remove DRM from their online music catalog. If this news is true, this could be the catalyst that forces other music labels to remove DRM from their music. I’m a big believer in the fact that adding DRM to music does not help reduce piracy. It is speculated that DRM-free EMI music would be available via Apple’s iTunes, as well as other online music stores. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is expected to be present at the announcement in London.
As a software producer by day, I’ve seen the negative effects of piracy first-hand. However, no matter how much anti-piracy measures you take, the thieves only become better at breaking them. Online music piracy has only increased since Napster arrived on the scene 7 or so years ago, so the current anti-piracy measures are only affecting the people who legitimately purchase music from one store only to find that they are unable to play that music on an incompatible device. I believe that the artists and labels should be rewarded for producing great music, but the current DRM measures are not working. Hopefully, if the EMI news is true, we can look back and say that EMI helped usher in the end of DRMed music.