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DRM-free iTunes, the RIAA Boycott, and You

Illustration for article titled DRM-free iTunes, the RIAA Boycott, and You

So… holy crap. EMI is releasing their music on iTunes without DRM. This is great news! And not only that, but they're offering it at twice the quality of the DRM'd equivalent. This is a huge step forward for the online music marketplace.


So how does this affect our movement against the RIAA? On the one hand, EMI is still a member of the RIAA and the RIAA is still suing college students and invalids. On the other hand, this is a huge test of the DRM-free music market, and it's one of the most important times to buy music in years.


Like we said when we started this boycott, money talks. If you like something or you don't like something, vote with your wallet. It's a two-way street; while not buying music from the RIAA when you don't like their practices is important, it's equally important to show support when they get something right.

So we say go out there and buy DRM-free music from iTunes. Is it perfect? No. It could be Lossless and it could be the same price as DRM'd tunes, and we sure would like to see those lawsuits stop. But this is a monumental step, and if it's successful we'll certainly see other major labels following suit by releasing their catalogs without DRM. If the demand is there, the supply will arrive in due time.

We sent a message last month by letting the major labels know that we won't give them money for damaged goods. Now that they've, shockingly enough, listened, it's time for us to uphold our end of the bargain. You clamored for legal, DRM-free music? You got it. Now go get it.

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Consider that you're also paying for the cost of the music being re-encoded at twice the bitrate of currently available iTunes offerings in addition to the increased bandwidth spent delivering that music to you. They're not charging you purely for a lack of DRM, and it's pretty obtuse for you to imagine that to be the sole reason for a price change.

And your second statement is the kind of stupid rhetoric that damages any sort of case for DRM free downloads. You are now being offered legit copies without being presumed a thief. Don't be a jackass and ruin this for the rest of us.