DRM hassles relieved

iTunes recently announced it will begin to sell online music catalogue DRM-free, marking an end to an infamous era of corporate stubbornness.

Digital Rights Management has been a hot topic for digital music fans ever since the conception of downloadable media content. DRM technology acts as the corporate defense barrier of music collections, restricting copying privileges as well as employing other standards that severely restrict consumer use of music. Thankfully, its demise is near. Due to consumer demand, record companies and online music companies have been feeling the need to drop DRM from their online catalogues. Starting April 1, AppleâÄôs iTunes will offer its multimillion song library DRM-free. They join eMusic and Amazon , companies that also have been selling their music DRM-free for some time. This move is a victory for consumers. It is now becoming apparent of how ineffective DRM actually was âÄî and most record companies readily admit it. The ease of iTunes coupled with DRM-free music will be a final punch, as people now have less of an incentive to resort to illegal downloading. As long as prices remain minimal, record companies will continue to see an expanding user-base buying their music legally. So consumers will now have full control of their legal possessions. In an era where peer-to-peer networks and applications such as The Hub , which enables illegal downloading, attract an incredibly large user-base, DRM proved minimally effective because it only gave consumers a reason not to buy music online. And with the recent federal crackdown on illegal downloading at colleges and universities âÄî which requires those institutions to regulate their students âÄî a legal product thatâÄôs DRM-free proves to be all that more promising.