Microsoft joins Apple with DRM-Free Music from EMI
This is interesting[DRM Watch]. It looks like everyone is jumping on the wagon with DRM-free EMI music. I wonder if other publishers will follow suit. I for one actually doubt that others will allow distribution of DRM-free music (in the short run at least) and I'm not sure that EMI will expand its DRM-free catalog for a while. I'm curious as to how this will work out though. Apple will definately have convincing evidence either in favor or against DRM from its sales counts from EMI's unrestricted music. I expect that the DRM-free music will sell fewer copies due to its higher price and also due to piracy.
Even if the DRM-free music distribution scenario happens, I still think that DRM will remain popular for content distribution. The main reason I feel this way is that publishers want to control the access to their music catalogs and are interested in additional features that DRM enables such as metering playcounts and enabling subscription scenarios. We'll probably know in four months or so about the success or failure of DRM-free content distribution in Apple's and EMI's case.