USA Today is running a story on the clue Sony BMG just got.
Jessica Simpson’s “A Public Affair” went on sale this week at Yahoo Music, and unlike every digital song sold on competitors Apple iTunes, Napster and Rhapsody, it is compatible with all portable music players. The song is in the open MP3 format and can be transferred to an Apple iPod or players by Creative, Samsung and others.
Record labels have refused to sell songs without digital rights management (DRM) in the past. Consumer advocates hope this is the beginning of a trend.
“It’s about time,” says Fred von Lohmann, a senior attorney with the public interest group Electronic Frontier Foundation. “This is an important signal that the labels may be finally realizing that DRM is hindering the size of the market.”
Sony BMG played down the significance of the release.
Ian Rogers, writing on Yahoo Music Blog, says, “As you know, we’ve been publicly trying to convince record labels that they should be selling MP3s for a while now. Our position is simple: DRM doesn’t add any value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day — the Compact Disc), or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform.”