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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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News Tue Apr 03 2007

Chicago Labels Respond To EMI Dropping DRM

Yesterday's big news that Apple and EMI would be dropping DRM from online sales of EMI's catalog sent some major waves through both the music industry and the online punditry hole we call the Internet. Response ranged from the typical Cory Doctorow overexcited idiocy to somber, computer-generated Microsoft boilerplate, all heralding the brave new word of unrestricted file formats. (Jesus. I'm a copyright attorney and I can't make myself buy that sentence. Sorry.) But EMI and Apple are pretty late to this game, as it turns out. Indie labels and alternative online retailers, like eMusic, ditched DRM a long time ago, with solid results. I got in touch with several of Chicago's more prominent indie labels to see how they were reacting to yesterday's big announcement. Overall, they seem pleased. Read on after the jump.

Justin Sinkovich, Head of Digital Distribution, Touch and Go Records:

"Simply as a music fan and audiophile, seeing music being sold digitally at a higher quality and without DRM is very exciting for me. I look forward to discussing the possibilities of selling our catalog DRM-free and at a higher bit rate with iTunes and anyone else who follows suit."

Nan Warshaw, Co-Owner, Bloodshot Records:

"Within seconds after reading the Apple announcement of selling EMI music DRM-free yesterday, I sent a message to our iTunes rep asking how and when we can begin to do the same. The Bloodshot catalog is already up on eMusic, and that's DRM-free. The most appealing part of the announcement was that the music would be available at a much higher quality, and there will be a way to upgrade your entire music library to higher quality audio. It's about time! Fans should be able to freely listen to high quality, purchased music, on whatever device they like."

Jamie Proctor, Publicity, Thrill Jockey Records:

"We've actually been selling our music on our own website as high-quality DRM-free mp3s for about a year and a half, and we've recently started selling other labels as well on a new service we're developing ( DRM is a manifestation of major labels' fear of the new marketplace. We realized years ago that the only way to handle the paradigm shift of digital music was to embrace it, like it or not. It's great that the majors are starting to catch on."

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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