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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 (fina-music.com). 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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By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

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