Digital Music Copy Restrictions Discussed At MIDEM
January 23, 2007 at 6:38 AM (PT)
THE NEW YORK TIMES reports that even as digital music revenue growth falters because of rampant file-sharing by consumers, the major record labels are moving closer to releasing music on the Internet with no copying restrictions, a step they once vowed never to take.
Executives of several technology companies meeting at MIDEM, the annual global trade fair for the music industry, said over the weekend that at least one of the four major record companies could move toward the sale of unrestricted digital files in the MP3 format within months.
Most independent record labels already sell tracks digitally compressed in the MP3 format, which can be downloaded, emailed or copied to computers, cellphones, portable music players and compact discs without limit.
"There is a groundswell, and I say that on the basis of private conversations," said REALNETWORKS CEO ROB GLASER, whose company sells digital music protected against piracy through the RHAPSODY subscription service. "It will happen between next year and five years from now, but it is more likely to be in one to two years."