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Friday, July 21, 2006
Yahoo Trials DRM-free MP3 Downloads

Yahoo! Music has started to unofficially offer an MP3 version of the new Jessica Simpson song "A Public Affair" without DRM constrains, for $1.99.

Despite the fact that the Yahoo! Music sells the song for twice the price of Apple's iTunes, the company's offer is expected to attract a significant amount of people by removing the DRM protection from the MP3 files.

According to Yahoo:

"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."

"We've also been saying that DRM has a cost. It's very expensive for companies like Yahoo! to implement. We?d much rather have our engineers building better personalization, recommendations, playlisting applications, community apps, etc, instead of complex provisioning systems which at the end of the day allow you to burn a CD and take the DRM back off, anyway! And on the consumer end there is certainly some discount built into that $0.99 download for the fact that you can burn a limited number of times, can't play it on your Squeezebox, can?t DJ it with your DJ software, and can't make a movie out of it with iMovie - I certainly hope so. Un-DRM?d content is implicitly more valuable to a consumer."

The company says it's still working with major record labels to form an agreement. No time frame has been released on just when Yahoo's full blown DRM-free music store will open.

The song can be downloaded at

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