- 27 Jan 08, 21:11 GMT
What Steve Jobs and EMI started, will Amazon end?
Amazon's unsurprising announcement that its US online music store will roll out to the rest of the world is a tipping point for the future of DRM-free music.
By the end of 2008 millions of tracks will be available for purchase with no locks, restrictions, or rights management small print contained within them.
Digital rights activist Cory Doctorow describes this as "majorly good news".
But he does raise issue with some of the terms and conditions around purchases, which include agreeing not to loan tracks to people. I'm not quite sure how Amazon plan to police this....
The key point here is the size of the music library Amazon will be offering to consumers; with 3.3 million songs from "all four major music labels as well as over 33,000 independent labels" Amazon's service will instantly render DRM-locked offerings from other firms rather redundant.
No news on when the Amazon store will roll out to the UK but rival services will surely be tearing up their business plans.
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