While it's unclear what role, if any, Steve Jobs' recent manifesto on the subject may have played in the decision, The Wall Street Journal has apparently gotten word that number-three music company EMI is currently in talks with a number of online retailers about the possibility of selling its music as DRM-free MP3s. Exactly which online retailers, however, is unclear, with the Journal (via the Chicago Sun-Times) reporting only that EMI is asking them to submit proposals by Thursday detailing how big an advance payment they'd be willing to offer in exchange for the right to sell their music without DRM. The Journal also added that "several major music companies" have also recently "floated the idea" of doing away with DRM, but none had apparently gone as far as EMI. As the Sun Times points out, EMI has already dipped its toes into DRM-free territory, selling a number of singles without copy-protection for a buck apiece. Should a deal actually come out of this latest development, however, the doors could soon be blown open to cover EMI's entire catalog, including both Duran Duran and Iron Maiden.

[Via Slashdot]

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EMI reportedly contemplating DRM-free music