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Is a Microsoft/EMI deal on the horizon?

Now that Apple has penned a deal to open up EMI songs, will Microsoft be next? The Times Online writes that Microsoft has hinted that it may follow the Apple model and sell EMI songs at Zune Marketplace without DRM. No deals are signed or announced yet, but an EMI spokesman said that negotiations with non-Apple vendors are ongoing.

As I've posted before, I think that the Apple/EMI deal is the first chink in the ship that will sink DRM use. Just like all those late and unlamented software copy protection schemes of the 1980's, DRM may soon be a historical footnote. Only time will tell, but I suspect that the iTunes DRM-free option will encourage a new wave of purchasers that have previously spurned the store due to DRM concerns.

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