It seems like Apple is nearing a day we'd never think would come. This time it seems official. According to the reports, Apple and EMI have formed a deal that would not only allow Apple to sell EMI's music on their store (quite possibly The Beatles), but "large portions of these would be without copy-protection". Well, if that doesn't surprise me...
The very company that Apple was fighting a few months ago could very well become one of the first companies to try out a DRM-free system on the iTunes store. It would be surprising enough if Apple were simply selling Beatles music, but having the thing that people hate about digital music removed is almost too good to be true.
Previously, Steve Jobs had written an open letter that stated the problems of DRM, and how much it limited users' freedom. He had said something along the lines of, "If it were possible to sell non-DRM'ed music, we would."
Doing such a move would also loosen the tight bonds between the iPod and iTunes that Apple has previously been criticized of doing. If the music isn't DRM'ed, what could be next? I see 2 things ahead: the increase of non-protected music being sold at the store, and secondly, and more importantly, the selling of music that is no longer targetted soley at the iPod, in other words, opening up FairPlay.
Now let's get this straight: Apple is by no means the first company to do this. At the moment, eMusic, the second largest music store online, sells unprotected MP3s out onto the internet, and they seem to be doing quite well. So in fact, Apple seems to be playing catch-up in that regard.
However, such a move from such a huge company makes the headlines, and will no doubt have an impact on the way digital music is sold from now on. Gosh I hope this isn't an April Fool's joke!