EMI bringing DRM-free music to iTunes

In a surprising and awesome move, Apple and EMI announced today that they'll be putting EMI's catalog of music on iTunes in DRM-free format. That means you'll be able to buy music with no copy protection, allowing you to listen to it on any player you want and allowing you to copy it as many times as you want. It's a huge step in the online music marketplace.

The DRM-free files will be 255-kbps AAC files, twice as high-quality of the DRM versions, and will be available for 30 cents more than their copy-protected counterparts. Therefore people will have a choice between lower quality, gimped files and higher quality DRM-free files. People who have bought DRM'd versions of EMI songs in the past will be able to upgrade for the difference in price and won't, fortunately, be forced to rebuy all their music.

This is a really great experiment, and while it's not perfect, it's a huge leap forward in digital rights and online music sales.

EMI, via Gizmodo