Digital Rights Management

In a big change for the music industry, Yahoo! and Sony BMG have started selling Jessica Simpson's new single without Digital Rights Management (DRM). This marks this first time labels with any market clout have opted to sell unprotected digital songs. Generally, the music industry blames piracy for slumping music sales. The limited test releases the title in the flexible MP3 format and the key here is interoperability. Songs in this format can be stored, transferred, burned and played across most digital music players. Reading between the lines, this release suggests that the music industry is worried about Apple's iPod's dominating 70 percent share of the digital music market. Recently, Mr. Jobs sold Pixar to Disney and expanded the iPod into first-run episodic TV (Lost and Desperate Housewives). Moves to expand the video iPod to include more Disney and other film studio libraries is seen as inevitable.

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