by CIO Staff

Yahoo Sells Jessica Simpson MP3 Sans DRM

Jul 21, 20062 mins

Yahoo, the Internet behemoth, is selling Jessica Simpson’s single A Public Affair as a music download with no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions, marking the first time the company has offered audio content from a major record label without copy protection, BBC News reports.

The MP3 file can be played on any digital music player, including the uber-popular iPod from Apple Computer. Currently, Apple’s iTunes Music Store sells content that can be downloaded only to its iPod music players.

Music industry heavies have been hesitant to allow their content to be sold without DRM due to concerns over piracy and file sharing. Simpson released her new track under Sony BMG, according to BBC News, and the record label’s move suggests the industry may finally be ready to experiment with DRM-free music downloads.

DRM systems can come in the form of specific file formats to restrict playback of content on certain machines, or they can be built into the players themselves.

Ian Rogers, director of product management with Yahoo, wrote on the official Yahoo blog, “Our position is simple: DRM doesn’t add value for the artist, label (who are selling DRM-free music every day—the Compact Disc) or consumer, the only people it adds value to are the technology companies who are interested in locking consumers to a particular technology platform.”

Sites like Wippit and eMusic already offer some MP3s without DRM, though the content in such downloads is typically from independent labels, according to BBC News.

A Public Affair costs $1.99 to download, and it can be customized before its purchase to include the buyer’s name within the lyrics, BBC News reports.

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