EMI to stick with DRM

— 2:18 PM on February 26, 2007

In the aftermath of Steve Job's open letter advocating the death of digital rights management schemes, we heard rumors that the EMI Group—one of the world's big four record labels—was in talks with Apple, Microsoft, RealNetworks, and Yahoo over the prospect of selling DRM-free music. However, The Register now reports that EMI has broken off its talks with those companies and opted to stick with DRM. The label is apparently in no financial position to test the DRM-free waters, and it reportedly asked for "large upfront payments" from the aforementioned companies in order to guarantee revenue from DRM-free music sales. The Register says EMI needs to make cuts of £110 million ($215.4 million) this year alone and that it may even be gobbled up by one of its competitors before long. Last week, EMI confirmed that it has been approached by the Warner Group regarding a potential buyout, although no formal offer has been made.

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