Critics of digital rights management have long insisted that record labels could boost sagging sales by offering music unencumbered by copy-protection schemes.
Apple's iTunes and e-tailer Amazon.com are in position to test this hypothesis in the coming months. On Wednesday, Amazon announced that it plans to sell DRM-free digital songs from the record label EMI Group. Amazon's unprotected music, which will be sold from the retailer's upcoming download store, can be played on a wide variety of portable music players, including Apple's iPod and Microsoft's Zune. Amazon's news follows a similar announcement last month from Apple, which is also due to begin selling unprotected music from EMI.
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