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Apple has announced a deal with EM! that presumably is the beginning of the end for DRM. Steve Jobs quoted elsewhere as saying he expects over half of the total iTunes catalog to be DRM free by the end of the year.

From May, you’ll be able to get high quality tracks (256K encoding) from EMI artists for $1.29 ie a 30c premium to existing DRM enabled tracks – also, if you’ve already bought EMI songs already, you can upgrade them for 30c. Apple plan to sell DRM and non-DRM tracks side by side. Will be interesting to see what the UK pricing will look like.

However, the one artist conspicuous by their absence from the EMI deal is the Beatles. Or will the hatchet be buried sooner than we think?

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