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"Universal Music Group has announced that the company is going to test selling DRM-free music to consumers in order to assess the market."

"Doug Morris, UMG's chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the company began internally considering the DRM-free waters earlier this year, and the company is expanding its plans into a nationwide test to "provide valuable insights into the implications of selling our music in an open format."

The test will see UMG offering a portion of its catalog—primarily its most popular content—sold without DRM between August 21 and January 31 of next year."

"DRM hasn't worked, doesn't work, and never will work, as just about everyone who isn't joined at the hip to the corporate entertainment or software cartels has been saying ever since it first reared its ugly head.

For one thing, anything which can be seen or heard can be copied. That's self-evident. For another, no one but an idiot will ever buy into cartel claims that when you spend good money on a CD or DVD, you're not actually buying it; you're only licensing it for very specific uses.

Then EMI dropped DRM.

Results? Positive, from all appearances.

Speaking at a US music industry event, "The initial results of DRM-free music are good," Macworld UK has EMI vp Lauren Berkowitz declaring." -- Read more

"Ring the bells, light the candles, etc, etc. It's here. Apple has started selling DRM-free downloads.

Does this come by way of big Thank You to the people who've been paying a rip-off dollar a go for Apple's DRM-polluted digital music files? Nope. It's so the company can adopt the label of Good Guy and pry another 30 cents out of users.

As p2pnet posted yesterday, quoting MacRumors, "From the iTunes Help, it appears you will be able to upgrade your existing songs to the iTunes Plus (DRM Free) version:

"The iTunes Store also offers songs without DRM protection, from participating record labels. These DRM-free songs, called "iTunes Plus," have no usage restrictions and feature higher-quality encoding."

This definitely looks like a step in the right direction and may have twofold positive effects; it will encourage others to follow suit and it will give people a chance to prove that DRM-free can sell just as good if not better than DRM encumbered music, hence contributing to completely getting rid of DRM in the future.

"EMI Group will soon sell digital music with better sound quality and no digital rights management restrictions through Apple's iTunes Store.

iTunes will begin offering EMI's entire music catalog in premium DRM-free form in May, the music label said at a press conference Monday.