Vodafone Makes Its Music Catalog DRM Free

Astoundingly, it looks like the darkest DRM days are behind us. As more and more companies digest the fact that DRM only hurts the legitimate buyers and gives pirates even more incentive to plunder for  illicit bounty, we're seeing the DRM shackles removed from music stores across the web. The latest major company to cast aside the chains of DRM is Vodafone, which has become the very first mobile operator on the planet to offer up its entire music catalog (for PCs and mobile phones) with absolutely no DRM.

In other words, when Vodafone customers download digital tracks from it, those subscribers can then move that file to any computer or media player and listen in without worrying over compatibility. So liberating just to think of, isn't it? Somehow or another, Vodafone managed to coerce Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music to provide over a million tunes to Vodafone users free of DRM, with the deals being hailed as "first of their kind" in the mobile operator market. Basically, Vodafone has become the first to offer dual delivery of DRM free music without the need to sideload or synchronize.

We're told that DRM free tracks will initially roll out in Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (summertime is the goal here), while other nations will have access to this beautiful bounty "in due time." One other important note is this: for Vodafone customers who already own DRM tracks, they'll be able to upgrade those WMA files to DRM free MP3 files at no charge "within the existing download allowance." Classy move, Vodafone -- here's hoping it sparks waves of others following suit.

Tags:  mp3, music, DRM, Vodafone, DRM free