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“We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio."
JOBS WELL-DONE: ITUNES GOES DRM-FREE
UMG, Sony, WMG Join EMI for Three-Tiered Pricing
The labels finally got what they wanted, and now Apple’s iTunes store will have DRM-free downloads available from all four major record companies still standing with three-tiered price points.

At today’s Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, the company's CEO Steve Jobs announced that he had cut deals to offer songs free of copy protection software at his iTunes store.

Universal, Sony and Warner now join EMI, which had been selling DRM-free downloads at iTunes for more than a year.

As part of the announcement, starting in April, iTunes songs will now be available at three different price points, including 69 cents for catalog, 99 cents for most current hit songs (before dropping to 79 cents) and $1.29 for selected items. According to the official release, "most albums" will remain available at $9.99.

Said Jobs: “We are thrilled to be able to offer our iTunes customers DRM-free iTunes Plus songs in high quality audio and our iPhone 3G customers the ability to download music from iTunes anytime, anywhere, over their 3G network.”

Apple and the labels will begin removing DRM from music already available in the store, while customers have a one-click option to upgrade their entire library of songs to the higher quality DRM-free iTunes Plus format for 30 cents per song or 30% of album price.

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