The one member of the RIAA to have been actively considering a way of dropping the need for DRM from its downloads, EMI, has abandoned negotiations and apparently abandoned the idea.
The sticking point? Record company greed, as ever:
We're not quite sure why EMI even thought this one would fly - after all, if removing the DRM from the downloads meant that each song would be sold just once and then released for free into wild, that's even more of a risk for a download company than for the record company. EMI would still have other ways of making money from the music; if nobody needed Napster to get their downloads any more, Napster has no business. In effect, EMI is asking to be compensated for a risk from the companies actually taking the risk.