Friday, April 13, 2007

Warners cans DRM experiment

Yesterday evening, we posted a story picking up on Billboard's coverage of AnywhereCD offering Warners music online, without DRM, and in high quality.

Understandably, John in the comments was confused as the Billboard story revised itself somewhat overnight from announcing Warner's participation in the scheme to... well:

WMG Issues Termination Notice To DRM-Free Service

Warner Music Group has sent a notice of termination to the recently launched DRM-free music service AnywhereCD.

The service, which was formed by Michael Robertson, founder of the original, is stocked with music from a variety of labels including ones under the Warner Music Group umbrella, as well as several indie labels like SubPop and Roadrunner Records.

"AnywhereCD is selling Warner Music Group content in a manner that flagrantly violates the terms of our agreement," says a WMG representative. "Accordingly, we have sent them a notice of termination and they are required to immediately remove all of our content from their site."

Which is something of a turnaround from Billboard's original report. Nobody seems keen to mention any specifics of what the original agreement was, or where Anywhere stepped over the line. Maybe Warners isn't quite as comfortable with DRM free as it seemed.

But it does at least explain why the company wasn't trumpeting its entry into DRM-free online sales: it doesn't appear to have known a thing about them.

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