Warners to abandon copy protecting MP3s

US fans to get DRM free downloads

The Warner Music Group is to introduce Digital Rights Management (DRM) free downloads in America.

The label, whose acts include the likes of Led Zeppelin, Green Day and Aretha Franklin, will allow the MP3s which do not feature copy protection to be downloaded from Amazon’s online store.

This will allow consumers to use and share the tracks more easily, in contrast to some formats which limit the number of times a song can be burnt onto CD or shared with other fans.

The decision follows similar moves by other major labels, leaving only Sony BMG the only recording group not signed up with Amazon’s US download service, a major competitor to iTunes.

Explaining the decision to Warners staff in an email chief executive Edgar Bronfman said the DRM-free downloads would “bring an energy-sapping debate to a close”.