Record Labels Consider Removing Restrictions On Digital Music

Dennis Faas's picture

The rapid decline in digital music revenue, stemming from the rampant file-sharing continually done by consumers, has finally forced the major record labels to take notice. Many of the same record labels that vowed never to release their music on the Internet without copyright restrictions are now actually reconsidering this option. (Source:

At Midem, the name for the annual international music trade exhibition held in France, many within the industry estimate that at least one out of the four major record companies are considering the sale of their unrestricted music files in MP3 format.

The decision to remove restrictions on music is not a new concept by any means. Many independent record labels already sell music that is digitally compressed in MP3 format, which can be downloaded and copied directly onto computers, cellphones or other portable music players without restriction. (Source:

The independent labels actually benefit from releasing their songs without copyrights. The more people listen to these tracks, the more publicity and future revenue the label will incur.

However, selling digital files in MP3 format will undoubtedly be considered a crushing defeat for the major record labels in their ongoing battle with the file-sharing population.

Many of the major labels were counting on the online purchases of music through Internet facilities like Apple's iTunes music store for added revenue. While users continued to file-share and pirate their songs, the record labels remain hopeful that these measures will offset at least a fraction of consumers lost through piracy. (Source:

When addressing the media, most music company executives say that adding copyrights to their music is for the benefit of properly compensating the artists who produce the songs.

However, industry analysts have also speculated that these same executives are drawn to the idea of unrestricted digital music based on the income that sites that support advertising usually incur.

While those executives associated with the major record labels are weighing their options for the future, it is estimated that the decision to sell digital files without copyright may occur as early as a few months from now. (Source:

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