I think it is difficult to over-estimate the importance of the EMI announcement. It will, though, be interesting to see people pick holes as happened after Steve Jobs’ open letter. I guess the difference in price between DRM’ed and non-DRM material will be picked at. I guess also that the premium will be picked at (but albums remain the same price I believe). It is difficult how Apple can be accused of protectionism in any way with this move - but someone will try. I was also interested to hear the EMI guy say that Jobs’ had been pestering them for sometime abut DRM - well before the open letter.

The one open sore is that DRM will remain on video-download. Jobs’ comment that (and I paraphrase) “CDs have never been sold protected but that has never been true of video” is just plain disingenuous. For a start, CDs have been sold copy-protected and more than just one or two - it was also BMG’s explicit aim to make all CDs copy-protected (thankfully they seem to have failed in this). As as for copy-protection on DVDs it is only a little more effective that a sticker saying: “Ripping this DVD is illegal”. I bet that the vast majority of people who rip DVDs using Handbrake and the like are not even aware in the slightest of the protection on the DVD - and neither should or could they be. So how, exactly, can this be categorised as “protected” when it is more like an expectation that an umbrella will keep one dry in a hurricane.

I think a bit of Churchill may be appropriate:

Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning