Ding dong the witch is dead.
Sony/BMG, Warner Music, Vivendi Universal and EMI have also committed to dropping all pending lawsuits, and will instead join with Apple and Microsoft to create an environment where Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology will be eliminated from their online music stores. The companies are joining other personal electronics manufacturers and independent labels in a new organization, Respect the Artist, Respect the Audience (RARA) that will focus on creating a climate better associated with the creation of art, and the fostering of musical talent.
With the announcement of the new trade group, RARA spokesperson, Jeff Mutton said, \ufffdThe major labels will no longer fight technology but embrace it. The creation of RARA demonstrates that the industry has listened, that it believes it has identified a new way of engaging the audience to increase revenues for the labels and the artists. We realize selling high quality audio without DRM, and in formats unencumbered by software patents, we will give audiences the music they want in the formats they want. Music fans will also know that through RARA, a higher portion of royalties from any online music sale will reach the artist, because, lets face it, selling digital files over the net have a higher margin than CDs sold in a store."
I hope this is sincere.