Telus Unveils DRM-Free Songs (Finally)

by Jordan Richardson on February 12, 2010

A year after iTunes dropped all copy protection from its music sales, Telus is set to become the first Canadian wireless carrier to drop over-the-air DRM-free music on its customers. DRM, which stands for Digital Rights Management, is responsible for controlling the access to certain media devices and imposes limitations on the usage of certain digital content.

By offering DRM-free music, Telus finally enables its customers to purchase music from the Telus Music Shop that will play on any and all media devices. In the past, restrictions kept the content limited to certain media players.

This means that Telus customers will be able to take music that they’ve purchased from the Telus Music Shop and transfer it to their PCs, personal media players and other devices without worrying about bizarre, obscene licensing restrictions getting in the way.

“Canada’s major record labels are delighted to support Telus’ DRM-free music offer,” said Graham Henderson, president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. “For music lovers with advanced mobile devices, this new offering means that they can get and listen to their music on-the-go. Telus is making mobile music a reality and is demonstrating leadership in Canada’s digital music marketplace.”

Telus Music Shop customers can start the fun right away. Customers who have music files that are not DRM-free can pay a fee of 30 cents per track to “upgrade” the files to make them universally playable. I should take this time out to confirm that no amount of money will ever be able to “upgrade” any song by Ke$ha.

The Telus Music Shop has over 2.5 million songs available for download.

There is, as always, a bit of a catch. Telus customers may discover that many of the music-capable devices sold by Telus simply lack the option of playing DRM-free songs. Popular products like the Samsung Advance, the LG 8500 Chocolate and the HTC Touch are among the phones that won’t play this content, so some customers may simply be out of luck regardless of this “breakthrough” in digital music rights.

Customers can get more information about DRM-free music-capable devices from Telus from this page on the Telus website.

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