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Warner relents, will sell music online without copy protection

Warner Music Group's artists include Missy Elliot . Warner Music Group's artists include Missy Elliot . (Alessandro Della Bella/Keystone/via AP)
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Associated Press / December 28, 2007

SEATTLE - Warner Music Group, a major holdout on selling music online without copy protection, yesterday agreed to sell its tunes on Amazon.com Inc.'s digital music store.

Warner Music had resisted offering songs by its artists in the MP3 format, which can be copied to multiple computers and burned onto CDs without restriction and played on most PCs and digital media players, including Apple Inc.'s iPod and Microsoft Corp.'s Zune.

The deal raises the total number of MP3s for sale through Amazon's music download store to more than 2.9 million. Warner Music's entire catalog will be added to the site. The Amazon store was launched in September.

Universal Music Group and EMI Music Group PLC had already signed to sell large portions of their catalogs on Amazon, as had thousands of independent labels. Most songs cost 89 to 99 cents each, and most albums sell for $5.99 to $9.99.

Philip Leigh, of the research group Inside Digital Media, said Warner's changing strategy is a signal that all the record labels will move in the same direction, including the last major player to hold out, Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

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