MOD Systems to Sell Music, Movies Without DRM in Retail Stores

6/8/09

Digital rights management took another hit today. MOD Systems, a Seattle, WA-based creator of digital delivery systems for media, announced it has signed deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music, along with several groups of independent labels, to sell more than 5.2 million music tracks and 4,000 movies to customers via retail stores, DRM-free.

Not only will there be more outlets for consumers to get music, but they will be able to play and transfer the music without the restrictions that are often a part of DRM-protected media. This allows people who dislike getting media directly from the Internet to buy music and movies from traditional retail outlets but still have the convenience of digital media. Customers will be able to put the media they buy onto portable devices as well as USB and SD card systems. “The market has not yet taken advantage of digital delivery in retail,” said Anthony Bay, chairman and CEO of MOD Systems, in a press release.

Making music and movies without DRM fits the current trend of media producers stepping back from the heavy-handed prosecution and protection of copyright that has led to many embarrassing situations—memorably, the suing of dead people for copyright infringement, as well as creating CDs and DVDs that stop working after a certain number of plays and that cannot be copied, even legitimately, onto different media players.

Using retailers as middlemen means MOD, and the companies it signed deals with, will reach consumers who might otherwise never use its system. And removing DRM from the media improves accessibility and appeal to those still adapting to the Internet age of media acquisition.

Eric Hal Schwartz was an intern in Xconomy's Seattle office. Follow @

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