It is finally happening, but the Beatles selection may not be part of the deal.(Ironic considering their long standing brand disputes over “Apple,” since the Fab Four’s recording company was called Apple Records long before Jobs and Wozniak put together their first prototype.)
iTunes will be the first to carry music sans DRM. This may become the rare controlled experiment in free market economics. Both proponents and detractors of DRM have argued that it is (not) the optimal way for content owners to maximize revenue. Until now there was no way to empirically verify this because there was no way to get DRM-free music online, with the exception of the beleaguered Russian site AllOfMP3 which always seemed to be on the verge of legal trouble. With the option to choose between unrestricted and DRMed downloads, consumers can now vote with their wallet to express a preference.