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PassAlong Beats Amazon With DRM Free EMI MP3’s But Adds “Content Protection”

PassAlong Network’s mp3 download stores have become the latest to offer EMI’s premium DRM service and as with iTunes they will sell at a premium price.  The moves gives PassAlong’s small group of online retailers which include Transworld’s FYE a slight jump on the Emi
Amazon EMI mp3 offering which will launch "very soon" according to sources.

But just as iTunes adds consumer info to every download purchase PassAlong  adds its own FreedomMp3  protection to each purchase.  (see correction)FreedomMP3 which promises to honor "both creator and consumer rights by allowing the use of any file format and providing a secure environment on all devices" was enhanced by a new deal this week with content protection provider Phoenix Technologies.

Even as the industry moves away from traditional DRM, each new attempt as "content protection" and consumer identification are bound to cause some interoperability issues and consumer concern.  What the proper balance is between rights-holder protection and  consumer freedom should play out in interesting ways over the coming months.

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