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Yahoo may let some music be copied

February 16, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Software that prevents people from copying digital music might be gone from more than half of the songs offered by Yahoo Inc. by the end of the year, Yahoo Vice President Dave Goldberg said.

Yahoo is talking with record labels about removing restrictions on downloaded songs, said Goldberg, who oversees the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's music services.

When one music company decides to eliminate copy protection, the rest may follow, he said.

Goldberg is part of a growing chorus of executives calling for an end to copy-protection software.

Last week Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs posted an open letter on the company's website asking music companies to license songs for online sale without restrictions.

Yahoo runs a music website and subscription service that lets consumers listen to songs for a monthly fee and download individual tracks for 79 or 99 cents.

The company has done tests with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and EMI Group to offer tracks from Jessica Simpson and Norah Jones without copy protection.

"We're making good progress with the labels," Goldberg said "It's a good chance that it happens this year, but there's no guarantee."

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