DRMFree.org Launches Beta Website for Consumers; Music Free From Digital Restrictions Now Easier to Find

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Today is the beta launch of drmfree.org: a public service website dedicated to facilitating consumer access to legal DRM-free downloads. DRMFree.org maintains an index of labels, artists, albums and songs available for legal purchase and downloading from a variety of sites that do not impose DRM restriction on the music they sell.

Today DRMFree.org announced a new online resource for consumers to find music for download that is not restricted by Digital Rights Management (DRM). The website utility, released today in beta stage and located at http://www.drmfree.org, enables consumers to search a single database that contains the catalog of several online stores. Previous to DRMfree.org consumers had to either settle for locked and rights protected music, or search independently through multiple online music retailers.

"DRM has gotten in the way of people being able to fully enjoy the music they purchase," said Mike McCracken, founder of DRMFree.org. "Many organizations including Defective by Design, sponsors of Day Against DRM, are taking an active stance in opposing files that include DRM. Our goal is to compliment that approach with technology to support consumers and vendors who opt for digital music without DRM."

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is technology used by publishers, distributors and copyright owners of digital data files, such as music and movies, to control the usage of those files. The technology specifies restrictions on the files forcing usage constraints. Fundamentally DRM was designed to inhibit piracy and illegal copying of the files; however, it also inhibits legal fair use activities such as a consumer’s ability to create backups of the files they have purchased or play those files on other devices they may own. Most online music stores, including Apple’s iTunes and e-books publishers, employ DRM to restrict the usage of music and books purchased and downloaded online.

Today over 800,000 songs are available without the restrictions of DRM, and are included in the DRMfree.org database. To find and purchase most DRM-free music consumers must wade through many individual searches. DRMfree.org enables consumers to search across multiple online music sites, including Magnatune, Audio Lunchbox, Calabash Music and Garageband.com from one location. Currently there are more than a dozen online sites searchable through DRMfree.org.

About Day Against DRM

Day Against DRM is sponsored and promoted by Defective By Design, a broad-based anti-DRM campaign targeting Big Media, manufacturers and DRM distributors. The campaign aims to make all manufacturers wary about bringing DRM-enabled products to market. Defective By Design identifies products with built-in DRM and strives to enforce the elimination of their production. Additional information can be found at http://www.defectivebydesign.org.

About DRMfree.org

DRMfree.org is an organization dedicated to providing resources for consumers to find music that is free from digital rights management control. The organization was built on the premise that music distributed without DRM is better for both consumers and artists alike. DRMfree.org enables consumers to easily find DRM free media files through a simple search interface. Today over 20,000 labels support publishing and selling music free from DRM. Additional information about the organization and access to the online search tool can be found at http://www.drmfree.org.

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Mike Mccracken

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