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Vodafone to offer DRM-free music

Downloads can be transferred to any device

Vodafone has signed a deal with three of the UK's biggest record labels in a bid to offer customers Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free music on their mobiles.

Vodafone said the deals with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and EMI would allows customer to download tracks from a catalogue of millions that includes acts such as Coldplay, Duffy and Lily Allen.

DRM technology restricts on which devices digital audio tracks can be played. For example, if a file is downloaded onto a PC, DRM can stop it being transferred to a digital audio player or being burnt to CD.

According to Vodafone, the DRM-free music can be purchased and sent to mobile phones and computers, and could then be played on any type of device, providing it is registered to a Vodafone customer.

The mobile operator also revealed it is currently in talks with Warner Music Group about joining the service. Vodafone said pricing will depend on each market.

Phone manufacturer Nokia launched a similar service, Comes with Music, last year. Once customers have purchased a compatible handset, they can download as many music tracks as they want onto the handset during the length of their contract. The music available through the service is DRM-protected. However, recently it revealed it is considering offering DRM-free tracks through the service.

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See also: Vodafone UK to sell Android-based HTC Magic

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