Nokia Drops Free Music Download Plan

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Has DRM killed Nokia’s international music download plan? Digital Rights Management software is just one of multiple reasons the mobile producer is putting forward for the end of its bundling of free music downloads with cellphone purchases in 27 countries.

The cellphone company launched the program in Asian, African and European markets as an iTunes alternative in 2008, with Sony, EMI, Warner Music and Universal all signed on, but the plug is being pulled and the program replaced by limited-time subscriptions in selected countries. A spokesperson for Nokia blamed the failure of the program on DRM, saying “The markets clearly want a DRM-free music service.”

Existing customers will continue to have access to their music until their subscription expires.

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