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Universal, the worldâ€™s biggest music conglomerate, said it would offer albums and songs without the software, known as digital rights management, through existing digital music retail services like RealNetworks and Wal-Mart, nascent services from Amazon.com and Google, and some artistsâ€™ web sites.
But the music won't be offered D.R.M.-free through the [url=http://www.itunes.com]iTunes Store[/url]. The use of copy protection software has become a major bone of contention in the digital music business, where iTunes accounts for the vast majority of download sales, and the record labels generally have required that retailers place electronic locks to limit copying of music files, notes the Times.