Nick Carr's thesis is:

  • IPod music sales plateaued in Q1 this year
  • so apple starts losing it's leverage with music companies
  • but music companies will want to sell music that plays on IPods
  • so unprotected mp3s seems the way to go

But won't this lead to rampant piracy?

No. Because there's already rampant illegal copying. Most unauthorized copying is done either through online file-sharing networks or by burning CDs for friends. DRM schemes have little effect on either of those. All new songs are immediately available on file-sharing networks, DRM or not.

EMI is experimenting with selling un-encumbered songs - is this the start of a new trend?