Napster, one of the largest digital music retailers, said Monday it would start selling downloads in the MP3 format from the second quarter of this year in the latest blow to copy protection for songs bought online. Napster had sold songs protected with Microsoft's Windows-based digital rights management (DRM) to prevent buyers from illegally making multiple copies or distributing songs to other users.
But the use of DRM, originally mandated by the world's largest music companies, has proved unpopular with consumers. Many have been frustrated to find that songs they buy can only be played on certain compatible digital players or could not be moved from one computer to another.
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