DRM is now officially on its death bed – for music that is. SonyBMG became the last of the big four record labels to start distributing its music DRM-free today. Amazon will now carry music from the big four record labels and many indies all DRM free. While the files do contain watermarking which will allow the labels to track the usage of the files (for instance on torrent sites), they will be able to be moved from computer to computer without having to activate other computers or having limitations on how many computers they can run on.
SonyBMG has a outstanding contract with iTunes and hasn’t been given the word to remove the DRM from the music it gives to Apple as of yet, but obviously it will in due course. The only big label that currently runs on iTunes DRM free is EMI who removed their DRM shortly after Steve Jobs issued his open letter entitled "Thoughts on Music"on February 26, 2007. Whether or not it was the motiation, less than one year after the open letter was published, the music industry is DRM free.
Ironically, as DRM is now pretty much dead in music, Apple is set to release DRM in rental movies next week.