Well, it looks like the DRM saga took a pivotal turn today as Steve Jobs and EMI announce that all of EMI's music will be sold DRM-free on iTunes. This is significant for one main reason: this is the first time that a major label has sold its music digitally without crippling restrictions attached.
The details of the deal can be found in the above link, but just a summary
- DRM-free music will be sold on iTunes
- cost is $1.29 per song (30 cents above current price)
- songs come at a higher quality, 256kbps instead of 128kbps
- album price stays the same DRM or not
- can upgrade to non-DRM version of song for 30 cents
Now that one of the big four RIAA companies is going without DRM, the other three will surely follow, and once the big four go without DRM, then DRM will be pretty much dead in the music world. Of course, DRM is pretty much already dead in the music world in the grand scheme of things when you consider how little music transferred across the Internet has DRM attached. Now it's just starting to get semi-official.
Going into the future the prices should start to come down around reasonable levels as well. I'm sure that music demand is extremely elastic, and as soon as you can access a huge variety of music in a convenient way for a reasonable price, then the amount of illegal downloading should go down.