drmiskillingmusictshirt About a week ago, I posted over at Mashable on the rumor circulating that iTunes was planning a move December 9th to “remove DRM from tracks published by Sony, Universal and Warner on December 9th.”

The date has obviously come and gone with little fanfare, but Apple eagle eye MG Siegler over at VentureBeat has some screenshots that may show something happening in this arena.  As he said earlier today:

The latest of these reports shows a screenshot from the French version of iTunes with previously protected music, now being sold as “iTunes Plus,” the name of iTunes’ unprotected offering, Epiccenter reports.

Well, either the record labels have some kind of new deal with Apple based on what country they are in, or Apple is testing the waters for an upcoming DRM-free push. Speculation on various sites (including this one) wonders if Apple could unveil a completely DRM-free version of iTunes at Macworld Expo in a few weeks?

Here’s the screenshot in question:

iplusThe rumors he report certainly back up everything I’ve heard over the last several weeks, and definitely jives with industry moves, when you take a step back and look at the last year. The major labels are desperate to stay alive. This years end-fiscal-year reports will show a number of them on the brink of bankruptcy with the realization that their decade long war on their customers is a failing proposition.

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