France’s second largest mobile operator SFR has announced the launch of a DRM-free all-you-can-eat download service from Nov. 19.
The catalog is limited to a few thousands hits exclusively from the Universal Music Group catalog. Subscribers will have unlimited access to only one of three genres (Rap/R&B, Pop/Rock, Clubbing/Electro) in AAC format on their mobile and in MP3 on their computer, without any restriction on transferring music to devices, according to SFR.
There are no plans to enable users to access the whole Universal catalog on the service. “[This offer] is a way for us to see how consumers react to DRM-free offers,” explains a spokeswoman at SFR. “We are not giving away Universal’s catalog.”
The offer is part of three SFR mobile subscription plans, which range from €22.90 ($29.16) to €56.90 ($72.47) per month. It is limited offer to 60,000 users overall.
SFR and Universal are launching this service in the context of the “Creation and Internet” law debates, which started on Oct. 29 at the French Senate.
The draft law is largely inspired by the conclusions of a commission led at the end of 2007, which proposed a three-strikes system that would cut off copyright infringers. There were also obligations for the industry, as the commission recommended that the industry remove DRM and interoperability barriers.
In Nov. 2007, SFR had launched an all-you-can-eat permanent music download service featuring DRM.