From the New York Times:
Steven P. Jobs, Appleâ€™s chief executive, jolted the record industry on Tuesday by calling on its largest companies to allow online music sales unfettered by antipiracy software.
The move is a gamble for Apple. Its iPod players and iTunes Store have defined the online music market, and they have much at stake in the current copy-protection system.
Under terms reached with the major record labels, online music stores embed software code into the digital song files they sell to restrict the ability to copy them. Because Apple uses its own system, the songs it sells can be played only on the iPod. That limitation has drawn increasing scrutiny from European governments, pressure that Apple has recently begun to acknowledge.