Music industry giving up on DRM for streams?

The music industry seems to be giving up on DRM
The music industry seems to be giving up on DRM

It looks like the music industry might be moving towards abandoing DRM on streaming audio, with two major on-demand music sites chucking the system in favour of their own unique security methods.

So it seems the tide is turning. Even though it wasn't so long ago that RIAA was actually applying pressure for laws that would require DRM on any and all forms of streaming music, EFF reports that LaLa and iMeem, who are licensed by all major record labels, have dropped DRM and stared looking to their own anti-piracy solutions.

Pre-expired date stamps

LaLa is using an HTTP download for each separate song, in the form of an MP3 straight to the browser. Using "no-cache" file headers and pre-expired date stamps, it prevents the browser caching the download to the hard drive.

iMeem sends the MP3 as the audio segment of a Flash file, and saves it as a temporary file with an obscure name, overwritten when the next song is downloaded.

Does all this mean that the big labels have officially recognised the demise of DRM? It could certainly be a stepin that direction.

Is this still piracy?

Furthermore, consider Techdirt, if the services download standard MP3s to your PC, is it actually illegal to keep them? It's not incredibly difficult to dig around on your hard drive and find these not-very-secretly hidden files.

Could you really be fined for dragging, dropping and renaming an MP3 from a RIAA-approved music service?