The Wall Street Journal reports that Napster -- the company once synonymous with illegal on-line file sharing -- has dropped its software which limits the way users can listen to music.
Napster offered a subscription streaming service, which prevented subscribers from downloading a permanent copy of a sound recording to their hard-drive. With the termination of its digital rights management (DRM) program, it appears that Napster will now be an on-line music distributor modeled after traditional brick-and-mortar record stores (e.g., iTunes). In other words, users will be able to purchase their music and take it to-go, available on a whim.
Does this signal the death of subscription-based model of on-line content distribution? OTCS never believed this model would work - users, OTCS believes, prefer paying a la carte, rather than a monthly subscription fee.