Orange Drops DRM From Its Music Store

Another nail in the coffin for copy locks – Orange is switching off DRM across the two million tracks in its Orange Music Store.

The move will apply to both channel in the dual-mode store – PC download and mobile download. Some 700,000 tracks had DRM switched off last week, the rest will be converted gradually.

Orange launched Music Store, which has all four majors and a bunch of indies, back in 2005, but it’s basic, lacking many discovery features found elsewhere. Orange may now be in line with many other stores on copy protection, and Orange has a strong commitment to marketing around music, but its store has a way to go on other counts. Orange’s earnings don’t break out its music numbers. Orange’s music head Richard Wheeler left for Virgin Media in April.

Meanwhile, MusicAlly makes the point that, while Orange Music Store will now be DRM-free on the Nokia (NYSE: NOK) 5800 it carries, Nokia’s own Comes With Music, of course, is DRMed to the hilt.

Orange’s content SVP Herve Payan told me back in January 2008 he expected the store to go DRM-free within six months: “If we don