CNET is reporting that Amazon will begin selling MP3s without DRM protection. Said Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, “Our MP3-only strategy means all the music that customers buy on Amazon is always DRM-free and plays on any device.” This would include iPods, Zunes, Macs, and PC's. You can read Amazon's official statement here.
What's really interesting is to see who is participating in Amazon's plan, and who isn't. Only one of the four major record labels, EMI, has agreed to sell its music DRM-free on Amazon (As many readers remember, EMI made a similar deal a few weeks ago with iTunes). The other three, Universal, Warner Music, and Sony, have all refused to sell their music DRM-free – you can read their defense of DRM here).
(As a side note, it appears these companies might slowly be coming around – Universal is testing the waters by selling MP3's of French singer Ã‰milie Simon without DRM)
However, while most of the major record companies have been hesitant to join EMI, over 12,000 small and independent labels will be part of Amazon's DRM-free store. The reason may well be that these labels believe they can tolerate a certain amount of music sharing and in fact may greatly benefit from the exposure.