Legendary UK record store Rough Trade is preparing to launch its own digital rights management-free digital music service.
It has been 30 years since the store opened its doors. At midday on 14 November it will open its digital doors to a global audience, offering a rich selection of releases in MP3 format to the music-hungry public.
Rough Trade Digital will offer song previews and a rolling, hand-picked selection of songs for download. Just like any other record shop, Rough Trade Shop staff members will advise on new releases and help customers discover new acts.
The service will also offer a counter-to-digital service for unsigned bands who want to sell music online. With a nod to the DIY-ethic that launched the shop, bands can bring a CD-R to one of Rough Trade's London shops and sell it online complete with Rough Trade's potential endorsement.
The decision to sell tracks free of any rights management restriction on user rights reflects the company's belief in the rights of its customer, Rough Trade said.
"Rough Trade Shops believe in giving customers the same ownership rights as if they'd bought a much-treasured limited 7in or a brand new CD from one of its London shops," the company said.