Universal Music Group will allow the sale of digital music tracks without copy protection by artists ranging from Sting to 50 Cent for a limited time, the company said. The songs will be available through a number of online music sites and the artists' own Web sites and will be compatible with MP3 players, but will not be available through Apple's iTunes store. The test period "will provide valuable insights into the implications of selling our music in an open format," said Doug Morris, UMG's chairman and CEO, while Apple had no comment.

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