It was only a year ago when Apple CEO Steve Jobs outlined his objections to digital rights management in an essay posted on his company’s Web site. At first the major labels took issue with his statements about DRM, but one year later it seems the record companies are almost tripping over each other to license unprotected tracks to every online music service they can find. That is, every music service not named iTunes.

The Warner Music International/ deal covers the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, France and Germany, and is the first time WMI has licensed unprotected tracks for the European download market.

To promote the DRM-less deal, and WMI are working together to offer several exclusive online products, such as value-added downloads. The online music store will also construct specific pages for both artists and WMI that can be accessed and maintained by the artists and the label.

“This deal will offer music fans a new level of flexibility in their use of tracks from our world-renowned artists,” said John Reid, vice chairman of WMI and president of Warner Music Europe. “We believe that providing consumers with this assurance of interoperability will encourage sales of music downloads and ultimately help the development of new digital music experiences.”