Reuters – Mon Mar 13, 2006:

France is pushing through a law that would force Apple Computer Inc to open its iTunes online music store and enable consumers to download songs onto devices other than the computer maker’s popular iPod player.

Under a draft law expected to be voted in parliament on Thursday, consumers would be able to legally use software that converts digital content into any format.

It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management — the codes that protect music, films and other content — if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France.

“It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up … You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,” Vanneste told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday.

Music downloaded from Apple’s iTunes online music store currently can only be played on iPods.



  1. Max says:

    Hmmm… For a long time, I could only use Gillete razor blades in my razor. Oh wait, I still need to! I wonder if France knows about that! Maybe they need to pass a law for that too…

    Max

  2. Paul says:

    I feel like a patron in Rick’s Place when Victor Laszlo stands and leads the band in “La Marseillaise”.

    “Viv la France!!”

  3. Lou says:

    Via Steve: “The iTunes/iPod connection is a government granted monopoly, which France has decided not to be a part of.”

    I’ve always had a problem when “monopoly” starts to become analogous to “large market share”. Clearly there are alternatives to iTunes/iPod for digitally downloading and listening to music. There should be a “reasonable” test for this… can a reasonably intelligent person get the same music and put it on their non-iPod-MP3 player. I think yes.

    I also think the word (and punishments) should only apply reasonably critical items (transportation, utilities, etc), and not on lifestyle or entertainment issues.

  4. Max says:

    So does Sirius and XM have a monopoly too, since I can’t legally take their satellite feeds?

    Last time I checked, there was iTunes, Napster, Wal-Mart, Sony Connect (insert digital music store here) all in business… And business is good…

  5. Me says:

    The French are the second most necessary to oppose group of people there is after liberals so I hate to support something they propose, but there it is. Hurray for France!

  6. Larry says:

    Example of another legal monopoly… USPS

  7. Max says:

    The point is not whether something is a monopoly, but whether the “monopoly” is stunting competition. What’s wrong with your definition of a monopoly if you have choices?

  8. James says:

    Take a look at the bigger picture, Apple is specifically referenced but I’m pretty sure the law pertains to ALL copy protection. Thus, it becomes legal to rip your dvds and so on. Sure, maybe the iTunes/iPod thing isn’t terrible but the right the screw with your property is important. The law preventing us from breaking copy protection is close to a law preventing you from cracking open your computer if the company you purchased from doesn’t want you to. You purchased the music, you should be able to use how ever you want so long as it remains personal usage.

  9. pb says:

    Thanks for cutting and pasting, but the story is totally wrong – and out of date.

    See France finally blocks move to legalize downloads (America’s Network) and Blanket digital license fails in France.

    Reuters goofed – the Act never even mentioned Apple.

  10. Mike Voice says:

    –> (Sure, there are ways, but there either cumbersome or still illegal.) You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,” Vanneste told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday. do like the fact that the law would allow people to buy Windows-DRM media, and convert it to play on their Apple gear. 🙂

  11. Eugene says:

    I hate to beat a dead horse but the post from Max and Lou pretty much sum it up. There are tons of different ways to get music. There are even more ways to listen to it. No one is twisting their arms to buy music from iTunes or an iPod.

    While the razor example is a little extreme, it fits. Lets look at some other ways this bill could be used:

    I could go after Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft because the game I baught doesn’t work on anyone else’s console but theirs.

    I could go after everyone in this whole blu-ray vs. HDDVD mess because the movie I baught won’t play on the other system.

    And best of all, I could go after Apple and Microsoft because the software for Windows doesn’t run on the Mac and vise versa.

    Guess what, it’s not a monopoly if there is choice and people just happen to choose to give their money to one group instead of another.


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