Print 27 comment(s) - last by kelmon.. on Jan 31 at 4:19 AM

The animosity towards the way Apple does business with iTunes is continuing to grow

DailyTech yesterday reported that German and French consumer groups have joined forces with groups from Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  Today, however, Dutch consumer protection agency Consumentenbond also joined the battle to force Apple to change the way it operates its iTunes MP3 download service.  Apple has until Oct. 1, 2007 to comply before facing legal action.

Consumentenbond has filed a formal complaint seeking an investigation into the business practices of Apple's iTunes.  The group is also urging Dutch consumers to avoid buying iPods and downloading songs from iTunes -- other MP3 players and music download services such as eMusic are recommended by the group.

The organizations are calling for Apple to remove limitations that prevent digital music consumers from being able to download a song through iTunes and not be able to put it on any non-Apple MP3 players.  

A consumer group for Norway has given Apple until Sept. 30 to change the way it does business or face possible legal action.

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Don't know what the big deal is
By viperpa on 1/26/2007 9:56:37 AM , Rating: 3
I don't see what the big deal is. There are other music services you can download music from, so why take aim at Apple. In fact Microsoft Urge music site is going to be exclusive only so why not go after Microsoft. Because Apple has 75% of the market is not there fault. Tell people to stop buying IPods and there market share will fall. I own 3 IPods and I think they are the best.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By keepitreal on 1/26/2007 11:17:04 AM , Rating: 2
You lost the ball because it not microsoft that is doing that to apple. microsoft just want it small fee for it format then play on whatever you want.

For example, suppose you buy a TV from SONY then sony say. The only channel you can watch it FOX-NEWS. would you be ok with that. That is what apple is doing.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By masher2 on 1/26/2007 11:48:34 AM , Rating: 3
> "For example, suppose you buy a TV from SONY then sony say. The only channel you can watch it FOX-NEWS"

You have it backwards. It's like a Fox News broadcast that only worked on Sony TVs.

Honestly, I don't see the problem here. You know about the restriction up front before you purchase. If you don't like it, don't buy. What's so hard about that?

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By phideo on 1/26/2007 4:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Exactomundo. Users are aware of the restrictions before they purchase the devices and/or purchase music, and if they are not aware of the restrictions, they failed to do adequate research. That's the bottom line.

I really don't approve of any government recommending that consumers utilize certain private services. As an American, the whole idea seems absurd.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By lemonadesoda on 1/26/2007 6:09:52 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be so sure about that fact. My guess would be that the majority of "consumers" are not tech savvy and are not aware of the restriction before they buy.

Even if they were, the person that buys a song off iTunes has legally paid for the right to play the music, WITHOUT a format restriction. If you buy a CD you have the right to transfer that CD to your MP3 player. Or your record to a tape. Same transferability holds.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By phideo on 1/26/2007 6:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
According to the iTunes Terms of Service:
b. Use of Products. You acknowledge that Products contain security technology that limits your usage of Products to the following Usage Rules, and you agree to use Products in compliance with such Usage Rules.

You shall be authorized to use the Products on five Apple-authorized devices at any time.

You shall be able to store Products from up to five different Accounts on certain devices, such as an iPod, at a time.

"Apple-authorized devices" is important. This implies that items purchased via the iTMS may be subject to restrictions concerning how these products may be used on certain devices. Annoyingly, Apple doesn't outline approved devices in the Terms of Service, but anyone who actually reads the Terms of Service would be aware that these restrictions may exist. Contacting Apple regarding "Apple-authorized devices" would get you a solid answer.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By rcc on 1/26/2007 11:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it's more like you buying a game for your XBox and complaining that it won't work on a PS3. Even if the same title were available on both platforms, you'd have to buy them separately.

OTOH, it's really more like not owning an XBox and complaining that their titles won't play on your PS3.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By glennpratt on 1/26/2007 12:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
Not at all. One is a realistic limitation of very specific hardware. The other is a total fabrication.

RE: Don't know what the big deal is
By rcc on 1/26/2007 1:21:47 PM , Rating: 3
Not at all. One is a realistic limitation of very specific hardware. The other is a total fabrication.

It's not a fabrication. The customer is paying for a service to download a song/audio file for a specific device. The supplier has the right to define the format, the customer has the right to go elsewhere. Governments have the right and responsibility to stay the heck out of the equation.

I agree that the effort involved in requiring a software title to run on multiple platforms is immensely more complicated. But the actual principle is the same.

Windows DRM?
By kelmon on 1/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: Windows DRM?
By PseudoKnight on 1/26/2007 5:41:05 AM , Rating: 2
Cahoots with MS? Nah. They've done the same thing with them and Windows Media Player. But you're right in that MS is just as guilty in this as Apple, even though Apple did it first and is MUCH bigger in the market.

Unfortunately Apple can easily capitulate by allowing the music to be uploaded onto something like Apple certified players. I doubt we'll see them on current non-Apple players. In fact, this might not even apply to the US iTunes store.

RE: Windows DRM?
By NuroMancer on 1/26/2007 11:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately Apple can easily capitulate by allowing the music to be uploaded onto something like Apple certified players.

They do,Applce certified players are called Ipods.

The lawsuit is about in the inability to put Itunes content on anything but Apple Ipods due to DRM in the songs. The work around is to burn them to a disc, and them reimport them. The groups are seeking to see this DRM removed so that I could put a song I purchase on Itunes on a Zune or Zen.

RE: Windows DRM?
By thebrown13 on 1/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: Windows DRM?
By kelmon on 1/31/2007 4:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
The same argument can be extended to the Zune but I was referring to the PlaysForSure format available from many stores rather than whatever format the Zune uses and which is only available from a single store.

RE: Windows DRM?
By Canizorro on 1/26/2007 9:23:37 AM , Rating: 5
From what I understand, Apple does not license out it's DRM protected AAC format. So the protected files can only play on Ipods. Microsoft's DRM, protected WMA/WMV, can be licensed to anyone that wants to add that format to their player. As far as Microsoft not licensing the format to Apple, I think it's the other way around. Apple will not license the format from Microsoft because they have their own protected format. So for this reason, Ipod users will not be able to download from stores like Urge using the Microsoft format. The governments are asking for Apple remove the limitations of the format and in turn license it out to any MP3 manufacturer that may want to include the format, like how Microsoft format licensing works.

RE: Windows DRM?
By kelmon on 1/31/2007 4:17:30 AM , Rating: 2
A bit late for a reply but I'll post one anyway.

Basically, Microsoft will license their DRM to anyone who wants to use it as long as they aren't Apple (I suspect that Linux might have the same problem but am not certain). Microsoft not only killed development of Media Player for the Mac but have also refused to license their DRM to the Flip4Mac makers Telestream so that Macs can play Windows DRMed files, despite this product being the officially sanctioned replacement for Media Player under OS X (

So, yeah, Microsoft won't license their DRM technology to Apple. This said it's not in Apple's interest to use it but that's a different problem.

An MP3 player is like a tv
By keepitreal on 1/26/2007 11:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
It ok for apple to have it ipod play apple format music, but Apple doesn't have that right to stop other formats from playing on it Ipod.

For example, suppose you buy a TV from SONY then sony say. They only channel you can watch it FOX-NEWS ( format ). would you be ok with that? That is what apple is doing.

RE: An MP3 player is like a tv
By werdcrime on 1/26/2007 11:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
And Apple does this how? I don't have a single AAC file on my iPod.

What was your point?

RE: An MP3 player is like a tv
By Oregonian2 on 1/26/2007 7:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
iPods will play plain-old MP3's. How could an iPod be more universal than that?

Finland missing from the list
By Hare on 1/26/2007 4:27:48 AM , Rating: 4
Finland is also investigating iTunes store and has the same requests as Sweden etc. To remove the drm and allow users to listen to the music on their choice of device.

I'm hoping Apple (or should I say the record companies) will change their DRM policy.

where's the RIAA???
By ducduc944 on 1/26/2007 10:41:44 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like the RIAA needs to pick up it's lobbying activities to show Europeans how much they need DRM...

RE: where's the RIAA???
By jon1003 on 1/26/2007 12:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
More than half of this thread doesn't get it. They're not seeking DRM removal from iTunes, that would be impossible because they're not just going to sell unprotected music - duh. They want Apple to license their DRM format so other players can load and play iTunes downloaded songs, just like MS licenses it's DRM format.

This is what I would do...
By Mday on 1/26/2007 3:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
Charge other companies 50 cents for AAC-DRM'd songs, on a per song per download basis.
Impose a stipulation that forces companies involved in accidentally or purposefully contributing to AAC-DRM "cracking" due to accidental or purposeful implementations to pay a lump sum of $10 billion.

Highway robbery, yup.

Same old, same old...
By INeedCache on 1/29/2007 11:03:07 AM , Rating: 2
This article had nothing to do with Microsoft, and Microsoft wasn't even mentioned. Yet, the anti-Microsoft/pro-Apple crowd attempts to make it about Microsoft. Microsoft gets persecuted in the legal systems more than just about any other corportation, yet Apple seems to conveniently escape. Then when Apple does finally get called on the carpet, all you anti-Microsoft/pro-Apple folks come crawling out and screaming that it isn't fair. Where were you when Microsoft was forced to sell Windows without Media Player in Europe (which nobody wanted)? It was the same thing a few weeks ago when Cisco sued over the iPhone name. You cried saying Apple should be allowed to use the name without penalty. If you cannot be objective, please don't comment. What is the matter with you people? I'm not for Microsoft and against Apple, per se; I'm just calling it as I see it.

Makes perfect sense
By shamgar03 on 1/29/2007 11:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
Apple is trying to pull the same monopolistic techniques (or perhaps worse) than microsoft has been burned by in the past. They are creating an artificial barrier to switching to other products. "I don't want to switch to zune, my music would be worthless", "I don't want to switch to urge [napster, emusic], my mp3 player would be worthless". They have the lead now they are attempting to lock it in in a way that is shady - not through being better. It doesn't do anything to say "microsoft this" or "microsoft that", if microsoft is doing something wrong, trust me, they are always being watched, so stop apple fanboys, just shut up and be happy that one day you will be able to choose the best mp3 player to go with the best music service whether its apple or not.

By thebrown13 on 1/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: rofl
By crystal clear on 1/26/2007 4:42:58 AM , Rating: 1
NO IF..................( I am sure you will blow your fuses off)

Steve Jobs for President in 2008?

In a FoxNews interview of January the 19th, the founder of suggested Steve Jobs could be a "dream horse" for the democrats.

Watch Jason Wright from make a case for Colin Powell and Apple's Steve Jobs to run for president in 2008! The interview is from FoxNews' morning show, Fox and Friends. appears on Fox and Friends (1/19/2007)

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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