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Apple will be forced to allow iTunes downloads to be compatible with other MP3 players

Apple has been given two weeks to fix iTunes after the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman ruled that the MP3 download service breaks consumer protection law.  In fact, at least three Nordic nations, want iTunes downloaded songs to be playable on all digital music players -- not just iPods.  If Apple does not make its songs playable on all music devices by June 21, the company will first face heavy fines which would then be followed by court action.

The formal complaint is online as a PDF file and claims the following:
The Consumer Council of Norway hereby wishes to lodge a complaint against iTunes Music Store with the Consumer Ombudsman. The complaint is based on iTunes’ standard terms and conditions as specified at http://www.apple.com/no/support/itunes/legal/terms.html (Terms of Service) and http://www.apple.com/no/support/itunes/legal/policies.html  Terms of Sale). It is the view of the Consumer Council that several aspects of these terms are in breach of the Marketing Control Act (Markedsføringsloven) and other legislation.

In addition, iTunes uses DRM (Digital Rights Management), a type of technical standard terms and conditions, which determine how the service can be used. The Consumer Council of Norway also believes that certain aspects of the technical terms and conditions are in breach of the Marketing Control Act.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) recently stated that iTunes music downloads should be allowed on non-Apple MP3 players.  European regulators have given Apple enough time to eradicate the problem, with reportedly little interest from Apple.


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Conspiracy? I think so.
By AT39 on 6/10/2006 1:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, here comes the conspiracy theory.

Apple has everyone right where they want them. I swear to god that this is the most successful monopoly I have seen in this industry. Think about it.

Apple got the iPod popularized by a wonderful and very intuitive design. It is a great design, you must agree with that. But now they have music that can only be played on their player. ONLY. And now Steve Jobs has announced that everyone has to buy a new player each year. Plus the batteries seem to die after abotu a year. Coincidence?

And then Apple uses the iPod deathes to get people in their stores to look at iMacs.

Apple is very intelligent and clever, but someone really has to blow this thing wide open because like Microsoft in the Operating system sector, it has pretty much a complete monoply on the industry.


RE: Conspiracy? I think so.
By gez on 6/10/2006 5:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
While I completely agree with the assesment of Apple's marketing strategy, Apple has about the farthest thing from a "Monopoly" on portable audio players. Remember that "Dominant" is not nearly the same as "Monopoly." Apple has the dominant portable music player, but there are entire store aisles filled with alternatives to iPod. Even Microsoft is not, and never was, a true monopoly. A successful company does everything they can to steer you toward their product, and hold your business for as long as they can. That is what MS has done, and that is all Apple is currently doing.


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