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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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RE: translation
By killerroach on 6/10/2006 1:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
The difference being that there isn't just one company making PCs, and that Napster uses the PlaysForSure DRM standard, which works on players from several different companies. For a company to have cut deals with the record industry in order to give themselves a market-dominant position and then use that position to lock everybody else out of the market, that's where the issue lies. While it is true that it isn't a monopoly, it is vaguely anticompetitive.

The only other issue is whether or not the anti-competitive position is the fault of Apple or actually the fault of the RIAA in allowing the widest range of their music be carried only on Apple's music store with its heavy restrictions on what devices it can be played back on.


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith











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