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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 michael2k on 6/10/2006 5:14:41 PM , Rating: 2
I get your point, do you get mine? The only difference in your example right now between DVDs and iTMS files is that Apple does not license the Fairplay codec. As soon as Apple does license the Fairplay codec, your world becomes identical, in that any iTMS file can be played on any player.

My example however is quite different. iTMS files can be burned to CD and ripped to MP3, unprotected AAC, raw WAV, or WMA. This is explicitly allowed for in the iTMS terms of service. DVDs, however, by laws that say DRM cannot be circumvented, cannot be ripped to the HDD, cannot be re-encoded to M4P, cannot be copied to my iPod, and cannot be reburned to CD/DVD/whatever.

All this legal rumbling will do nothing that cannot already be done with songs purchased from the iTMS, so I think of it as a waste of time; will these laws then also allow me to take my 40+DVDs, legally rip them to my HDD, reencode as M4P files, burn back to a DVD for backup, and then copy them to my iPod for later viewing?


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