Print 82 comment(s) - last by Helbore.. on Jun 13 at 1:42 PM

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 (Terms of Service) and  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 lemonadesoda on 6/10/2006 5:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
My goodness you guys are dim.

The legal point is that YOU the consumer, have paid ALL LEGALLY REQUIRED FEES demanded by the music industry to "own" the recording and have the right to do with that recording WHATEVER you want, up to the point of NOT broadcasting it, or making copies that will be given to other people either by sale or gift.

So YOU as a comsumer have that right. Under law.

But Apple is making a condition of purchase that you do not have this right. It enforces their terms via DRM.

EU is not against DRM. It is against a company making terms of business that are contrary to the existing rule of law.

Can you imagine if 711 sold coca-cola but made it a condition of sale that you could only drink that coke in a 711 cup and on a certain table in the corner made for coke drinking?

I think the people would be pissed. Coke would be pissed. And if the government had consumer law saying that you were allowed to purchase, eat, drink and take away whereever you wanted, then the government would be pissed.

Perhaps you get it now?

Whoever is comparing this to Nintendo needs their head smashing against a wall to help them think more clearly. Remember, Apple has created nothing here (regarding the music). All they have done is gone to the record companies and agreed to pay a small fee for each song they sell. (Which is in fact peanuts compared to the price they sell you the song at... ). Apple does not own the rights to any songs. While Nintendo does own the rights to the programs/games it produced.

RE: translation
By Zelvek on 6/10/2006 5:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
No but apple does own the rights to the format that the music is in and they are not making the format available.

RE: translation
By lemonadesoda on 6/10/2006 6:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with your comment Zelvek.

In a strange twist of law, if you own an iTunes song, then you probably have the "right" to download the same music as WAV or MP3. And via P2P!

As long as the P2P "uploading" is intended to be made available ONLY to people who ALREADY owned the same songs via iTunes, (or other format). Then the uploader might not be on the wrong side of the law... Except for any "broadcast" to people who DO NOT already have some format ownership of that song.

I can see the defence lawyers helping me out here with the details...

RE: translation
By protosv on 6/11/2006 12:20:49 AM , Rating: 2
I believe this is a common misconception. Apple does not own the AAC format. What they own is the Fairplay DRM which is applied to this format. They are not under any kind of obligation to make this DRM scheme public. They should, however, under EU law, be required to license it to other companies so that iTMS tracks will be compatible with other music players.

RE: translation
By ElFenix on 6/11/2006 1:05:21 AM , Rating: 2
if 711 were selling it cheap enough then yes, i would gladly go to 711 and buy coke there and drink it according to their terms. apple broke the album up into component tracks successfully, so i can get the songs i want without the songs i don't, and i'm willing to give up a little for that.

you don't understand contracts. i don't have to buy into apple or its system. but if i want to buy something from iTMS, and i do so fully understanding the limitations of such tracks, i don't know why some euro government determines that it has to tell me and the person i'm contracting with what the terms of our agreement have to be. does the government of norway think that norweigians are idiots? it must.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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