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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By newbrew on 6/10/2006 6:40:44 PM , Rating: 1
What idiots. Uhhh, burn CD, rip into MP3, PORTABLE. DUH. Is Europe really that stupid? And, it's Apple's service. Don't like it, don't use it. Don't like that iPod it's tied to? Don't buy iPod. Oh, that sucks because iPod is the best? Well, if GM does stuff to my BMW, my warranty is screwed. Hmmmm? Free Bimmer for me cause I'm inconvenienced or too stupid to just take it to the BMW dealership?

Tell France and Norway to shove it. Buy the crap from Samsung or Creative or iRiver. Let those who want iPods make their decision and live with it.

There's competition in the market. And even if there weren't, Apple isn't doing anything to hinder the market. Except make the best stuff.

By lemonadesoda on 6/10/2006 7:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
You are the idiot newbrew, not Europeans.

The issue is not the DRM. The issue is that the consumer has legally bought a copy of a song and he/she is allowed to use it without restriction.

Therefore, Apple only needs to create a "player" codec to use on other devices and the issue is solved. This could be in QuickTime, MediaPlayer, or even make it available to other companies to incorporate (under license) in other players.

ALTERNATIVELY, sell the song via iTunes using DRM that can be used on other players.

By JackBurton on 6/10/2006 7:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
On the contrary, I'd say YOU are the idiot lemonadesoda. If you can get out of the cave you've been living in for the last few years, the recording inductry has been trying out all types of copy protection to keep you from playing the music you [b]bought on CD[/b] from ANY mp3 player. They've even gone as far as to keep you from playing your CD on your PC. There was no law that kept the recording industry from doing this and the ONLY reason they've moved from one protection scheme to another is because it kept getting cracked and was proving very ineffective. The RIAA is roaming free to aparently do whatever they want, so I REALLY don't see a porblem with Apple's service. Like I said, Steve Jobs needs to tell Norway and their 10 iTunes downlolads to suck his ass.

Apple should be able to do whatever they want with their own service that they invested quite a bit of money in. If you don't like it, don't use it. It's as simple as that.

By lemonadesoda on 6/10/2006 8:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps, JackBurton, you are right. Only you are an even bigger idiot.

PS. I'd like to point out that I dont take a habit of insulting individual posters, other than my ironic use of newbie's generalised insult on Europe, which, I believe is unwarranted.

(so I herewith take back the idiot on you Jack)

To the point: The copy protection mechanism on some CDs is exactly that: copy protection, not play protection. You can play it on any CD device. You can "record" your CD to Mini-disk, tape, or audio input into your MP3 player.

UNFORTUNATELY, some distributors of music, took the view that people don't really "play" their CD's on their PC's, but rather RIP and COPY them... to either full CD's, or MP3s, and then SHARE these with friends, or P2P.

And based on this view, they attempted to stop this element of amateur copying by implementing this restriction.

The RIAA (American), or any other organisation representing music rights throughout the world, cannot stop you for making copies for your own use. FULL STOP.

You bought the music. You bought the rights to listen to the music. The "format" is irrelevant. However, you did not buy the rights to re-publish or broadcast the material.

Although I fully agree with the comment "Apple should be able to do whatever they want with their own service that they invested quite a bit of money in. If you don't like it, don't use it. It's as simple as that", technically speaking, they are breaking existing consumer rights laws.

Yes we have consumer rights laws in Europe. Shock.

The EU itself is shutting down more P2P servers than any other country. They do not condone piracy. But unfortunately, in this situation, Apple is breaking the law.

Under European law (or at least in many countries), if you cannot use a product you purchased in the way you intended, you can return it for a full refund.

And Apple doesn't allow this either.

Its a legally tricky situation. Although in most circumstances, you say, "Well common sense"... unfortunately when it comes to laws, we cannot ignore them and substitute with common sense on a case by case basis.

Although iTunes is a relatively low-value issue (on a case by case basis), the existing law is relevant for a lot of products and services, and the protection is welcome and needed

By JackBurton on 6/10/2006 9:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Under European law (or at least in many countries), if you cannot use a product you purchased in the way you intended, you can return it for a full refund."

The way YOU intended to use it? So if I can't rip a DVD I bought, you can return it? Give me a break. iTunes is playing on ALL devices it was intended to work on. If you are trying to manipulated it to get it to work on devices it wasn't inteneded to work on, that is not Apple's problem. Now if you have some moronic law that dictates to a company what their prodcuts should and shouldn't do, that's not Apple's problem. If Apple is breaking some law in that country, I would suggest pulling iTunes completely from that country. Now lemonadesoda, you can now invest all your money in a service that will fill the void of where iTunes USED to be. But be sure to ask everyone in Europe what your service needs to support or you might get sued. Have fun.

And for the record, I do think you are a moron. But I'd like to point out that I don't take a habit of insulting individual posters, so I herewith take back the moron on you lemonadesoda. ;)

By ElFenix on 6/11/2006 1:15:37 AM , Rating: 2
so, when you bought a track at iTMS, knowing full well in advance it would only play on an iPod, not being able to play the track on something other than an iPod is keeping you from using it as intended?

that simply isn't reasonable.

By Xavian on 6/10/2006 7:19:23 PM , Rating: 2
Against Consumer Choice? Check!
For non-interpolarable DRM? Check!
Tied into iPods and thus iTunes? Check!
Thinks Apple has the highest quality players and the rest is crap? Check!
Thinks we should all buy CD's to remove the DRM to play on other players? Check!
Thinks Apple is gods-gift to MP3 Players? Check!

Apple Fanboy Alert!

seriously there are so many points that are wrong in your post.

Think about this, Plays For Sure DRM its every every music store except iTunes and is available on every MP3 Player out there, except Apples. Why? you ask, because APPLE DOESN'T WANNA INTERGRATE IT INTO THEIR PLAYERS. Ok now we have that down.

Lets take Apples AAC fairplay DRM, its only available on Apples players, iTunes sells music in ONLY that format and DRM and no other music store has fairplay DRM AAC music files. Why? you ask, because APPLE WON'T LICENCE FAIRPLAY DRM TO ANY OTHER COMPANY OUT THERE, ok we have that down.

Now, if you can't see the problem there and the serious trap that lies before those who have an iPod and want to move to another music store, then i give up.

By Xavian on 6/10/2006 7:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
1st every = on, whoops, need edit people!

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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