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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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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 suggests...xyz"... 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.


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