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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: A positive step
By ElFenix on 6/11/2006 1:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
apple has found plenty of buyers without putting the music in an unrestricted format. you're aware that iTMS would not exist whatsoever if it weren't for that restricted format, aren't you?

and marketing costs need to be paid regardless of the distribution method. and of course, iTMS involves a distribution cost: someone has to pay for the servers, the bandwidth, the programming, the techs to keep the whole thing running, etc. so, obviously you can't strip out *all* the marketing, distribution, and retailing costs. again, apple has found plenty of buyers. there were tons of people buying CDs for the 3 good tracks on them. the price for those 3 good tracks has decreased from ~$5 each to $1 each. that isn't a bargain?


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