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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: iTunes on iPod
By TomZ on 6/12/2006 2:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
If someone is willing to rip a CD, they would have just bought the CD in the first place, and avoided iTunes/AAC in the first place, not to mention the hassle of recording then ripping a CD.

But I think there is a valid point made, that it is not clear to consumers that, without jumping through hoops, that their AAC songs they bought from iTunes will effectively only work on an iPod. I think most consumers have the expectation of using the file just like a book, i.e., being able to place a purchased song on any reasonable device, their PC, etc.


RE: iTunes on iPod
By michael2k on 6/12/2006 3:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I know, an iTMS is MORE usable than a DVD.

The iTMS terms of service and the Fairplay DRM allows the following:
1) Burn to CD for use in CD player
2) Copy file for backup
3) Burn to CD to transcode to another player (especially since few support AAC)

With CSS and a DVD I am not allowed to do the following:
1) Rip the DVD to HDD for use on my system
2) Copy the DVD for backup
3) Transcode the DVD for use on another player (especially since few players natively support the DVD format, such as an iPod or PSP)

Now I can rip the DVD, but I can't actually play it; CSS disallows me that luxury. So iTMS isn't any worse off than DVDs today, and seems quite a bit more flexible too, and DVDs seem quite reasonable to most people; why would consumers have any problems with the iTMS, especially since Creative and Sandisk STILL don't support AAC? They would need to convert their files to use on an MP3 player anyway.


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