More Pressure on Apple to Open iTunes

11 Jun ’06

The European resistance to Apple’s DRM that first emerged in France has surfaced elsewhere in Europe. From the International Herald -Tribune:

Apple’s popular iTunes music-download service is facing fresh legal attacks in Europe.

Government consumer protection agencies in Norway and Sweden want Apple to remove restrictions that prevent customers from playing music they bought through iTunes on devices made by other companies.

And in Britain, one of the largest digital music markets, the British recording industry’s trade association, known as B.P.I., told a Parliamentary committee on Tuesday that iTunes music should be made compatible with other portable music devices. It was the first time the group had taken a public stance on the issue.


Mr. Thon [Director of the Consumer Ombudsman’s Office of Norway] said that he himself had bought a large number of songs from iTunes for about 1 euro apiece, and now wanted to transfer them to his new Nokia N80 cellular phone, but could not.

“I just cannot imagine an argument in favor of stopping someone from using a song they purchased,” he said.

He dismissed the claim Apple has often made that its policy helps combat copyright violation. “They are not protecting against piracy, but instead encouraging it,” Mr. Thon said. “When consumers cannot copy an iTunes song onto their mobile phone, they will get a download of it free from Napster.”

In a related story, the Free Software Foundation’s Defective by Design group yesterday organized protests at Apple stores in 8 U.S. cities to protest Apple’s DRM (photos here).

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