Apple: French law will result in ‘state-sponsored piracy’ | iLounge News


Apple: French law will result in ‘state-sponsored piracy’

Apple said on Tuesday that France’s proposed music interoperability bill would result in “state-sponsored piracy.” An Apple representative said the law—which would force the company to open its FairPlay DRM—is likely to cause digital music sales to steeply decline, but that iPod sales might actually increase. “The French implementation of the EU Copyright Directive will result in state-sponsored piracy,” said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. “If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers… iPod sales will likely increase as users freely upload their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music which cannot be adequately protected,” Kerris said. “Free movies for iPods should not be far behind.”

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“You’re locked into Apple’s hardware platform the moment you buy your first $0.99 song from iTunes.”

Similar to how you’d be locked into Nintendo’s hardware platform the moment you buy your first video game cartridge.  I don’t see anyone demanding console manufacturers to use a common format.

Posted by Esquilax on March 22, 2006 at 1:25 PM (CST)


record a song and you can convert it to other media (tape/cd/mp3 etc) with relative ease. computer software is completely different!

Posted by sighte on March 22, 2006 at 1:45 PM (CST)


Steph, I hear your point about the Squeezebox and your Nokia phone.  Those are legitimate uses that would be nice to have available to you.  Although, as pointed out before, you can go through the cumbersome process of burning the CD, ripping to mp3, etc…  But I know that feels like that puts the burden on the honest consumer.

I think part of the fundamental problem is that while people like Steph and kokketiel may be honest, legitimate users who just have a desire to have their music available to them in broad, yet fully legal, ways, there are clearly millions of people who will abuse any relaxation in protection.  They are the absolute source of the need for copyright protection, DRM, etc.  Without their abuses, all the honest people who believe artists have a right to enjoy the benefits of their popularity would be able to freely use their music in a fair and equitable fashion.

So perhaps there are a number of people who are right that Apple’s DRM implementation could be improved upon.  But until that time, I think it is a reasonably elegant solution, given the fact that there are masses of people on P2P networks who somehow feel they have the right to get something for nothing?  They take some illegitimate comfort in knowing that many others are out there doing the same thing.  But we all know that two wrongs don’t make a right.  And two million wrongs doesn’t get you there either. 

After all, before digital music, will all the P2P file sharers have said it was ok to go into your local record store and take whatever you want without paying for it?  What is the fundamental difference between that and downloading the album for free?

Posted by Devil's Advocate on March 22, 2006 at 1:49 PM (CST)


Comparing iTune’s potential monopoly to Microsoft is simply a bad analogy. Monopolies in and of themselves are NOT illegal. However, it is an illegal monopoly if you leverage a dominating market share to harm consumers or competitors in an unfair fashion. Microsoft was not found guilty of being an illegal monopoly because they sold software that only ran on PCs. It was because they used their market position to force PC makers into unfair contracts, disabled competitors software in favor of their own, and used proprietary knowledge of the OS to unfairly compete in other areas (web browsers, word processors, etc).

For the same reason, Apple would never be found guilty of having an illegal monopoly simply for selling music that only played on an iPod. Apple has never marketed the iPod as an open platform available for others to write software/media for (similar to the example above of game console cartridges…you don’t see a PS owner complaining that his games won’t play on an xBox, do you?).

Now, if Apple were to take steps to use it’s monopoly power to unfairly harm the competition, then you can sue them. For example, if they disabled a computer’s ability to play audio CDs when you installed iTunes. Or if they prevented you from using other juke box software or hooking up other music players to your computer. iTunes music as ALWAYS been marketed as only playable on iPods. There were never any deceptive marketing practices used. And you are not forced to buy from the iTMS if you want to put music on your iPod. Just because Apple has chosen not to license other DRM for the iPod is not a legit reason to sue them.

You are not forced to by an iPod if you want a portable music player and Apple does not interfere with your ability to purchase and add music to such a player (they have simply chosen not to sell you that music themselves). You are not forced to buy music from iTunes if you want to put music on your iPod. Last time I checked, CDs still account for the majority of music sold; and Apple has done nothing to interfere with you ability to put music from the majority market share source.

Welcome to the adult world…

Posted by ender on March 22, 2006 at 10:19 PM (CST)


“Similar to how you’d be locked into Nintendo’s hardware platform the moment you buy your first video game cartridge.  I don’t see anyone demanding console manufacturers to use a common format.”

but music is different.  music is something that people are accustomed to being able to bring places, pop their cd in at their friends house, and enjoy it there. something like nintendo’s cartridges are made in their proprietary format because they are designed especially for the device on which they are played, and each different platform (whether it’s playstation, nintendo, or whatever) competes with its peers, each having different strengths and weaknesses. however, music is a much more fluid thing, it’s a lot more standardized for wide use, even back before the digital music revolution, in the 70s, people could drive around and listen to their 8-track tapes on, say, a pioneer player in their car, and get home and play it on a technics player in their living room without a hitch. whereas the video game business has always been more partitioned; divided into discrete sections by the technology developed by each given company.
how this relates to digital rights management is that apple, while seeming to fetter the consumer into their own proprietary software and hardware, is really doing nothing more than intelligent strategizing on how to capture and retain the largest customer base they can. what a lot of people forget, especially in a community like this devoted to apple, is that not all companies are going to tailor to your preferences, no matter how much you want to keep supporting them (because you likes their products). so if the whole apple and drm issue bothers someone, it’s not like that individual has no choice but to download itms and listen on itunes/ipod. there are other options.. the trick is to get over the apple fanboydom and realize that there are many other viable options for portable music.

Posted by nick on March 23, 2006 at 12:28 AM (CST)

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