French law could force Apple to open up iTunes | iLounge News

French law could force Apple to open up iTunes

France is set to vote in a new law that would force Apple to open up its iTunes Music Store to enable consumers to transfer purchased songs onto devices other than the iPod. If enacted, industry observers say the law could prompt Apple to shut down the iTunes store in France.

“Under a draft law expected to be voted in parliament on Thursday, consumers would be able to legally use software that converts digital content into any format,” reports Reuters. “It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management—the codes that protect music, films and other content—if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France. ‘It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up ... You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,’ Vanneste said.”

Related Stories



Well France can just say goodbye to itunes….

Posted by Glorybox3737 on March 13, 2006 at 3:11 PM (CST)


Personally, though I love apple, I applaud France for this.  I *should* be able to play music that I’ve bought legally on any device.

Posted by w00master on March 13, 2006 at 3:19 PM (CST)


‘It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up ... You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,’ Vanneste said.

Posted by bee on March 13, 2006 at 3:24 PM (CST)


yeah, because Apple is going to give a shit about what the French govt. says. They’ll just close the store and that’ll be the end of it.

That being said, I like the spirit of the law. DRM is totally against the concept of “fair use”. That being said, at least if Apple shuts up shop and closes down iTunes, you’ve still got the songs you bought which you can listen to. Imagine if this happened with Napster, and suddenly all those songs you downloaded just didn’t work any more because you weren’t able to subscribe any longer.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen on March 13, 2006 at 3:24 PM (CST)


Apple to France;  kiss my arse!

What is this?  The French music Gestapo.  So Im guessing this mean that every BMW must have a VW steering wheel in their next law suit.

Posted by PJ on March 13, 2006 at 3:25 PM (CST)


Wow! Congratulations to the French government for such a bold decision! It was time someone thought of the customers!

Posted by Dimitris on March 13, 2006 at 3:33 PM (CST)


Why do you compare car and music, it’s so stupid, we don’t speak about material but contents (you can put Total or shell fuel in your car, why not itunes music in your creative mp3 player). The french government try to stop the stupid music majors which don’t understand that the future of the music is Internet.
France try again to solve a problem that nobody wants to.

Posted by david on March 13, 2006 at 3:36 PM (CST)


What this is saying is that you have the ABILITY to use the proprietary music/information on another system provided you can “crack” it to go that way, and that won’t be illegal.  It doesn’t mean that they have to open their software for other’s to be able to do, but if you can do it, it’s not illegal.

This doesn’t mean that your Microsoft stuff MUST run on Apple, it means that if you can make it work, it’s not illegal.  You can still have copy protection, but it’s not illegal for me to break it for my own personal use.

Posted by Michael on March 13, 2006 at 3:44 PM (CST)


More and more nations should adopt these laws.  How many countries can Apple say “screw you” to?

Apple is just as evil and monopolistic at heart as Microsoft, it’s high time we stopped pretending they’re the good twin.

Posted by stark23x on March 13, 2006 at 3:44 PM (CST)


“So by this logic, I should also be able to play any PC game (still downloadable content), run Microsoft protected video (again downloadable content), etc. on my Macintosh. Cool… bring it on! “

I think PC games is a little different, since it’s a technology that can’t be easily converted. You could, however, argue that it could mean you are allowed to emulate Windows (Virtual PC) but I believe that’s already legal so I’m not sure what you’re complaining about.
In terms of Microsoft video, sure, why not? Just as the article says, this would theoretically allow you to convert the video (even if it’s DRMed) into something more mac friendly. Although what microsoft video are you referring to anyway?

Posted by catboy17 on March 13, 2006 at 3:46 PM (CST)


This is quite simply the fault of the music industry.  DRM is platform lock-in.  The only solution to this problem is to remove DRM (just use plain AAC or MP3), but the music industry (RIAA) will never let that happen.

Posted by m.sherman on March 13, 2006 at 4:20 PM (CST)


I don’t understand, I must have fallen off a water melon truck, last I checked, I can copy my iTunes download to an Audio CD, MP3 CD, or Data CD or DVD, replay on WMP, or move them to my iRiver H320, guess I did fall off a water melon truck, thankfully not in a socialists country.

Posted by endrun on March 13, 2006 at 4:34 PM (CST)


endrum ... I love how Americans (and I’m just assuming you’re an American because of the tone of your post) get so worked up about “socialism” when the American constitution was mostly based on the French constitution anyway.

And how’s the wonderful free market treating the 1.2 million WalMart employees (oh, hang on, they’re “associates” aren;t they?) who basically work full time and also qualify for welfare.

The idea of the French law change is designed to give the idea of “fair use” back to the people. It’s about enabling rights, not restricting them. I’d argue that DRM is more draconian and “socialist” than the projected outcome of the French legislation.

Governments interfering with large businesses in order to give its citizens a fairer, more equitable deal isn’t a bad thing. You vote a government in to represent you. Corporations just exist to return money to shareholders.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen on March 13, 2006 at 5:41 PM (CST)


Also considering that what endrun just said is illegal in the US it makes his statement look even more out of place in this thread. DRM as a whole is a retarded idea. My GF bought about $50 worth of music from this other store and couldn’t play it on her iPod. She was so angry about it and there really is nothing she can do about it.

What France is doing here is the correct thing to do and I applaud them for taking this step (and I hate France with a passion so me saying that is hardcore).

Posted by Vicotr on March 13, 2006 at 5:55 PM (CST)



I agree with you, I guess you must have fallen off a water melon truck after all !

By copying your itunes download to audio CD, MP3 CD etc, you are transcoding your already much worse than CD quality AAC files into another format and decreasing the quality. The process of transferring to your iRiver could be reducing the quality by one more generation of transcoding (depending on the format you choose).

Maybe the fall from the truck damaged your hearing and you haven’t noticed ?

What difference does it make if the water melon truck was in a socialists (sic) country or not ?

Posted by bean on March 13, 2006 at 5:55 PM (CST)


Lawrence…learn some history before you open your mouth…

US Constitution ratified 17 Sept 1787

French Constitution..from Wikipedia…
The Revolutionary Era saw a number of constitutions:
A liberal monarchical constitution was adopted October 6, 1789 and accepted by the king on July 14, 1790.
The Constitution of 1791 or Constitution of September 3, 1791 established a limited monarchy and the Legislative Assembly.
The Constitution of 1793 or Constitution of June 24, 1793 (Fr. Acte constitutionnel du 24 juin 1793), or Montagnard Constitution (Fr. Constitution montagnarde) was ratified, but never applied, due to the suspension of all ordinary legality October 10, 1793 (French First Republic)
The Constitution of 1795, Constitution of August 22, 1795, Constitution of the Year III, or Constitution of 5 Fructidor established the Directory.
The Constitution of the Year VIII, adopted December 24, 1799, established the Consulate.
The Constitution of the Year X established a revised Consulate, with Napoleon as First Consul for Life.
The Constitution of the Year XII established the First French Empire.
Following the restoration of the Monarchy
The Charter adopted on June 4, 1814 reestablished the Monarchy
The additional act to the Constitutions of the Empire during the Hundred Days, April 23, 1815 (brief return of Napoleon to power)
The Charter adopted on August 14, 1830 (“July Monarchy”)
19th century
The constitution of the Second French Republic, November 4, 1848
The constitution of the French Second Empire, January 14, 1852
The constitution of the French Third Republic, February 24 and 25, and July 16, 1875
20th century
(Vichy France, Pétain’s WWII government that collaborated with Nazi Germany, had no formal constitution.)
The constitutional law of November 2, 1945 – post-WWII provisional government
The constitution of the French Fourth Republic, October 27, 1946
The constitution of the French Fifth Republic (current), October 4, 1958

The US Constition was ratified 2 whole years BEFORE the French Constitution…so who’s was based on who’s???

Posted by jimlat on March 13, 2006 at 9:25 PM (CST)


OK jimlat, point taken. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. For some reason I was thinking of the Magna Carta when I wrote what I did.

My point was, and still is, that arguing that
Government restrictions => socialism => bad
as endrum did, is bollocks. At the end of the day, I’d rather a democratically elected western democracy be making decisions about my rights than a large company whose only obligation is to its shareholders.

Posted by Lawrence Mikkelsen on March 13, 2006 at 9:41 PM (CST)


Lawrence..I agree with you there….DRM is garbage…but the law change in France will only lead to the good evil twin (Apple) taking their ball and going home. They have the whole rest of the world buying their music on iTMS and locking into the DRM.

Posted by jimlat on March 13, 2006 at 9:56 PM (CST)


do you think that apple, itunes are rule over french government? no way. they just conduct to pass a law in order to protect their music market, device. anything, any body can’t pass over politics. you remember it. it doesn’t matter whether it is U.S. or grandfather. even they give up itunes, it doesn’t affect anything on french economy. you guys has such a narrow sight. music is not all.

Posted by edward on March 13, 2006 at 10:16 PM (CST)


I have read all your posts and agree that I should be able to play my music where I want…..but I’m sure apple will shut down the French Store.

Posted by rustyvp on March 14, 2006 at 1:18 AM (CST)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2019 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy