French lawmakers approve bill to open iPod, iTunes | iLounge News


French lawmakers approve bill to open iPod, iTunes

French lawmakers have voted to approve the online music interoperability bill that would force Apple to open its copy-protection technology and break the exclusive tie between downloads from the iTunes Music Store and the iPod. As reported earlier today, “the draft law—which also introduces new penalties for music pirates—would force Apple Computer Inc., Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. to share proprietary anti-copy technologies so that rivals can offer compatible services and players.” The French Senate will give a final vote on the bill in coming weeks.

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if you live in france, i hope you get your fill of the iTMS soon, ‘cause it ain’t gonna be there much longer.

Posted by Luke on March 21, 2006 at 11:46 AM (CST)


Wow now iTunes will be gone in France.

Posted by Glorybox3737 on March 21, 2006 at 11:48 AM (CST)


The above posts were exactly what I was thinking… Goodbye iTunes France!

Posted by billy bob on March 21, 2006 at 11:52 AM (CST)


They’ll either cancel it all together OR add specific code to the DRM thru the French iTMS along with the technology for their ‘rivals’ to crack the DRM from the French store specifically and not for other countries.  I would expect the latter solution.

Posted by LilAlienD on March 21, 2006 at 12:08 PM (CST)


they’re rename it “FreedomTunes”

Posted by SS on March 21, 2006 at 12:09 PM (CST)


why would a law making more portable devices compatible with i-tunes/iTMS be a bad thing?

Posted by A-Maze on March 21, 2006 at 12:14 PM (CST)


because apple wants you to use their ipod, not other portable music devices, and if you’re (being the french government) going to force them to give their music to their competitors, they’ll just leave.

Posted by edmond dantes on March 21, 2006 at 12:23 PM (CST)



Such a law would be bad because it’s government interfering with business in a matter that has absolutely nothing to do with safety.  This is a matter the market and business interests should decide, not government.

Also, imagine you own a company.  You develop a successful and popular product with a unique distribution system.  Your company is small compared to your major competitors, but your new product brings in much-needed success.  You start to sell your product in foreign countries.  After about a year, one of those countries arbitrarily creates a law that says you are required to share the fundamental apsects of your product with your competitors.

Now, with all that imagining….  what would you do?  Me, I’d stop selling my product in that country, unless that country was a major source of my income.  I doubt France’s iTunes and iPod purchases are worth attempting to continue to do business with them with that burden.

Posted by Jason on March 21, 2006 at 12:29 PM (CST)


I have to agree with Jason here.  I’m not even sure this is a good thing for the consumer.  If apple were to open up their drm for competitors, there’s no guarantee thos competitors would do a good job implementing it in their devices and you could end up with all kinds of little problems that apple can control for by controling the software and hardware.  I don’t buy music from the ITMS because of the DRM and quality issues, but I’m 100% behind apple controling its own products and not having to give away its strong market share.

Posted by BrettB on March 21, 2006 at 12:34 PM (CST)


What sucks is they’re not really thinking about the problem right.  Fine, they “force” companies to license their DRM junk, but what about free players?  What about open-source projects?  They still get nothing.

The only way to truly solve this problem of not being able to play tracks you buy in one place to play anywhere is to GET RID OF DRM ALTOGETHER.

But for now, goodbye iTunes France.

Posted by m.sherman on March 21, 2006 at 12:34 PM (CST)


i sorta agree with everyone…i think if iTMS opens up, other countries might try to pass the same law…which might make iTMS gain $ bcuz people who can’t find music on the other sites will come to iTMS to find it…but on the hand if they have to open the iPod people with iPods might leave the iTMS bcuz they can use subscription svcs to get music…so it is up to the loyal iPod/iTMS fans to stick with the store and not stray to other svcs and let the people with other players come to iTMS and create more $ for the iTMS…

Posted by teksone on March 21, 2006 at 12:38 PM (CST)


I really don’t see why Apple or Microsoft should be penalized for the fact that there are apparently only two French language based music stores..(Including Itunes according to the BBC)..Maybe if they got their act together, Apple wouldn’t have the monopoly they’re moaning on about.

Why not use those EU subsidies to support some new stores…wink wink…

Long and the short of it. They’ll be lucky to have an Itunes store this time next month. They might get lucky with some open French store DRM..Guess it’s how the sums add up..Lose money on ipod sales/make money on the store?

Posted by Tim on March 21, 2006 at 12:43 PM (CST)


I believe that we can bid iTunes France adieu!

Posted by The Raven on March 21, 2006 at 12:48 PM (CST)


I don’t see this as such a problem, by now the ipod is pretty much owned by everyone that wants one. Looking at the bigger picture the ipod is the product to sell the service (itunes music store). The service has a life span much longer than the ipod itself, and as it is currently the best service opening it up to other players could mean more sales. maybe fewer ipod’s will be sold, but i feel this was ineveitable anyway

Posted by theweaze on March 21, 2006 at 12:54 PM (CST)


“the law has yet to be debated and approved by the Senate—a process that would not begin until at least May”

Apple will offer no comment until there is reason to act.

French congressional action will wither and not stand the scrutiny of legal review.

Posted by Benton on March 21, 2006 at 1:48 PM (CST)



why would apple let this happen? I don’t think that they want the ipod to be phased out. And I doubt they agree that it is “inevitable.” I think that when they come out with the new ipod sales will increase yet again. Itunes has made them a lot of money, yes, but I don’t think that they will be willing to modify the programming just for France or any other country for that matter.

Posted by camerack on March 21, 2006 at 1:57 PM (CST)


French: Take your Laissez-faire and shove it.

Posted by pageffect on March 21, 2006 at 2:02 PM (CST)


I don’t get what all the hoo-hah is about and why they felt they needed a law. You can play stuff from iTunes on a brand-x player - you just have to jump through the extra hoop of perverting your stuff to MP3. Then you can use MusicMatch <shudder> or whatever you want to load it to the player. Seems like a non-issue to me…

Posted by David on March 21, 2006 at 2:23 PM (CST)


Geez…and this comes from the country that gave us the Statue of Liberty…Oh well, no more iTunes in France.

Posted by Tenchi211 on March 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM (CST)


I don’t think they will leave the France. It would open the whole music business here to Microsoft…

France is a big market in Europe, it’s one the biggest country and one of the younger one. Leave us and say Microsoft hello…

Posted by Steph on March 21, 2006 at 2:31 PM (CST)

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