French lawmakers set to vote on music interoperability bill | iLounge News


French lawmakers set to vote on music interoperability bill

French lawmakers will vote today on a draft law that could force companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Sony to share their digital copy-protection technologies. The bill, which would break the exclusive iTunes-iPod link, requires companies to provide the inner-workings of their digital rights management (DRM) so that competitors can offer compatible products. After today’s vote, the bill is due to be sent to France’s Senate for its last full reading and vote.

“The vote comes after the National Assembly, France’s lower house, last week approved amendments to the online copyright bill that would break the exclusive link between Apple’s market-leading iTunes music store and iPod players,” reports the AP. “Apple has so far refused to comment on the bill or on analysts’ suggestions that the Cupertino, California-based company might choose to withdraw from the French online music market, rather than share the proprietary technology at the heart of its business model.”

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I hope france doesn’t lose their itunes, but I really think that this is a move for the better. Apple could sell more too if they did it right. They could even do commercials advertising it :)

Posted by Jonathan Keim on March 21, 2006 at 9:46 AM (CST)


Yes ! That’s a good thing ! At last, I’ll be able to play my AAC Fairplay songs on my Squeezebo :)

Posted by Steph on March 21, 2006 at 9:52 AM (CST)


I agree. I hope this passes. It’d definitely shake things up.

Posted by catboy17 on March 21, 2006 at 10:09 AM (CST)


Wow. I don’t like this at all.  I’m a fan of free markets and forcing Apple to open up their DRM by an act of law seems heavy handed and wrong.  I almost wish Apple would choose to stop selling their products in France rather than open up their DRM.

Posted by BrettB on March 21, 2006 at 10:12 AM (CST)


“I’m a fan of free markets” : DRM is not free market, DRM is monopolistic ! How can you be fan of free markets and be OK with DRM ?

DRM is like MS Windows, it’s being tied with one and only company. I don’t like that, Apple or Microsoft, it’s the same…

Posted by Steph on March 21, 2006 at 10:38 AM (CST)


I dont know how to feel about this. On one hand, I love the fact that the iPod is (more or less) the market leader , but on the other hand, I DO want to be able to play other formats on my iPod, or music from the ITMS on other devices.

I just hope that this doesn’t hurt Apple too much, although this CAN be a good thing for everyone. Apple will just have to try harder to convince people to buy iPods.

Posted by ahMEmon on March 21, 2006 at 10:52 AM (CST)


iPod is the leader not because of the ITMS but because of the device itself. If we can buy music for MSN or Virgin and play it on the iPod, that’s a good thing for iPod users. If we can play ITMS music on others devices, that’s a good thing for the ITMS.

Apple is the leader because iPod or the ITMS are good products, so they don’t have to fear this law.

Anyway, they should have licenced Fairplay long ago. It’s a good mean to earn money.

Posted by Steph on March 21, 2006 at 11:03 AM (CST)


I don’t think anyone should celebrate this. All it means is that ITMS won’t be available in France anymore. Apple makes a TON of money in iPod sales by restricting its DRM technology. I think it’s highly likely that they would pull out of France completely, rather than give that up to the whole world. They would stand to lose much more by giving up DRM exclusivity than just getting out of France.

Now, if this law came up in the US, UK, or Japan (probably the 3 largest iPod+ITMS consumers), then they might choose to release the exclusivity. But France, as large of a market as it may be, is not large enough to justify staying and giving up worldwide exclusivity.

Posted by Jason Martin on March 21, 2006 at 11:24 AM (CST)


If they pull out of France, they will suffer of bad iPod sales for a long time as we won’t be able to buy french music for the iPod and french people will buy Creative crap or else in order to be able to listen to french music bought on Virgin or Fnac…

I don’t think they would loose anything with open DRM. Apple doesn’t give a f…. about DRMs, they were obliged to use them because of the major labels.

Posted by Steph on March 21, 2006 at 11:36 AM (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 12:37 PM (CST)

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