Norway steps up fight in battle with Apple | iLounge News


Norway steps up fight in battle with Apple

Norway’s consumer ombudsman said Apple must open access to its FairPlay copy-protection technology by October 1, 2007 or face legal action. “They must make iTunes music compatible with other players than the iPod by the end of September, or we will take them to court,” the ombudsman, Bjoern Erik Thon, said. “iTunes is imposing unreasonable and unbalanced restrictions that are not in accordance with Norwegian law.” Last June, Norway’s ombudsman said iTunes violated Norwegian law by only allowing consumers to play purchased music on an iPod. Other European countries, including Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, and Finland have joined in the battle. The ombudsman said the courts could impose fines on iTunes until songs could be played on rival devices.

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Oh snap.

Maybe it’s just me but I feel like if Apple opened up its copy protection in Norway it would also do so worldwide, either simultaneously or very shortly after . . . ?

Posted by JoshSpazJosh on January 25, 2007 at 11:09 AM (CST)


They wont remove the restriction, they would probably just remove the Norway iTunes store.

You cant impose this kind of action Norway is contemplating without opening up a can of worms on all other kinds of hardware products.

Kevin Crossman said something earlier that makes a point…Where are these countries when it comes to forcing Microsoft to make it’s Windows applications compatible with my Mac?

Posted by unreal on January 25, 2007 at 11:09 AM (CST)


And the authorities should force Gillette to make their razors accept blades from Schick.

Posted by otaku on January 25, 2007 at 11:20 AM (CST)


i want to get some wind out of the sails of some “yanks” bound to trash this initiative.
As it is repeatedly noted before, iTunes is a mere add on of every iPod sold. It lets you use your iPod to the fullest (too bad WinAmp can’t offer the same functionality, i wouldn’t have ever changed to iTunes if I could sync photos/calendar/... in an other easy way). But in the end it’s just another media player right?
I didn’t like to have to change to iTunes after buying my magnificent iPod, i like to have choice. But then again, in the meantime Apple has added a lot of cool stuff to iTunes. So this one evens out.
It’s all about rights. I don’t think they will win this battle,
but don’t think ALL Europeans think like the ombudsman from Norway.

Posted by a-maze on January 25, 2007 at 12:01 PM (CST)


What do you guys by from the iTMS?
DRMed AAC files, or music?
Yes you purchase music, and that music that you purchased you should be able to play on all portable music devices. If you by a Sony record label CD you would expect it to play on your Philips CD player right?
And if you buy a CD you should be able to rip it to your iPd?

Posted by norwegian on January 25, 2007 at 12:10 PM (CST)


I think Apple should just pull out of these countires that are fighting their DRM policies.  Like unreal implies:  they are being pretty single-minded about targeting Apple and the iTS.

I know I am in the minority, but I use my iPod with a Mac, and there is no better jukebox software for me than iTunes.  I buy music from them that I can share with others and that I own (which is more than can be said for most music downloading services).  I really could care less whether they only download to an iPod.

Apple, just dump any EU country that encourages opening up Fairplay.  I mean, I think that Apple will be able to absorb the 500 songs a year that Norway as a whole probably represents to the iTS.  Let the eurotrash use…well, whatever else there is over there.

Posted by eusucks on January 25, 2007 at 12:29 PM (CST)


I fully support Apple in this fight.  No one is forcing people to buy content from the iTS.  If they want their content on non-iPod players then they can rip their CDs or purchase digital content elsewhere.

This isn’t just a fight against Apple anyway, its a fight against the recording industry.  If Apple is forced to open FairPlay the recording companies may decide to pull their libraries from the iTS.  Apple’s FairPlay DRM and the iTS is the most successful digital content distribution system in history, which is why they are being targeted, and these government officials have not thought through the ramifications of what they are trying to do.  Just as the ethanol mandates for automotive fuel in the US have forced corn prices up, thereby increasing the price of soda, beef, tortillas, chips, etc., governments need to stay out of the market because they only screw things up.

In the end, if Apple does lose this fight it is quite obvious what will happen.  They won’t sacrifice their entire business model for the sake of one tiny European country, or several tiny European countries for that matter.  They will pull out of whatever country is trying to impose these rules on them.  There’s a whole wide world out there for them to make money.  Maybe if/when Apple is forced out of these countries their citizens will realize how stupid their governments are and work to change them.

Apple as a force to spread capitalism, free markets and democracy.  I love it!

Posted by Cool Cat on January 25, 2007 at 12:40 PM (CST)


iTunes as a jukebox and song transfer for ipod should be just fine for Norway. They can still purchase CDs and copy them into MP3 format for their ipod…no problem.

Just remove the itunes store for Norway. I dont see articles forcing Napster to make their music compatible on ipod and whatever they use over there.

Its never as easy as “one size fits all” you would think the Norwegians would know that by now.

Posted by unreal on January 25, 2007 at 12:45 PM (CST)


>If you by a Sony record label CD you would expect it to play
>on your Philips CD player right?
And if you buy a CD you should
>be able to rip it to your iPd?

And if I buy a DVD in Europe it should play on my DVD player here in the USA.

Oh, wait… it doesn’t do that?

I would not mind the DRM going away but it seems that Apple is the wrong target. It should be the music industry that forces DRM on Apple—and others—that are the issue.

Posted by Kevin Crossman on January 25, 2007 at 1:15 PM (CST)


DRM will disappear within 2 years. So this whole thing is a non issue anyway.

Posted by Ericc B on January 25, 2007 at 1:30 PM (CST)


Like Ericc B says maybe the music industry drops the DRM. So let record labels decide when they are ready, Then Apple will follow.

Posted by Mikael Stange (Swedish on January 25, 2007 at 1:43 PM (CST)


Norwegian:What do you mean? 1. Yes you can play your iTunes Store music files on your Philips CD-player if you burn them as a audio-cd.
2. Yes you can, i never had a problem with copyprotected CD s when ripping it with iTunes but with wmp and eac i have had problems.           
In Sweden we have something we call “Norgehistorier”, they are funny Jokes about stupid Norweigans. This is a “Norgehistoria” and Norway has managed to lure other EU countries on their crusade against Apple. To

Posted by Mikael Stange (Swedish) on January 25, 2007 at 1:45 PM (CST)


Just FYI: today Dutch consumer organisations asked the Dutch authorities to do the same.

Posted by Robert_K on January 25, 2007 at 2:17 PM (CST)


If Apple pulls out of Norway, it probably wouldn’t be a great loss for them. But if the other contries mentioned follows we’re talking about a population of 170 million and a 100 million internet users.
Germany and France have a big influence in the EU. If the EU adresses this, where talking about a market of 500 million people and more than 250 million internet users. A market bigger than North-America. If it goes this far, I think it will be hard for apple to ignore this.

Posted by Erik on January 25, 2007 at 2:42 PM (CST)


This is a big deal for Apple. They can certainly take their ball and pull out of Norway, but you can make book on who’s side the rest of the EU will be on.

Moreover, there will be key investors and major-block shareholders closely watching what Apple does; running away from any sort of profit never impresses these wolves, even if it means Apple’s proprietary business model is still left intact.

Posted by flatline response on January 25, 2007 at 3:02 PM (CST)


Why won’t my playstation games play on my Xbox? Thats it I’m taking them to court, they can’t force me to have to buy their products just because I like their system.

Posted by Joe K. on January 25, 2007 at 3:14 PM (CST)


EU has overplayed its hand.  I expect Apple to announce they’re say ing “AMF” to these countries.  When they do, I expect the iPod customers in these countries to raise a stink and ultimately make their governments back down.

Posted by Tom on January 25, 2007 at 4:19 PM (CST)


Scandinavians are terminally naive and can take up a cause just for the sake of argument without using their brain. I should know. I am Scandinavian myself. This includes the Netherlands although they are not Scandinavian. Because of this they are socially in even a bigger mess. They are ashamed or shy of bringing attention to issues that can preserve their most important aspects of social responsibility, while being obsessed with nonsensical issues as this. If you do not like it just do not buy music from iTunes. They should all grow up. Get outside into the big world and stop hiding in their little countries. Things like this make me ashamed to be Scandinavian.

Posted by olesvenson on January 26, 2007 at 8:15 AM (CST)


Stop standing up for apple on everything already. They’re just as big worms as every other big corperation out there and by itunes store they do this because they want more people to buy ipods. This shouldn’t be legal and I think that this is a just cause to fight for. Now if they could actually sell music that was on the same quality as CD’s and without all the copy protection stuff I would maybe bother to use itunes, but as long as they keep that I’m sticking to buying real CD’s and downloading for free. I’m the customer. They should make things fit for ME, not the other way around.

Posted by RightField on January 26, 2007 at 1:56 PM (CST)


Why shouldn’t it be legal?  You are the customer and part of that power is deciding to rip CDs and download for free, or use their service.  They don’t need to make anything fit for you unless your not using their product makes a difference to their profit.  I don’t understand why people want to use itunes to put music on some other player.  If you have a non ipod player than why can’t you use a non ipod download service?  This whole issue is like walking into a Ford dealership and complaining when they won’t sell you parts for a Chevy.

Posted by Natedogg on January 29, 2007 at 5:46 PM (CST)

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