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Report: French DRM law gutted

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2006
News Categories: iTunes

The French interoperability bill that would have forced Apple to open its FairPlay copy-protection technology used by the iPod and iTunes Music Store appears to have been gutted in committee. According to reports, most of the original provisions, which Apple said would result in “state-sponsored piracy,” have now been removed or rewritten. Ars Technica reports: “Previously, ‘information needed for interoperability’ covered ‘technical documentation and programming interfaces needed to obtain a copy in an open standard of the copyrighted work, along with its legal information.’ Now this has been changed to ‘technical documentation and programming interfaces needed to obtain a protected copy of a copyrighted work.’ But a ‘protected’ version of the work can’t be played back in a different player, which means interoperability won’t be attained with this clause.”

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Comments

1

Some on that committee must like iPods…or own stock in a company with the letters AAPL.

Good news for Apple, if indeed the case. Not so good for consumers, however.

Posted by flatline response on May 2, 2006 at 8:57 AM (PDT)

2

“Not so good for consumers, however.”

BS.  Consumers seem quite happy with thier iPods and iTMS.

Posted by The Raven on May 2, 2006 at 9:32 AM (PDT)

3

Don’t understand why people get so upset about this. I don’t see the same people complaining about the PS2, Xbox, or GameCube. It’s the exact same thing. If I want Madden to play on my GameCube I have to buy it for the GameCube. Why not make these companies open up their game formats?

Posted by nosedive51 on May 2, 2006 at 9:36 AM (PDT)

4

a game is made differently from the start (programming language). music is raw. that’s the difference

Posted by sighte on May 2, 2006 at 9:50 AM (PDT)

5

Dont people know that you can easily burn a CD from your purchased music then reimport those songs as MP3s? A slight inconvenience but the DRM is easily defeated!

I have a Mac and a PC, and before the ITMS became available in Canada, i used to purchase music from Puretracks and converted them to MP3s so they could be played on my Mac!

And for those of you about to mention the loss in quality in recompressing compressed music, dont bother. If people cared about that miniscule loss in quality, they wouldn’t be listening to DIGITAL MUSIC IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Posted by ahMEmon on May 2, 2006 at 9:54 AM (PDT)

6

music should not, and should never be confined to one form of playback, or have to be used one one program.

Posted by paige on May 2, 2006 at 9:55 AM (PDT)

7

ahmemon, i disagree. who has the method of playing vinyl in their car? a lot of people can telll the difference between 92kbps rip and a 300 something one. and it is NOT a minuscule loss in quality. even when ripping and recompressing already compressed music.

Posted by ryan on May 2, 2006 at 10:00 AM (PDT)

8

ryan: That may be true, but who sells music at 92kbps?

Have YOU tried converting your music? Can YOU tell the difference, and if you can, is the difference THAT noticeable?

I did, I can and no.

Posted by ahMEmon on May 2, 2006 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

9

isnt buying a 128K track from iTMS same as ripping your CD at 128K?

Posted by slayer on May 2, 2006 at 10:43 AM (PDT)

10

“Dont people know that you can easily burn a CD from your purchased music then reimport those songs as MP3s? A slight inconvenience but the DRM is easily defeated!”

Yes, but that’s not legal ! And you have to convert your songs, so the quality is not that great…

The better way should to sell Fairplay to others manufacturers, Apple could earn a lot of money and we wouldn’t be in Apple cage.

Anyway, for the french law, it doesn’t surprize me, the government is listening to big companies and music majors, not to the consumers or people.

Posted by Steph on May 2, 2006 at 11:00 AM (PDT)

11

“Yes, but that’s not legal”

Yes, it is. Apple says you can burn CDs of your music. All you are doing is reburning them. It’s not your fault if the copy protection turns off when you reburn them.

Posted by Adam on May 2, 2006 at 12:52 PM (PDT)

12

“Don’t understand why people get so upset about this. I don’t see the same people complaining about the PS2, Xbox, or GameCube. It’s the exact same thing. If I want Madden to play on my GameCube I have to buy it for the GameCube. Why not make these companies open up their game formats?”

Because in 20 years people will be playing Madden 2026 instead of Madden 2006 but they will still be listening to U2, 2Pac, Garth Brooks, The Beatles, Mozart, etc. Will the iPod even still be around then? I sure hope my music would. Now that we can get music digitally, it should theoretically “live forever.”

Posted by Genghis on May 2, 2006 at 5:30 PM (PDT)

13

“Because in 20 years people will be playing Madden 2026 instead of Madden 2006 but they will still be listening to U2, 2Pac, Garth Brooks, The Beatles, Mozart, etc.”

Bad example. In 20 years people will still enjoy playing Super Mario Brothers. Will an orginal NES still be around? The new Nintendo system will have a virtual console which will allow me to rebuy SMB in digital format but only for the new Nintendo console. Why can’t I play that file on my PSP or Xbox?

Posted by nosedive51 on May 2, 2006 at 9:32 PM (PDT)

14

This is a huge loss for the consumer.  I understand some people like their ipod but this is not about that.  It’s about choice.  When I buy music, the last thing I want is restriction.  I want to do whatever I want with it because I bought it and it’s mine.

When I buy a dvd movie, I have the freedom to buy a toshiba, sony, pansonic or any other dvd player I want.  I don’t want to be force to buy only one brand.  That’s so ridiculous.

Don’t be an Apple geek.

Posted by mike on May 2, 2006 at 11:35 PM (PDT)

15

There are plenty of other music players and plenty of other music stores…..which some say are actually better. It might not hurt to go out and shop around there…......

Posted by Huskerz85 on May 2, 2006 at 11:53 PM (PDT)

16

“There are plenty of other music players and plenty of other music stores…..which some say are actually better. It might not hurt to go out and shop around there…......”

Yes but if you are a Mac user, Windows Media doesn’t support MS DRM, so you are out of luck wink

And if you have an iPod (80% people have one), you can’t buy music elsewhere. That’s the problem !

Posted by Steph on May 3, 2006 at 12:03 AM (PDT)

17

You don’t want your music locked into a particular format? Good for you,  buy the cd.  Will there be CD players in 20 years?;)

The iTMS is not the ONLY source for ipod music.  It’s just a popular, convenient one.  We have always paid for convenience…tapes were crappier than records, CDs are compressed, etc. etc.  The iTMS is no different.

Attacking the DRM model that enabled true legal online downloads is a bit like looking the gift horse in the mouth, don’t you think?

Posted by David on May 3, 2006 at 7:08 AM (PDT)

18

I’m french and i say that the french DRM law (DADVSI) is a carnival mask to permit french government to survey internet and the french internet users. The defense of the musical authors and singers rights is a big pretext. French internet users desagrees this law, like they desagree number of many other liberal laws from this liberal gov.

Posted by grd13 on May 3, 2006 at 8:02 AM (PDT)

19

“If people cared about that miniscule loss in quality, they wouldn’t be listening to DIGITAL MUSIC IN THE FIRST PLACE!”
Can you think of any other format in which the quality isn’t degraded with each use?
Even though online music has its advantages (a la carte singles, small file sizes), it’s disappointing that consumers are still being forced to sacrifice sound quality for convenience.
A 128k file may sound fine through a shelf system or a pair of pack-in earbuds, but it leaves a lot to be desired when sound quality is of primary concern.
As mike said, it’s not about Apple or the iPod, it’s about choice, and what’s best for the consumer in the long run.

Posted by fondy44 on May 3, 2006 at 8:30 AM (PDT)

20

If you are really serious about sound quality, you need decent equipment and a quiet environment. When I really want to listen to stuff in a way that sound quality means something, I bust out the CD, put it in my yamaha system (all MIT cables)and run it through my reference quality Boston speakers and Energy sub (or pipe it out to my senheiser studio headphones if I don’t want to bother anyone else). The other 99.8% of the time, I am in my car in traffic, or jogging, or sitting in an office with the typical hustle and bustle. In those environments, you can’t tell 128k from true lossless. As for the compatibility issue, eventually economics will fix that. Either Apple will own so much of the market that everyone else will be forced to pay whatever Jobs wants for the right to play their DRM, or Apple will lose enough of the market that they will be forced to pay for the rights to do the playsforsure thing. This may be a year or two away, but it will eventually have to happen.

Posted by Victor on May 3, 2006 at 3:32 PM (PDT)

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