U.S. backs Apple against French interoperability law | iLounge News


U.S. backs Apple against French interoperability law

The U.S. government is backing Apple in the company’s protest against a French law that would force it to open up its FairPlay digital rights management technology. Speaking on CNBC, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Apple needs to protect its intellectual property. “Any time something like this happens, any time that we believe that intellectual property rights are being violated, we need to speak up and in this case, the company is taking the initiative,” he said.

“I would compliment that company because we need for companies to also stand up for their intellectual property rights,” Gutierrez continued. “If we all do that, have the government work with other governments, have companies defend and protect their own intellectual property, then we’ll be able to make more progress on a worldwide basis.”

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US gov loves monopolies… :(
After the MS in the desktop computers, here is Apple in the media business. Music, Video, maybe Books soon, everything locked with DRM. Be our client for your life time ! Be locked forever ;)
I can’t understand a liberal gov like Bush’s one is not supporting Open DRM and free market. Fairplay is like communism : one brand, one product and no choice.

Posted by Steph on March 24, 2006 at 10:02 AM (CST)


Hmm - Apple or the French government - I can’t think which I have a stronger distaste for.  I guess in this case I have to root for the French.

Posted by apetaster on March 24, 2006 at 10:10 AM (CST)


Go France.

THe whole idea of being locked into a product is so Microsoft. And in Europe, I guess it just doesn’t sit well.

Love Apple, hate DRM.

Posted by Enda P on March 24, 2006 at 10:14 AM (CST)


Why couldn’t this be good for Apple? They currently offer the best user experience (iTMS & iPod). This would mean that people without iPods could buy from the best online store (iTMS) and people who do not yet have iPods but tons of digital content that is not from iTMS could switch to an iPod.

As long as Apple keeps on offering the best experience in the online store and portable device, they can only win… or not?

Posted by Alberto on March 24, 2006 at 10:48 AM (CST)


Yes, it can only be good for Apple. People will buy more and more iPods because they can at last read music from others stores (Virgin or Fnac in France) and they will sell more music because Creative or iRiver clients will be able to buy music on the ITMS.

It will probably give more power to Microsoft Windows Media, that’s the only drawback.

The best solution would be to make Fairplay as a standard like Firewire is, with a member fee, so everyone could use it but would have paid for it. It would be good for Apple and good for everyone. But from now, Apple has locked everything.

I LOVE my iPod and the ITMS but I want to listen to the music I’ve bought freely wherever I want and not only with Apple products.
It’s more difficult to listen to music we have bought legaly than to P2P…CD audios are now copy controled and can’t be used in cars, in some HiFi players or computers, music is locked with DRM, DVD is locked with DCSS, Blueray and HD DVD are locked and DRMized…Our life is becoming locked and DRMized ! :(

At least, when CD and DVD were the only media, there ware many brands using one standard (CD Audio, DVD Video etc.), we could buy a Sony CD player or a Denon one, a Pioneer DVD player or a JVC one, and not only one brand…

Posted by Steph on March 24, 2006 at 11:11 AM (CST)


I love that the press just gets to play along with Steve Jobs and industry-stroked-feds and act like France is asking Apple to completely remove its DRM.  Last I checked the govenrment is asking Apple to allow iTunes files to play on other Mp3 players and allow wma’s to play on iPods.  Somehow Napster and Yahoo do this and still maintain their crappy DRM.

Posted by superape on March 24, 2006 at 1:10 PM (CST)


France is doing the right thing here. DRM protects ALL the rights of Appe but NONE of mine.
They could easily create an interoperable DRM. They just don’t want to.
They could easily give me some rights as well. But again, they just don’t feel like it.

I hope that more countries will follow the good initiative of France here.

Posted by No way José on March 24, 2006 at 1:10 PM (CST)


Yes, it can only be good for Apple.

How so? Standardizing DRM takes control away from Apple. With this law, the consumer doesn’t have to buy an iPod to listen to DRM AAC content; the existing iPod user can look to SanDisk or Creative or anyone else for their player. At the same time, provisions requiring interoperability may very well for Apple to supply iPods that can handle DRM WMA, so iTMS no longer has its locked-in monopoly on iPod users.

Consumers win. Locked, closed systems like iTMS/iPod lose.

Posted by flatline response on March 24, 2006 at 1:24 PM (CST)


Er…“may very well for Apple…” should’ve been: “may very well force Apple…”

...for…force…it’s only two letters…

Posted by flatline response on March 24, 2006 at 1:34 PM (CST)


I’m quite sure those Apple guys know how to use their calculators, and give their protest the French law must mean that they will lose money. No matter how much I follow the ‘Apple can only win’ arguments, the short term benefits by avoiding free competition and protecting their two-step lead as long as possible is obviously what counts for them. The theory that more people will buy iPods and use ITMS - which was also my own when I first read about this - is based on the assumption that those two poducts will remain so much better than the rest - and nobody can be sure that is the scenario in 5 years time.

Eventually, France and we consumers might win the battle, but the longer it takes the more millions in the pockets of Apple.

Posted by koboko on March 24, 2006 at 4:22 PM (CST)


Champagne is an area of France that produces sparkling wine.
No other part of the world has the right to call their sparkling wines “Champagne”, according to French and international laws.
Many American wine makers make “Champagne”, but can’t label it as such.
Should France be made to stop this monopoly?

Posted by Dude on March 24, 2006 at 6:46 PM (CST)


if you dont like the drm and dont like being locked into one company, then dont buy from apple. these laws are stupid. it is up to the people to control their lives. no one on this green earth makes any of yall buy an ipod. so either accept that the drm is what apple and the rec. industry want because it is their product, or buy an other player that simple.

Posted by BIGP on March 24, 2006 at 7:09 PM (CST)


Why don’t people buy CDs and rip it themselves? They get their own choice of audio quality and dont get DRM…..and the price of a CD is the same price as buying an album from apple iTMS

Posted by hoho on March 25, 2006 at 3:55 AM (CST)


Well, I for one think that the iTMS/iPod relationship is a great one and would be hindered by this.  I love having all my music in one library, not having to manage the files like I had to for the last ~10 years.

What, would apple then build support into iTunes for WMA, etc.?  What about more obscure codecs?  Where does it stop?  ANY codec?  That’s a headache and a device that’s too complicated.

iPods a few things but do what they do well.  Adding more features (i.e., codec support) will only take away from that focus.

Also, I have nothing against French people but I have serious issues with the French gov’t.

Posted by heehee on March 25, 2006 at 5:46 AM (CST)


All this brouhaha over the DRM and monopolies etc—isn’t it still about your choice and your money? If you’re not happy with the terms, buy something else!

Simple as that. Leave Apple to do its own job, please!


Posted by Lenny on March 25, 2006 at 1:40 PM (CST)


Dude (Comment 11)
Mate, I totally agree with your point.  I do like French people, just not their goverment.

Posted by stevemc on March 25, 2006 at 2:24 PM (CST)


My prediction if the law passes:  Apple will close up shop in France.  After a short time trying to achieve the same level of interoperability that the iPod/iTunes/iTMS experience provided using various “other” vendors’ solutions, French consumers will say, “we want our iTMS.”  The French Gov’t will scratch its big ole head and say, “WTF?”

Posted by The Raven on March 25, 2006 at 6:55 PM (CST)


Great, so American companies are dictating the laws of other countries now?

Posted by phennphawcks on March 25, 2006 at 7:11 PM (CST)


No, American companies are not dictating laws of other countries.

Looks to me like another country is trying to use law to dictate an American company.

Regardless of how I feel about this issue and drm, nobody is forcing you to buy an apple ipod or use itunes, but when you do you agree to apples terms of use.

Posted by emul8ter25 on March 26, 2006 at 4:34 AM (CST)


Well Dude the clue is in the question, as you say:

Champagne is an area of France that produces sparkling wine.

No one else can make iPods except Apple. You can make an MP3 player, but it is not an iPod unless it comes from Apple.

Same as Champagne ...

Try Carva, I find it has less acid and tastes better..

Posted by Jez Caudle on March 28, 2006 at 7:33 AM (CST)

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