French lawmakers agreed today to soften the draft copyright law that had threatened the future of the iPod and iTunes Music Store in France. “The compromise text, which is subject to a final vote in both houses before becoming law, still asserts that companies should share the data essential to such interoperability,” reports the Associated Press. “But in what could be a significant loophole, it allows compatibility restrictions on music and video downloads to be decided by the copyright holders—potentially allowing Apple and others to sidestep the information requirement by striking deals with record labels and artists.” In March, the French assembly backed proposals to force companies to share their copy-protection technologies with rivals who want to offer compatible players and services.
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