Apple violating european law with iTunes Music Store

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mosiejczuk, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #26
    I sent an e-mail to Steve.
     
  2. andrew086 macrumors regular

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    #27
    I don't understand why Apple is obliged to follow the laws of a region that they're not based in...
     
  3. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #28
    Ask Microsoft and why they had problems with Internet Explorer.

    Seriously, I don't know why it works like this (I'm not a law expert) but Apple already proved this to be true by "stopping price discrimination" in UK some time ago (after an intervention of European Commission).
     
  4. Heavysound macrumors newbie

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    #29
    At the beginning of 2008 the Commission was 'pleased' that Apple was proposing a pricing alignment within the common market so as to ensure all EU citizens in Member States with iTunes Stores would pay the same price for the same goods and services; has this happened? Our prices have remained the same; have those in other Member States been raised in accordance? Apologies for the ignorance.

    Apparently, it also understands the 'difficulties' faced by Apple in negotiating deals with music companies in the Member States where it does not presently have iTunes Stores. Perhaps Article 101(3)(a) TFEU [the updated provision, following the enactment of the Treaty of Lisbon which effectively turned the EC Treaty into the TFEU; previously Article 81(3)(a) EC] sheds some light on the excusability of its actions insofar as it provides for exceptions where "[deals negotiated would] impose on the [companies] concerned restrictions which are not indispensible to the attainment of [their] objectives."

    It is wholly unfair that those in the unfortunate States without iTunes stores should have to go without even though they are part of a supposedly free and common market set up over fifty years ago entirely with the aim that such nuisances should not occur, but it is my guess that those involved in the proceedings have found their way out of these provisions - which in themselves are more aimed at controlling intra-Community competition between companies. As the provisions are usually invoked in the Court when a company is bringing an action against another, it is clear why, in this instance where there is no identifiable legal person 'losing out' but rather potential consumers, nothing has been done yet.
     
  5. Heavysound macrumors newbie

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    #30
    It seems unfair but it's the same everywhere: when you trade in any jurisdiction you must comply with the laws of that jurisdiction in relation to trading as you are operating (and competing) with other traders and contracting with consumers of that jurisdiction so you are subject to the legal implications of those contracts.

    Similar to the gutted feeling I had at 18, being able to drink legally in the UK but unable to do so whilst on holiday in the USA.
     
  6. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #31
    Why do you even buy music off the iTunes store; it's crappy quality and odds are you can buy used CDs for less.
     
  7. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #32
    Thanks for precising this. While I will wait few days for this – maybe not highly "probable" but still "possible" – answer from Steve, I'm going to start preparing an official complaint to the EC. Do you have any experience in this matter?
     
  8. Heavysound macrumors newbie

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    #33
    I'd maybe address a strongly worded letter to the Commission stating your dissatisfaction with the current situation and perhaps ask what, if any, breaches of Union law are in effect. Your best hope then is for a reply detailing how severe the situation is and how likely any further action is; as I said, if Apple's failure to implement iTunes Stores in these 3 Member States is excusable under the TFEU then the only obligation they have is a purely social one.

    I'm studying LLB and have an exam tomorrow afternoon on EU law. I've also been pouring through cases where Article 101 TFEU [ex Article 81 EC] is engaged; albeit from the angle of intra-Community competition between Member States.

    I do hope they expand into the rest of the Union. A pan-European store doesn't seem likely; the reluctancy of our nation to adopt the Euro and the various areas of law which affect the operation of such stores and are not within the scope of the treaties prevent this from happening.*

    *Whilst it does legislate in a number of key areas and has sovereignty over any contrasting national legislation, the Union does not have full legislative or executive competence; Member States retain a large portion of control and it is this which can get in the way in such scenarios as this.
     
  9. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #34
    I checked in polish-language end-user guides and I've learned that an "official complaint" can be raised only against a member state, not a company. I did send a query letter about the legal procedure to one of the EC contact mailboxes. They've given themselves 15 working days to answer. Something is happening ;) Thanks for help!
     
  10. number9 macrumors 6502

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    #35

    I think in all of the stuff I've read about the EU lawsuit against Apple regarding the iTunes store, its a general consensus that Apple's ability to create a EU-wide store is limited partly by individual countries' copyright laws and the record labels

    See this article from 208 from PCWorld. The anti-trust lawsuit by the EU was dropped because Apple agreed to equalize some of the prices across it's EU stores. http://www.pcworld.com/article/141203/eu_drops_probe_as_apple_equalizes_itunes_prices.html

    Seems to me that even the EU anti-trust commission doesn't agree with your interpretation of whatever EU sales law you've found. If Apple could offer pan-EU stores, they would, but they can't, because each EU member country still has it's own laws that Apple has to abide by,
     
  11. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    #36
    I think in the end, Apple will create a single, unified multilingual European Union iTunes Store, since EU regulations have pretty much "leveled the field" in terms of copyrights and release dates in terms of new music and movies there.

    And it may be part of a larger settlement with the EU in regards to the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK programming stipulations.
     
  12. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #37
    In this case I think copyright laws take precedence over article 81. Apple is far from the only American company that uses this kind of apartheid. How many times have you clicked on a YouTube link on a EU-based computer and been told that "The clip is not available in your country"? You want to watch some music video for music that's available for purchase in your country, but due to some obscure copyright claim or other you're not entitled to watch the video (i.e. the commercial for the single or album) because YouTube is US based. It feels like living in China, except that the material you're not allowed to see is just a silly music video, not a handbook to overthrowing the government...

    The pan-jurisdictional nature of the internet has created a can of worms for internet-based sales and intellectual property laws, and the next time world leaders hold a summit about money or CO2 it would be nice if they could spend a coffee break on discussing what to do with this damn 'interwebs' thingy.
     
  13. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #38
    I believe in this case Apple should open national stores, which is not happening. The last european opening took place in 2005 — 12 more countries still to go. And since Apple signed a pan-European contract with PRS for Music they have all the doors opened for creating a simple EU-store or at least national ones for the countries left behind.

    I would love to see that happen, but I am aware that european copyright differs from country to country and there is still a lot to do in this matter. However I see no problem in negotiating deals with each country before the international legislation follows.

    While I agree with you, please remember that so far there is no international law forbidding internet discrimination: no one can force youtube to provide the same content to all the countries in the world. However within the EU each member state should be give exactly the same content, as stated in TFEU.
     
  14. Lorenz0 macrumors regular

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    #39
    Oooh... it dressed up all fancy, but its another inflated entitlement thread.

    Another point to consider (in the UK anyway), is that a seller can set conditions of sale, and has the right to refuse to sell you something - and that is not just limited to cigs and booze.

    Frankly though, I'm glad these things are country specific and I don't have to sift through piles of unpronouncable stuff..
     
  15. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #40
    Thanks for sharing your opinion. However I want to remind you that this Internet discrimination case concerns you only partialy since in UK you have a wide choice of services, including iTMS. Please keep in mind that in EU there are almost 100 milion people who are in a situation far worse than yours.
     
  16. Lorenz0 macrumors regular

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    #41
    I'm sure your local brick and mortar stores could argue that they are being put at a disadvantage as a result 'importing' grey market downloads.

    Its the IP distribution rights more than anything else that is the issue here - IP rights holders get to protect their assets after all - despite what the rest of the internet may think. There are also localised ratings etc to consider.
     
  17. Tesseract macrumors regular

    Tesseract

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    #42
    I mean no offense, but sounds like kind of a silly law if you ask me. Any company (Apple included) should be able to refuse their service to any country if they don't like the laws or conditions there. Great that the EU is trying to be more unified or whatever... but if the laws are so strikingly different in each country... doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose? I'd say that's more of a case of your country discriminating against companies that the companies discriminating against you personally.
     
  18. mosiejczuk thread starter macrumors member

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    #43
    Copyrights in Europe are not strikingly differenet, they are just separate. In fact it means that in each country there is an organisation taking care of copyright management requiring Apple to do more negotiating stuff. Europe has some common standards, that's why EU accessing procedure takes years to complete.
     
  19. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #44
    It's no different from the US, on the surface it's all "United" and stuff but when you get down to it, each state has different state laws, different taxes etc. But you don't see iTunes Store refusing to sell to Ohio, or charging different prices in Texas and California. The US has been united for 223 years, the EU has been around for 17 years, understandably the EU can't be expected to have come as far as the US in sorting out federal vs. state jurisdictional headaches.
     
  20. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #45
    The US is made of states however and record labels do not strike specific deals in the state - contacts with record companies are made nation wide - commerce between states is very different than than of commerce between two countries - one difference state governments are beholden to federal law which trumps state laws (thats how the states cannot do things like enact slavery laws). However the government of a country is not necessarily beholden to their neighbor any more than Canada has to obey US law.
     

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