French Plan to Open iTunes?

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Apr 12, 2001
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Yahoo reports that France is pushing through a law that would ultimately force Apple to open its iTunes music store to other devices.

The new law would allow consumers to be able to legally use software to convert digital content into any format.

It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management -- the codes that protect music, films and other content -- if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another
This would allow protected content to be playable on any device. If enacted, some speculate that Apple could shut down the French iTunes store to limit the free distribution of the unprotected songs. To combat the resultant piracy, the law reportedly also adds fines for those who download and distribute material illegally. Meanwhile, individuals who make or sell software for illegal sharing could be subject to jail time.
 

macintologist

macrumors 6502
May 3, 2004
462
541
As long as Apple is coerced into facilitating such conversions, I find no problem with this law, it basically reveres the DMCA which is an awful law to begin with.
 

hyperpasta

macrumors 6502a
Aug 1, 2005
680
0
New Jersey
A Good Thing.

In the end, I think that we all have the right to do whatever we damn well please with our legally purchased music. This is a good law, even if its bad for Apple.

Unfortunetly, Apple will probably withdraw from France. We need this law in the US to force Apple to accept it. Fat chance with the RIAA around...
 

Bonte

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2002
974
196
Bruges, Belgium
This law can have some nasty(fun) aftereffects, it would be legal (in France) to convert the WMA-rented music. This law would make the renting of music impossible so all the other WMA stores are almost forced to close there doors and not the ITMS, we can still burn them to CD's and they don't.
 

NNO-Stephen

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2003
278
0
Tulsa, Oklahoma
great, it keeps piracy illegal while making DRM the same damn illegal ******** that it should be.

+1 for France on this one. a great law we need here in the US that we'll NEVER get.

man, can't wait to see what the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD groups do if this passes. I'm really excited about that possibility though.
 

68164

Guest
Feb 27, 2006
38
0
unintended consequences

this law would certainly alter the landscape in France - I think it would effect subscription music services more than iTunes - the organisations who own content on iTMS France would be the ones who decided if they wanted to stay or not - if they decide to stay then iTMS France simply no longer applies DRM - is there any more to it than that?

If I was running a subscription service I'd be more concerned - what would stop somebody pulling large chunks of the collection during one month and converting it for use outside the subscription platform?

This will be interesting to see how it all plays out!
 

pjkelnhofer

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2003
640
0
Boston
hyperpasta said:
Unfortunetly, Apple will probably withdraw from France. We need this law in the US to force Apple to accept it. Fat chance with the RIAA around...
I agree. My first guess would be that this is the end of iTMS in France. Of course that is only if the law passes; I don't know much about politics in France, but I would assume that Apple, Sony, MicroSoft and every other company that wants DRM will be lobbying hard against it.
 

anikgol

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2003
81
0
great news. Always love the french. this whole supercapitalistic idea of digital rights ******** is deadborn. only in your dreams Apple!
 

ftaok

macrumors 603
Jan 23, 2002
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East Coast
What is the logic here?

I don't understand is what the French legislators are thinking. It's not like the iTMS is offering anything that you can't get in other formats. If the consumer doesn't like the "Terms and Conditions" that go with buying iTMS songs, then that consumer can walk to a store and purchase a CD of songs.

I'm sure the article only mentions Apple and iPods because of the dominant mindshare, but I'm assuming this would apply to all providers and products, right? Last I checked, Mac users can't play WMV10 files. Will Microsoft be forced to release the code (and/or DRM) so that people can convert WMV10 files? Also, all of the online music stores (except iTMS) use Microsoft's DRM. Will we Mac users have access to de-crypting the WMA DRM so that we can play them on iPods?

I see a whole can of unintended consequences being opened up here. Plus, I am guessing that Apple will have some untraditional allies (e.g. Napster, Microsoft) in the fight against France.
 

portent

macrumors 6502a
Feb 17, 2004
623
2
What concerns me is the provision for prosecuting those who make available software for "illegal sharing."

How do they determine whether file sharing software is for legal or illegal purposes?

Taken as a whole, though, the new proposed laws seem to safeguard more freedoms than they restrict.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,250
603
Cascadia
First, yes, I read the article...

I don't see how (according to what is written,) it would force Apple to do anything.

It would make it legal for the purchaser to convert a protected file into an unprotected file; but it doesn't state that APPLE has to enable this. It just means that HYMN becomes legal in France. Apple doesn't have to provide this capability, nor do they have to add support for other mp3 players into iTunes.

Finally, it doesn't force them to remove DRM from their Music Store-purchased songs, it merely makes it legal for a consumer to remove the DRM.

Either that, or there is much more to this law than the article states.
 

ginjg

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2002
22
0
All Apple has to do is is make the Fairplay DRM license available to other manufacturers. If they choose not to license the DRM for their players then Apple is in the clear.
 

mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,252
993
Pacific Northwest
Stella said:
Congrats to the French.

No music store should be tied to one device or operating system.
I guess you'll have to edit your statement seeing how iTunes is on two operating systems. Now regards to one device, I do recall one can use iTunes to store their devices locally to their computer and then those files can be placed into other devices for portable playback. It's not as elegant but it is in no way impossible nor impractical to do.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
ftaok said:
I'm sure the article only mentions Apple and iPods because of the dominant mindshare, but I'm assuming this would apply to all providers and products, right?
Right. The main target of this law is supposed to be media like copy-protected discs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this is proposed legislation. Just like in any other country, there are two houses where this bill would need to be passed.
 

boncellis

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2006
474
0
Salt Lake City
Careful What You Wish For

I don't profess to know what the end result of this legislation would be, should it go through, but there is a tricky balance between what government does to regulate business in terms of benefitting (allowing the alteration of DRM) and harming the public (limiting the growth of business). Yes, in the immediate future the French may be able to change the DRM of the tracks in iTunes, but down the road something like this could cripple a company--at that point it's not just Apple who gets hurt, it's also people like us who enjoy the products and services they sell.

This law certainly won't go that far, in my opinion, but I am wary of governmental intervention in a system that seems to be doing well. Often this sort of regulation ends up in a race to the bottom.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
We have the dishonest and unethical on hand (the pirates) who think they deserve to have anything they want.

We have the greedy dinosaurs on the other (the big labels) who put their power trip and generic profit-generating noise ahead of artistry and creativity.

Neither side helps the artists or promotes good music. Both sides hurt the honest consumer and music fan.

While I can see the downside of such a change in France, I'd almost say "try any experiment" to shake things up. iTunes was a good example! The DRM in iTunes, however, was never Apple's goal, it was a concession needed or the iTunes Music Store would never have happened.
 

Rantipole

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2004
288
15
Boston
This news item doesn't make any sense. What does "format" have to do with device? Unless, the way I'm reading it, is that the French want Apple to license Fairplay so that, for example, Creative could make a player that plays iTunes-purchased songs.

iMeowbot said:
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is proposed legislation. Just like in any other country, there are two houses where this bill would need to be passed.
Not every country is set up that way.
 

ScubaDuc

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2003
257
0
Europe
ftaok said:
I don't understand is what the French legislators are thinking. It's not like the iTMS is offering anything that you can't get in other formats. If the consumer doesn't like the "Terms and Conditions" that go with buying iTMS songs, then that consumer can walk to a store and purchase a CD of songs.

I'm sure the article only mentions Apple and iPods because of the dominant mindshare, but I'm assuming this would apply to all providers and products, right? Last I checked, Mac users can't play WMV10 files. Will Microsoft be forced to release the code (and/or DRM) so that people can convert WMV10 files? Also, all of the online music stores (except iTMS) use Microsoft's DRM. Will we Mac users have access to de-crypting the WMA DRM so that we can play them on iPods?

I see a whole can of unintended consequences being opened up here. Plus, I am guessing that Apple will have some untraditional allies (e.g. Napster, Microsoft) in the fight against France.

A word of wisdom: the more Napster, Apple and especially Microsuck cause waves, the bigger the waves the French gov will throw back. The problem with digital rights have been an ongoing one in Eu with France leading the way. It goes back to decades ago when a tax was enacted on tapes to compensate musicians for people like u and I in the old days making some tapes for our cars. The same tax has been enacted on CDs and DVDs so the rationale that when one makes a copy of a song is not paying the authors does not hold, since they are getting a subsidy from the government. However, record companies have been enacting all sorts of protections resulting on CDs not playing on older car stereos and not allowing users to make a back up copy of the product, as required by legislation (here). So, when we buy a song in the EU, we should be able to "do as we please" because the record companies are getting the doe anyway.

The iTMS is an extension of the same philosophy. U can't restrict the device people are going use and yes, what is true for Apple will hold true for MS DRM as well
 

ScottB

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2005
176
0
Britain
Whaaat? I wasn't aware I couldn't convert my iTunes downloaded music to another format? (correct me, please, if I'm wrong) That dissappointing. I guess im going back to cd's and ogg vorbis. If this is true though, bye bye iTunes France.
 
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