- Apr 12, 2001
Norwegian consumer advocacy group The Consumer Council has announced that the Consumer Ombudsman (CO) in Norway (an independent Norwegian administrative body tasked with enforcing the Marketing Control Act and supervising consumer issues) has given its support to many of the complaints that were brought in the Consumer Council's January 25th complaint against Apple's Norwegian iTunes Music Store.
Highlights of the decision
-It is unreasonable that the consumer must give consent to an agreement regulated by English law.
-It is unreasonable for iTunes to disclaim all liability for possible damage the software may cause.
-It is unreasonable that rights to music already downloaded by the consumer may change after purchase.
The decision appears to not agree with the Consumer Council's attempt to force Apple to allow customers to circumvent Fairplay. The original complaint (pdf) listed the fact that consumers were prevented under the license agreement from circumventing Apple's Fairplay DRM.
The Consumer Council is now waiting for Apple's response before proceeding. While it is still voluntary for Apple to comply with the CO's decision, the CO can forward the case to the Market Council (the Norwegian court of law in the field). The CO and the Market Council have the authority to ban unlawful contract terms and conditions.
The iTunes Music Store has come under attack in recent months by France, who originally proposed to demand that Apple open up its music store to allow other competing media players to play music downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. The bill was later gutted in committee and no longer issued those specific requirements.
Background Information: Background Information on Norwegian Consumer Groups
Update: A local Norwegian news site reports that iTunes interoperability does seem to be at issue. In addition, corresponding groups in Sweden and Denmark appear to also be following suit.
Update 2: CO Statement (Raw Data)