Freedom to Tinker Is Issue in French iTunes Law
“Apple Computer has captured the lion share of the global digital music market through its ubiquitous iPod and hugely popular iTunes download service. However, many consumers have been reticent to take the plunge due to compatibility concerns.
“Apple, along with rivals such as Sony and Dell, use proprietary formats that limit consumers’ ability to easily transfer songs between competing devices. Some music fans are fearful that their investment in digital music files will permanently be consigned to a single device that may become obsolete.
“Emboldened by consumer groups, the French parliament recently attracted Apple’s wrath when it sought to address those concerns by passing legislation mandating the interoperability of digital products.
“Many commentators have panned the legislation, suggesting that Apple might choose to exit the French market altogether rather than comply with the law. The French parliament may have indeed gone too far since it could likely have achieved the same goal by merely establishing the right of competitors to tinker with Apple’s technology so that they could develop their own compatible devices.”
Michael Geist. Rights and Wrongs of the Digital Age. BBC News. April 18, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the law, business, and technology of digital content. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.