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ITMS Faces Complaint From Norwegian Ombudsman 270

Posted by timothy
from the and-they-don't-say-bork-bork-bork dept.
Whiney Mac Fanboy writes "Following the French Bill that threatened Apple's iTunes service in France, the iTunes music store is facing more uncertainty in Scandinavia. According to a report in Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Norway's Consumer Ombudsman has filed a complaint with Apple's music download sales service iTunes, arguing that the transaction terms violate Norwegian law. The Register is also reporting this story:, saying a contract cannot be regulated by English law, rather than Norwegian law, so iTunes must accept responsibility for damage its software may do, and said it is unreasonable to alter terms and conditions after a song has been sold. Consumer Council told the Reg: 'The Consumer Council has asked Apple to respond as to whether iTunes should work on other platforms - they have until 21 June to respond. After that the Ombudsman is likely to set another deadline and then start fining the company.' The BPI (Britain's RIAA equivalent) has also called upon Apple to license Fairplay."
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ITMS Faces Complaint From Norwegian Ombudsman

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  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:29AM (#15493952) Homepage Journal
    While I'm sure we're going to have the inevitable "Apple should withdraw from Scandinavia" posts here, people should really consider that this is a symptom of a wider problem; Apple trying to operate assuming that all legal systems are the same as the US's.

    Notions of fair use / legal exchange of copyrighted materials vary all over the world. Apple's DRM ignores all these difference (limitting legal use of content in some countries) and relies on the whip of the US-only DMCA for enforcement.

    Its pretty obvious that this isn't really an Apple/Norway problem, but a DRM/Worldwide problem - Apple is just the most successful DRM pusher (the first try is free!) at the moment.

    PS. FP on my own story submission?
    • The "wider problem" here isn't only the US-centric serving-up of DRM...it's the US-centric view completely. You make a contract with a citizen in another country, the contract is governed by...the other country's laws. Doh.
      • Not at all true. Typically contracts between parties in different legal systems (even between U.S. States) will explicitly state which laws govern disputes under the contract. That way there's less of a chance of conflicting legal systems, though it can happen -- for instance, if party B agrees to use party A's legal system and do something legal in A's jurisdiction but not in B's. I work in the Financial industry; almost all derivatives contracts (for instance) specify English law governs the parties.
        • >Not at all true. Typically contracts between parties in different legal systems (even between
          >U.S. States) will explicitly state which laws govern disputes under the contract.

          Yes, but if someone in, say, Norway buys from a shop in Norway, norwegian laws applies, period. In this case, it is about Apple's Norwegian store, not if someone from Norway goes to some site in another country and buys from there. Still, at most you will end up with the possibility of the country you buy from having its law app
      • You make a contract with a citizen in another country, the contract is governed by...the other country's laws.

        That's not really true, which should be obvious because, if were true, which laws applied would depend on which party to a contract was considered "you". The interaction of various national laws and treaty regimes (like the CISG) to contracts that span multiple countries is not nearly as straightforward as "you make a contract with a citizen in another country, the contract is coverned by the othe

    • Apple should withdraw from Scandinavia anyway, it would be a major victory for anti-DRMs and make pulicity around this issue.
      • Apple has been picked to test the waters of the Norwegian legislation due to iTMS's popularity, but the original filing also includes Microsoft and its DRM which will be challenged [andwest.com] against the 2005 Marketing Control Act.

        The most interesting part of this legislation is the definition of the term "relevant equipment". See above link for more.

        • ooops, some information fell out of the posting above:

          The most interesting part of the Norwegian legislation is the definition of the term "relevant equipment" where the lawmakers have allowed consumers to break copy protection mechanisms to enable playback of content on relevant equipment. More information here [andwest.com]

    • While I'm sure we're going to have the inevitable "Apple should withdraw from Scandinavia" posts here, people should really consider that this is a symptom of a wider problem; Apple trying to operate assuming that all legal systems are the same as the US's.

      This is a symptom of a wider problem. US companies do tend to assume that US Law is applicable everywhere, and indeed, this view is not restricted to companies. USians do often think that everyone, everywhere is subject to penalties for infractions on the
    • Talk about US Centric. ITMS Europe is based in Luxembourg and its terms of service are governed by English (as in England) law, not US law.

      That said, if Norway was part of the EU this would not be a problem for Apple as I think that they would be able to choose any particular EU member states laws (in this case England) to apply, but since Norway is not AND apple got a Norwegian TLD for ITMS Norway AND nicely translated the site into Norwegian a Norwegian using the site would likely assume they are dealing
      • I'm sorry but you seem to forget that Norway is subject to the same laws as EU member states due to the extensive EEA agreement. Of course you can agree to resolve issues in a foreign court of law. The issue is not simply a matter of EU membership or not. The real issue is one of consumer protection not commercial contracts. In fact according to a European Union directive consumers can actually choose to invoke their local legislation when shopping from a European website. Yes, this directive is also valid
      • >That said, if Norway was part of the EU this would not be a problem for Apple as I think that
        >they would be able to choose any particular EU member states laws (in this case England) to
        >apply

        Not completely true, you can't chose law at will inside EU, especially if both the seller and buyer is in the same country. Even if you are buying from another country than your own inside EU, the seller can't chose arbitrary laws of a country of choise, at most you can end up with the laws of the country in w
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:31AM (#15493965) Journal
    The article linked is a little hard to read but Playlist [playlistmag.com] has a decent report on the story. Also note that MacWorld UK [macworld.co.uk] ran this story yesterday.

    But this kind of raises an interesting question. When a company operates accross many countries, which country's law do they uphold?

    We saw both Google & Yahoo! run into a bit of a jam with their services in China. They pretty much violated what would be considered ethical duties in the United States overseas. Is this wrong? Do they face legal implications in one country or the other?

    With iTMS operating in the UK, the US & Norway, what are they to do? Fairplay seems to be violating laws in the UK & Norway while in the United States it seems to be law to have some form of DRM (and with lobbyist Herr RIAA in charge, that's not going to change anytime soon). Do they alter the way their service works in each country? If so, sign me up for some musikk!

    Perhaps Apple will license Fairplay so that other devices can play the MP4 music ... though I doubt it. They've got quite a racket going and I'm sure they don't want to hurt iPod sales anywhere. Maybe they'll have to better define a few EULAs in order to avoid this, I'm not a law-talking guy so I'm not sure.
    • Apple should do the same thing Yahoo, Google, MS & Cisco should do - Don't operate in a country unless you're prepared to follow their laws.

      In the case of Google, MS & Cisco - they should pull the hell out of China - their laws are unreasonable, and no company with a conscience should operate there.

      Norway on the other hand has perfectly reasonable laws - Apple should change their world wide operations to comply with Norwegian law :-)
    • From one of TFAs: Moreover, it is unreasonable that the agreement the consumer must give consent to is regulated by English law.

      Every contract I've ever signed stated which jurisdiction's laws applied ("shall be governed by the laws of the state of California"). I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control.

      Hell, IANAL, maybe someone can explain this.

      • "I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control."

        Because they make the law in their country? I'm sure Apple can say the US law applies but it doesn't mean that Norway has to honor it....

        This is a problem that has become widespread in part due to the internet.
      • by famebait (450028) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:08AM (#15494182)
        I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control.

        They don't. They say that when a business which has a norwegia branch operates a norwegian-language e-shop explicitly directed at the norwegian market, distributed through a .no site, and in every way strives to come across as a local shop, then it is no longer an import scenario: they are operating in the norwegian market, and are subject to norwegian trade law, and just claiming they're not doesn't make it so.
        • No. The contract (that both parties agreed to) states the governing jurisdiction. As an example, here's a quote from Sun's Java license:

          13.GOVERNING LAW. Any action related to this
          Agreement will be governed by California law and
          controlling U.S. federal law. No choice of law
          rules of any jurisdiction will apply.

          • by zxSpectrum (129457) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:32AM (#15494367) Homepage Journal
            IANAL, but from my understanding, EULAs are not legally binding contracts under Norwegian law.
          • by pla (258480) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:33AM (#15494375) Journal
            No. The contract (that both parties agreed to) states the governing jurisdiction.

            Thus the problem here...

            Norway has basically said that a Norwegian company selling to Norwegians can't cherry-pick a jurisdiction outside Norway. Simple as that.

            If Sun's Java license instead said "Any action related to this Agreement will be governed by Saudi law and controlling Sharia law", would you still feel inclined to just accept that their words make it so? Even though it would make you, (probably) a US citizen, downloading a product in the US from a US company, subject to execution for using it to denounce Islam?
          • by famebait (450028) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:37AM (#15494404)
            You must be talking about some other country. Here in Norway, your corner shop can't claim to operate under the law of some foreign country in order to escape the law, even with the use of a contract, and neither can Apple when they operate as a local business entity.

            If the customers were dealing directly with Apple in the US, things would of course be different.
            • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:54AM (#15494535) Journal
              Nope, the GP has no clue what he's talking about, at all

              In the U.S., if a company has a significant business presence* in a State, then they are subject to the laws of that jurisdiction.

              If some cookie cutter EULA says "State of New York"... well, that doesn't mean shit, unless that company has no significant business presence in your state.

              The second Apple opened a branch in Norway, their product became subject to the laws of that country.

              Apple can either comply, change the laws of Norway, or take their shiny white iBall and go home.

              *A significant business presence doesn't actually require significant business, it just requires a significant presence. Like a company store or corporate offices etc.
          • As others have said, it's not in Apples right to choose whatever jurisdiction it wants. If they sell to Norwegian consumers from a Norwegian subsidiary running a site targetted at Norwegian users, then Norwegian courts will claim jurisdiction no matter what Apple says in their license. Granted, they would probably be unable to significantly punish Apple Inc., but they could fine and potentially shut down the Norwegian subsidiary and prevent Apple from trading in Norway if they are found to violate Norwegian
          • This is actually very tricky matter. I don't know about laws in Norway, but if I remember correctly, current EU consumer directives say, that consumer can not sign contract that governs which coutrie's laws affect the rights the consumer has. If the company has actual business in the country of the consumer, then the consumer protection laws of the consumer's country are in effect.
      • I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control.

        Because laws are not a "choose any you like" concept. You have to follow the US speed limit on US highways, even if you are a foreigner driving a japanese car, you know?

        Same thing here. Norwegian law applies if you sell to norwegian customers, even if you're an american company.
    • But this kind of raises an interesting question. When a company operates accross many countries, which country's law do they uphold?

      Their own.

      It is frequently the case nowadays that Multi-national companies are larger and more powerful than nation states. They act accordingly. Local laws are, by and large, adjusted to meet the needs of the company via lobbying, threats of withdrawal, etc. Fines and repayments are similarly dodged. About the only things multinationals are subject to nowadays are corporation
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:36AM (#15494000)
    ...for damage its software may do". Whoa! Does anyone in Scandanavia use Windows??? Talk about damage!!!!!
    • by hyfe (641811) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @02:01PM (#15496063)
      Alot of uneducated replies here, so since I just read the entire original complaint in Norwegian; so I'll summarize (numbering is my own). Oh, sorry for my bad attempt at formal'ish english, I'm kinda tired now :).. and sorry for replying to an early post to get this near the top :)

      First and foremost; the whole problem here is that iTunes is specifically targetting the Norwegian market, as only Norwegians are allowed to use the Norwegian version of iTunes. This clearly sets it apart from most other net-stores which counts as *imports*. There is no doubt whatsoever that Norwegian laws apply here and this is probably a large reason why iTunes is being singled out. Forbrukerombudet (ombudsmann as you wrongly named him:)) did however note that several other services would be targetted soon (he lists a couple of music stores, but I can't find it now)

      Complaint 1:
      In order for a contract to be valid under Norwegian contract law it has to be two-sided; that is outline both responsibilties and priviligies. The iTunes EULA is completely one-sided completely failing to provide you with any benefits whatsoever. They do not accept any responsibilities nor guarantee anything.

      Complaint 2:
      The language itself is unclear. It does not define what 'service' as so far non-liability concerning downtime means. Does it means the store, the player, the DRM, etc? Added to this, all the terms are not available in Norwegian (which frankly, is pretty much the only point he makes I think is a non-issue).

      Complaint 3:
      Their attempts at disallowing non-Norwegian credits-cards for use at Norwegian iTunes is against the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA).

      Complaint 4:
      Their attempt at having the right to change the contract/terms at any time whatsoever is clearly not allowed by Norwegian law. At the most extreme, if the iTunes EULA was valid they could instantly revoke your music without you having any say.

      Complaint 5:
      No return-policy. This is required by Norwegian law; however this is one of several points he makes where he does not demand change *yet*, but ask them to share their views on this, due the technical issues involved.

      Complaint 6.
      DRM; he goes on a bit of rant here, and then lists a few laws they may be violating, and asks them for feedback.

      Mark you, this is not our ombudsmann, which is someone appointed to help us against the goverment, but our consumer-ombudsmann who helps against corporations :). If you're Norwegian, I really do recommend reading it here (pdf) [forbrukerombudet.no]. It's very well written and extremely insightfull. The main-stream press coverage does not do it justice at all.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:42AM (#15494024)
    Don't buy it. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Apple shouldn't be forced to make iTunes file format work on other players, no one forces GM's Corvette engine to work in a Civic.

    Apple is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one person to start using iTunes and their DRM. I use them because I don't really feel like searching the net for MP3's, it is all in one place. I would assume 99% of other apple iTune users do the same. Don't like Apples DRM, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't shop there. This forcing everyone to do something because you don't like it is getting out of hand.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't buy it. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Microsoft shouldn't be forced to make Word file format work on other OS's, no one forces GM's Corvette engine to work in a Civic.

      MS is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one person to start using Word and their file format. I use them because I don't really feel like converting to PDF before I send to someone. I would assume 99% of other MS Word users do the same. Don't like MS Word, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't shop there. This forcin
      • As the length of a conversation increases, the chances of someone making a comparison to Microsoft in the hope of getting "+1 Insightful" approaches 1.

        - Jackson's Law of Slashdot Karma Trolling

        Actually, your MS argument sounded perfectly fair to me. Don't like Word? Use OO.o.
    • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:48AM (#15494066)
      Don't buy it. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Apple shouldn't be forced to make iTunes file format work on other players, no one forces GM's Corvette engine to work in a Civic.

      But GM don't actively try to prevent you from putting it into a Civic if you want to.

      I would thinkA pple need to be a bit careful thoyugh because with the possible imminent demine of their nearets competitor (allofmp3) how far are they from being a monopoly on the sales of online music? And if they do get decalred a monopoly, would they then be forced to open up their format?

      • And if they do get decalred a monopoly, would they then be forced to open up their format?

        No - there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a monopoly, just some restrictions on what you can & can't do.

        I suspect Apple is a tad worried about being accused of unfairly using a monopoly in one market (mp3 players) to extend into another market (online music sales).

        But thats a little Offtopic for this story - which has little to nothing to do with monopolism & everything to do with fair use & DRM.
      • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:19AM (#15494272)
        Do you not know when you go to buy iTunes that they only work on iPods? Is this not a well know fact or is this something that Apple hides from you? The terms are well known before hand, no one is a "victim"
      • If you want to move the engine from your Corvette to a Civic, you can. Likewise, if you want to put your iTunes music on another player, you can. Simply burn the music to an unprotected audio CD which iTunes does built-in (And they even suggest you do this as soon as you buy your music), and then rerip the music onto the other player.

        I fail to see the problem. iTunes doesn't lock any music from being played on other players or devices at all. It allows you to burn anything you buy to an audio CD for fair u
    • by JanneM (7445) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:50AM (#15494075) Homepage
      It's not a monopoly issue, but a question if iTunes breaks various consumer protection and retail laws in Norway.

      If a company wants to do business in a country, it must follow the laws of said country or not do business there, that is the simple issue. Saying "but it's legal where we come from" is not a defence. To put it this way, would you want to allow (say) Chinese cars to be sold in the US without the safety features US law requires, simply because they aren't required in their country of origin?

      • If a company wants to do business in a country, it must follow the laws of said country or not do business there, that is the simple issue. Saying "but it's legal where we come from" is not a defence. To put it this way, would you want to allow (say) Chinese cars to be sold in the US without the safety features US law requires, simply because they aren't required in their country of origin?

        I think you need a better example to get through to the average american. How about this:

        Would you want to allow some c
    • Apple represents a large part of the market, and they fail to provide content to those who dont use their hardware. This practice is bad for consumers, so governments everywhere should make it illegal. The example you give is flawed, nobody forces a GM corvette engine to work in a honda, because it will work in a honda. The problems you encounter trying it are mostly due to the small engine bay, which is something that a consumer can benefit from. Nobody benefits from apples exclusive hardware/content l
      • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:54AM (#15494092)
        No, the only thing that prevents other individuals from starting new companies which provide music is the RIAA. Not apple. Apple isn't the problem, at all. Anyone who thinks apple is the problem is blind to the real issue, the monopolistic practices of the RIAA in not allowing other firms to sell music such as Apple.
        • It's almost like you're willfully blind to the actual issue.

          The problem, in Europe, has nothing to do with licensing MP3s.

          It has everything to do with licensing FairPlay.

          Eurpean laws are setup to protect competition.
          By not licensing FairPlay, Apple is running afoul of those laws.

          Blaming the RIAA or their Euro counterpart is completely irrelevant.
    • You are saying that people shouldn't force other people to do stuff because they don't like it. Wich means you are telling people to stop doing something because you don't like it. Ah, the irony. One rule for you and one rule for everyone else right?

      The european countries have different rules about consumer protection. They actually think that companies that become to influential should be put under controls to ensure that the consumer doesn't come under the control of a companies whims.

      Silly stuff like m

      • No, I simply believe the socialist mindset of Europe is bad business practice. Europe will end up keeping Apple's iTunes out entirely, which is WORSE for consumers because they have LESS choices of what they can use to download MP3's. iTunes gives the consumer one more choice in where to purchase their music and their terms of use are clearly printed. Don't like them, shop somewhere else or start your own company to sell MP3's. Oh wait, you can't do that because the real monopoly, the RIAA, doesn't let you
        • No, I simply believe the socialist mindset of Europe is bad business practice.

          You are funny. Europe is very much not socialistic. Just because americans like to label everything left of "kill 'em all, let god sort 'em out" as "socialist" doesn't make it so.

          Europe still believes in a balance between human rights and corporate rights. The balance swings a little here and there depending on government, mood and whatever lobbyist group is offering the best entertainment program this year, but it is far from soc
        • By your arguments consumers should just bend over and accept whatever corporations want to shaft them with, because that's what will give us the greatest choice - the more friendly we are to companies, the more interested they will be in selling to us.

          The problem with that argument is that selling out to corporations damages our long term choices. If we allow companies to lock us in to their DRM schemes or whatever else they feel like and stitch up the market between them, they will quickly eliminate choi

      • Your point was very well put, but you missed one thing.

        European laws focus more on protection for competitors than consumers.

        That's probably why this is a big deal, since Apple's non-licensed FairPlay locks out other competition from using DRM on the iPod.
        • Most supporters of free markets seem to take it as axiomatic that competition is good for consumers. Therefore, what is good for competitors is (generally) also good for consumers.

          In this particular case, yes, making FairPlay available to manufacturers of other digital music players is beneficial to Apple's competitors. But it also allows consumers a choice of what player they wish to use with FairPlay-DRMed files, which is to their benefit - some people may not be able to afford an iPod, others may hate

    • by merdaccia (695940) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:58AM (#15494111)

      Although I agree with you, I think you're missing the point. This isn't about a group of consumers saying they want iTunes songs to work on player x. Nor is it about company y, which makes player x, saying Apple should license FairPlay because they want protected AAC to work on their players. This is about Norway saying that to operate in Norway, you have to follow Norwegian law. And that means having licenses that are regulated by Norwegian law, including the inability to disclaim damage liabilities.

      The issue of whether Norwegian law requires the songs to be playable on other devices still hasn't been decided. If the ruling goes against Apple, then Apple will have to license FairPlay in order to continue operating iTMS in Norway. The only thing they would be forced to do would be to comply with the law if they choose to operate in Norway. Hardly unreasonable, especially given that every online music retailer would be subject to those same laws.

    • Don't operate there. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Norway shouldn't be forced to make their legal system work with iTunes.

      Norway is an "opt in" legal system, they force not one person to enter the country & operate under their laws. I would assume 99% of other companies that operate from Norway do the same. Don't like Norway's legal system, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't set up shop there. This forcing everyone to do something because you like it is getting out of hand.
      • Easier said than done. If Norwegian residents can browse the internet then they can buy from the iTunes store. When two businesses in different nations decide to make a deal the laws of both nations can't both apply at once. If Apple had a server in Norway that served iTunes then perhaps they might have some legal grounds, but it seems to me like Norwegian residents should be free to enter into agreements with parties in other countries. Norway has no jurisdiction in the U.S., only in their own country.
      • Don't operate there. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Norway shouldn't be forced to make their legal system work with iTunes.

        I hope you think the same when it comes to Russia whit the mp3 site.
    • Apple is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one person to start using iTunes and their DRM.

      Irrelevant. Monopoly is monopoly no matter how nicely you call it.

      All you "free market" drones overlook that the antitrust laws are in place to protect the free market, because one thing that the market can not sort out is if it is itself broken - you need a working market to "sort things out" the free market way, so when the market itself is broken, you are lacking the very self-regulation force that could fix it.

      M
      • If you actually knew your history, in the United States big business WERE the ones that lobbied FOR anti-monopoly laws to ensure state protection OF their monopolies [mises.org].

        The gov't doesn't protect you from business, they are bought off by other businesses for state sponsored protectionism.
    • You are absolutly wrong. GM has been forced to license their diagnostic format. The diagnostic code has to be availble to prevent a hardware lock in for repair centers. That's why you can take your GM car to a local shop and have it repaired without having to goto just the GM repair center.
  • by Draracle (977916) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:43AM (#15494037)
    Damn those socialists and their attempts to put competitive markets over monopolies/oligopolies!!! And licensing DRM? Why would we even want DRM if we have to license it? This is totally against the rules of Supply and Command.
  • by tfvdw2at (554616) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:46AM (#15494050)
    ...can someone explain why Apple selling music that only works on their devices (unless of course you consider those crappy Motorola ROKR and SLVR phones) is bad, but Sony selling games that only play on the PlayStation or Microsoft selling software that only runs on Windows is OK. Seriously. Why is what Apple is doing any different in the eyes of the Norwegian government?
    • a better analogy would be sony selling cds and dvds that only play on sony hardware.
    • There's nothing wrong with it, but eventually Apple is going to find that it is a bad business decision as PlaysForSure devices improve and better and cheaper music stores appear. My wife and I just replaced our iPods with PlaysForSure devices, and I know a couple other people who are switching as well. My wife subscribes to Y! Unlimited and I subscribe to Rhapsody. For what one album costs on iTMS, we get our choice of half a million albums per month that we can take with us. And if there's something that
    • The video games thing is bad. The Atari 2600 lasted years beyond its time precisely because third parties were producing game cartridges for it that were better than anything Atari could have done. As soon as some European manufacturer actually starts wanting to make PlayStation or XBox games, the courts will be in session quicker than you can say "anti-competitive behaviour".
    • The difference is that Apple is intentionally and artifically restricting the ability of consumers to use a product on other companies hardware.
    • ...can someone explain why Apple selling music that only works on their devices (unless of course you consider those crappy Motorola ROKR and SLVR phones) is bad, but Sony selling games that only play on the PlayStation or Microsoft selling software that only runs on Windows is OK.

      This particular issue is about the terms of use for the software, not the DRM on the music. Basically, the legalese says they won't certify it won't break other things on your computer, which is a violation on the law there. As

    • Do they? (Score:3, Insightful)

      Do windows games only run on windows? An odd fact is the reak Microsoft games like Flight and train simulator are very light on the DRM. The last versions I bought didn't even seem to have any at all.

      Nothing is stopping you from making it possible to run MS games on say Linux or Macs. In fact several projects are doing just that, legally.

      Yes this is stretching things but that is because this is a very difficult subject. Laws are ancient and mostly written down before the idea of media containers. With thi

    • ...can someone explain why Apple selling music that only works on their devices (unless of course you consider those crappy Motorola ROKR and SLVR phones) is bad, but Sony selling games that only play on the PlayStation or Microsoft selling software that only runs on Windows is OK. Seriously. Why is what Apple is doing any different in the eyes of the Norwegian government?

      Sony is not selling games that only play on the Playstation. Sony is selling a development kit for the Playstation hardware. If I wa

    • The problem is that games are more or less still intrinsically tied to the hardware it is coded on because of their computer based nature, and audio is just a hard coded waveform. I'm not sure why the console makers have a problem with emulation, Sony and Microsoft should licence out that platform because they make their money on games. Their main concern is to prevent the distribution of unauthorized game copies, so long as an emulator doesn't ignore that, I don't see why the console makers should be con
    • Where as Apple is putting an artificial limit on use of the music they sell you, it's quite reasonable to expect that a PS2 game won't work in an Xbox.
  • by yardbird (165009) * on Thursday June 08, 2006 @09:48AM (#15494063) Homepage
    Bork bork bork?! I know they are right next to each other and all, but they are two different countries (at the moment).

    Other elements of note: the ombudsman's name is Thor!*, and other headlines on the Aftenposten site include: "Women wont [sic] give up laundry" and "angry hare attacked dogsled". I thought Norway was only silly in Monty Python sketches?

    * NB: It's actually Thon. Drat.
  • "it is unreasonable to alter terms and conditions after a song has been sold." Wow - we Americans are so used to unreasonable contracts, bullshit fine print and the like that it is absolutely amazing to see this kind of language used in defense of consumers. If we had laws like this here in the states it would be devastating to the economy - because our entire economy is based on these kinds of unreasonable contracts. Imagine what would happen if our government actually defended us against corporate malf
  • by Tom (822)
    This is most excellent news. Finally, some politicians wake up to the fact that it is them who should regulate copyright, DRM, licensing, warranty and a ton of other issues. That's what we have them for.

    It would be a failure of democracy if some politicians in the US, which I could not vote for or against, could set policies for my country. Or some corporations could decide where to apply which laws.

    If you want to do business in X, follow whatever rules/laws apply in X. If you don't like it, don't do busine
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday June 08, 2006 @10:14AM (#15494238) Journal
    ITMS Faces Complaint From Norwegian Ombudsman
    ... and the Swedish, and the Danish, according to a Swedish newspaper.

    So I think this is a problem with laws common to a number of Scandinavian countries, and in short they dislike that Apple is writing themselves free of so many things upon signing up; e.g freedom of changing the license agreement without warning and with immediate effect.
  • The reality of the situation here is that these European nations are coming down on Apple because it's a foreign company. If Apple were European they would be happy to allow the company to conduct business as it sees fit.

    However, it's an American company, and more importantly it's a popular and successful one at the expense of European competitors. Europeans want a free market, until it becomes a detriment to European companies. Then they expect their government to shield them from that same free market.

    If
  • Leave it to Norwegians to come up with a crazy title like Ombudsman!
  • Apple can just license FairPlay for use on any music player to be sold in the Norwegian market, at going market rates, say:

    0.20 USD per final unit sold, with an 800,000 USD a year maximum, licensed for resale in Norway only.

    That's the going rate for Windows Media DRM 10 for portable devices. Since, as we see in this case, each country wants to assert sovereign control over what is or is not permitted, and has it's own terms regarding the nature of the license, the exact nature of the DRM mu

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