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French Lawmakers Approve 'iTunes Law' 423

Posted by Zonk
from the play-together-and-enjoy-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Lawmakers in the French government have passed a controversial iTunes law, which has the stated intention of forcing Apple to allow purchased music to be universally useable." From the article: "In a statement issued after lawmakers hashed out the final compromise text last week, Apple said it hoped the market would be left to decide 'which music players and online music stores are offered to consumers.' The final compromise asserts that companies should share the required technical data with any rival that wants to offer compatible music players and online stores, but it toned down many of the tougher measures backed by lower-house lawmakers early on."
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French Lawmakers Approve 'iTunes Law'

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  • Funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lisaparratt (752068) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:09PM (#15637874)
    Because the way I'm looking at it, it has the intention of making Apple close ITMS in France...
    • Re:Funny (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shotfeel (235240) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:19PM (#15637967)
      I'm not sure it does anything. From TFA
      The final compromise asserts that companies should share the required technical data with any rival that wants to offer compatible music players and online stores,

      So for music from the iTMS, the "technical data" is to burn to CD, rip to mp3, transfer to music player of choice.

      To play on the iPod, other music stores just need to sell music in non-protected form (AAC or mp3).

      Note that AFAIK (from summarized English translations) it says nothing of the process being free, easy, or lossless.
      • re: burning to CD (Score:4, Informative)

        by King_TJ (85913) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:49PM (#15638231) Journal
        For that matter, I think many people overlook another "twist" on burning music to CD. Products like Nero allow a virtual disc to be created. So you don't even have to use up any physical CD media to accomplish this type of conversion.

        Honestly, I think DRM on digital music is going to prove to be utterly pointless - since computers allow making perfect digital copies of the original work, as long as it can be played on the system at all. It only serves to add an extra "speed bump" in the way of making copies of the songs you download.

        Right now, for example, any Windows user can sign up for one of these unlimited music download services like Yahoo Music, Virgin Digital, or Rhapsody, and with a $19 copy of "muvaudio", batch process everything they download into DRM-free MP3s of any bitrate they desire. It uses "virtual audio patch cable" device drivers to make lossless digital copies of the music while it plays in Media Player, even keeping any sounds generated by other applications separate from what's recording, so you can still use the PC while it works.

        Apple Mac users can do something pretty similar with "Audio Hijaack Pro" (although maybe not quite as automated and "fancy" with handling queued up playlists of songs).
      • sure, and i can copy stuff from word and paste it into whatever editor i want. they built it right in. no compatibility problems at all.
      • Re:Funny (Score:3, Insightful)

        by modeless (978411)
        I don't understand this, because we don't need "technical data". Breaking the DRM is the easy part; the hard part is avoiding the lawyers. What we need is for breaking the DRM to be legal!
        • Re:Funny (Score:3, Interesting)

          by arminw (717974)
          ....What we need is for breaking the DRM to be legal!.....

          Apple could obey the new French law by simply skipping the DRM part of downloading. The AAC format as such is not proprietary. Anyone can use it. The other music services can also just skip the DRM. UndDRMed files can still have origin information to trace flagrant copyright violators who put files up on the Internet. Updating the firmware in other music players so they can play unDRMed AAC or WMA files would be their manufacturers problem. Ipods alr
  • awesome (Score:2, Funny)

    by e-wood (739506)
    I, for one, welcome our new free-notfree-DRM overlords!
  • What's that sound? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Blahbooboo3 (874492) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:11PM (#15637886)
    I hear the sound of millions of voices in French screaming in agony as they lose Itunes/Ipods.... Sounds like the French will be buying their music from other EU countries Itune stores....
    • No, most likely the french government will require that iTunes stores in other EU countries check the IP, do some geomapping to determine that it is coming from France and prevent access, otherwise they will still be charged with violating this new 'you must share your propriatery encryption' law.
    • by arafel (15551) *
      Except that - if the Europe/US stores are anything to go by - you can only buy from the store in your country. Presumably because that's the way Apple have negotiated the music rights.

      Should be interesting to see what Apple do here. I strongly suspect that people are right and they will just shut the store, rather than have to open specs.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:11PM (#15637890)
    It's quite cynical from a patent holder to invoke the right for free trade and the idea that in a free market the customer will settle the question which good is better.

    He cannot.

    Actually, the French decision IS the epitome of free trade: BOTH products, the iPod and iTunes have to succeed as the best platform. You can't have one product "tag along" with the other one. BOTH have to be successful to be the main player.

    Now, I wonder if that verdict can be applied to the hassle around Windows and Media Player/IE...
    • I'd like to know if the French will go after the rediculous region-coding restrictions for DVDs next. Or have the commercial distributors actually convinced them that it helps thwart piracy more than legitimate importers?
      • I hope so. Region codes are a serious problem to global trade and commerce, and another item of protectionism that has to go for a true free market to evolve.
    • Although I agree with your sentiment in wishing Apple did not use a proprietary format for iTunes that is only usable on their Ipod, I must disagree that the French government is supporting the free market. Free enterprise would allow Apple to do anything it wants with its products. It is up to the market to decide whether or not to reward Apple by making it successful. So far it appears that the Market is not bothered at all by their use of a proprietary format. For a government to get involved in telling
      • Actually no. Free trade is not ONLY based on the manufacturer's right to choose what he wants to produce and how. It ALSO depends on the customer's ability to choose between the offered products. Only if both parts are working, the market can work.

        If the manufacturer has a monopoly, he can squeeze out the most shoddy piece of crap possible and, if you want an item with the uses of the product, you HAVE to buy this shoddy piece of crap.

        That is what was the Communist's downfall. The products were crap and the
        • But does Apple have a Monopoly? I can't see it.

          Sure it has a large portion of the market... but in reality if you want to choose a different company there are many different choices for players out there... and you can always buy CD's and rip them for whatever player you want (which is what I do... even though I have an iPod).

          At the point where you cannot (reasonably) buy music any other way than through iTunes... then we will have a Monopoly. Right now there are still plenty of choices... so why the pre-
    • So, by your logic the iTMS and iPod are two completelty separate and unrelated products and should not be associated and depend on each other for sales.

      To extend that logic slightly, Chevy should be required to tell eveyone how their engine control system works so you aren't required to purchase their engine and transmission along with the car; perhaps they should be required to also offer Volvo, Cummins or Ferrari engines. Or they should be required to sell multiple brands of seats.

      • To extend that logic slightly, Chevy should be required to tell eveyone how their engine control system works so you aren't required to purchase their engine and transmission along with the car; perhaps they should be required to also offer Volvo, Cummins or Ferrari engines. Or they should be required to sell multiple brands of seats.

        Chevy is required to tell how the system works - at least how to interface to it - so that it can be maintained. In fact, they even have to make their OBD-II powertrain codes available "for a reasonable fee".

        On top of that, all popular automotive engines eventually become available as "crate motors" - it's a complete, never-installed engine in a crate. You buy the appropriate service manual, and you get complete documentation on how to interface to it. (Some of them are really old, and simple; for them, if you know what you're doing, you don't even need a manual. Like the 426 chrysler hemi, which was [fairly] recently made available... the drag race guys had bought them all up and converted them to alcohol and there were none left to speak of.

        Please, stay away from the comparisons to the automotive world. You're just as bad at it as damned near everyone else. If you want to get engine specs, documentation, and the bare engine itself, you can, and there's no DRM stopping you from using it in any vehicle you like, either.

      • To extend that logic slightly, Chevy should be required to tell eveyone how their engine control system works so you aren't required to purchase their engine and transmission along with the car; perhaps they should be required to also offer Volvo, Cummins or Ferrari engines. Or they should be required to sell multiple brands of seats.

        No, it's more like Chevy selling a car that can take either regular gasoline, or gasoline (that's exactly the same) from special "iGas" stations with have a near-monopoly o

      • My school district buys bus chassis from Blue Bird, and the motors from Caterpillar. What's the plural for chassis?
      • "So, by your logic the iTMS and iPod are two completelty separate and unrelated products and should not be associated and depend on each other for sales."

        Well, in a way, yes. I'm about to purchase and iPod, but, I have no intention of useing iTMS to purchase music for it...I'll be ripping my CD collection to mp3 for the portable.

        "Chevy should be required to tell eveyone how their engine control system works

        Well, in a way, yes....there are laws that prohibit auto manufacturers from using codes an

    • by posterlogo (943853) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:44PM (#15638187)

      It's quite cynical from a patent holder to invoke the right for free trade and the idea that in a free market the customer will settle the question which good is better. He cannot. Actually, the French decision IS the epitome of free trade: BOTH products, the iPod and iTunes have to succeed as the best platform. You can't have one product "tag along" with the other one. BOTH have to be successful to be the main player.

      NO idea what you're talking about. Patents are fully compatible with free trade. In this case, there isn't really even a patent on the idea of listening to music in a digital format. All anyone has to do to get into this business is license the music from the copyright holder, and make your own damn online store and digital player. Oh wait, but you're not really going to be able to offer it at 99c, right? Thanks France, you just made it easier for the RIAA to anally probe us all. Itunes is a free software package. You can download music and play it on itunes. That is the purpose of the software package. A separate hardware package, the iPod, enables you to take that music onto a portable player. WTF is so hard to understand about that? Want an ipod, but not iTunes music? FINE!!! Get some mp3s. Want iTunes, but no iPod? FINE!!! What is the problem here?? You want neither, FINE!!! No one is shoving these products down our throats.

      • Question: Does Apple sell licenses for the iTunes format? I.e. can I make a player that plays music downloaded from iTunes (against license fees)?
      • "NO idea what you're talking about. Patents are fully compatible with free trade."

        Perhaps I can help. Patents are not fully compatible with the free market. Copyrights aren't either. Both are forms of GOVERNMENT granted MONOPOLIES.

        Now if you want to get the government out of the market with their granting of copyrights and patents and let the market find its own solution to the problem, let us know.

        As it is, people want these government granted monopolies (government interventions in the free market) and ye
    • Now, I wonder if that verdict can be applied to the hassle around Windows and Media Player/IE...

      Not to be too argumentative, but if this decision was applied directly to the bundling of IE/MediaPlayer/MSN Messenger/Outlook Express, etc., this law WOULD NOT prevent bundling, it would simply say that other companies should have the right to develop competing products (i.e. (Firefox, Mozilla, Opera)/(MediaPlayerClassic or any other codec-compliant video player)/(YIM, AIM, ICQ)/(any email/calendar/contact clie

    • You have a very odd interpretation of the word free. There is nothing unfree about creating two products that go together and letting customers decide if they want that combo or something else. That is the very definition of freedom. Telling companies that they can only make products that stand individually is a RESTRICTION on freedom. I'm not saying that we should have absolute freedom. However, we shouldn't redfine the word "freedom" as you do.
  • by OurNewOverloard (984041) * on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:11PM (#15637891)
    Corporations can always buy legislation - we see that all the time. We need to make life uncomfortable for the companies pushing DRM. One way of doing this is to get the artists to take a stand against art with locks. Sign the Bono petition today http://defectivebydesign.org/petition/bonopetition / [defectivebydesign.org]
  • by slashkitty (21637) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:11PM (#15637893) Homepage
    with some other music services, like allofmp3.com If I create some bohunk music store, does apple have to support my new crazy format?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The problem isn't that the iPod is incompatible with other music stores, but that the iTunes music store is incompatible with non-Apple players.
  • Just like France (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheBogie (941620)
    This is just like France to try to limit what a business can do. If Apple wants to sell music that only plays on their player, that is okay. If it upsets consumers, they will buy their music from somewhere else. This is how business is supposed to work, right? Next thing you know they will insist that Apple not fire any employees under 26 who have worked there more than a year blah blah blah.
    • Re:Just like France (Score:4, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:16PM (#15637935)
      It ain't that easy.

      Business is supposed to work on the base that different manufacturers create different products. The customer, on the other hand, is the one to pick which product fits his needs best.

      If the manufacturer forces him to use product A only with product B, the customer cannot make this decision. If he is forced to use product A if he wants to use product B, this violates the laws of free trade.
      • f the manufacturer forces him to use product A only with product B, the customer cannot make this decision. If he is forced to use product A if he wants to use product B, this violates the laws of free trade.
        Not unless the manufacturer has a monopoly on product B. There is no restriction on buyers purchasing equivalent goods from someone else otherwise, so there is no violation of fair business practices.
      • Re:Just like France (Score:3, Informative)

        by falcon5768 (629591)
        Yes he can, he doesnt HAVE to use Manufacturer A, he can use B C D E F G and so on.

        The consumer has the decision, it was thier decision to use A knoing they HAD to use Product B, its not like Apple doesnt make it clear you have to use a iPod to play the music off your computer.

        • Re:Just like France (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417)
          Apple has, with iTunes, a serious market share in the online music business. So they can actually sell their iPods through this. Even if better portable music players existed (I don't want the discussion whether or not the iPod is the climax of portable music or not), Apple still has the trump card that they own the by magnitudes largest online music store to buy music from. If you do not have an iPod, you would have to either rip the CDs yourself (if you can, with the copy protection on them), download it
          • Re:Just like France (Score:4, Interesting)

            by friedmud (512466) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:13PM (#15638483)
            "If iTunes had to open to other players, the iPod would have to compete with other portable players only on the grounds that it has the superior technology."

            And the iPod would still be the #1 selling portable music player.

            I actually don't believe that people are buying iPods for iTMS... it's a fun catch phrase... but honestly I think people buy iPods because they are "cool" and work well... and this iTMS thing come with it (part of the "working well" is being able to manage your music easily) that just happens to allow you to buy music online... which is just an added convenience to an already compelling product.

            I have an iPod myself, and besides buying a few songs off iTMS when I first got it... I learned quickly that I wasn't willing to "pay the price" of Apple's DRM (for instance I make home movies on my machine... and like to use music I own as background music or music during the menus... but I couldn't do that with the songs I bought on iTMS).

            So what did I do? Did I get all pissed at Apple and try to make them open their DRM? No... I just took my business elsewhere (I buy CD's for mainstream stuff, and eMusic.com for more obscure stuff). This is how the free market is supposed to work! The _market_ should decide what is right for them!

            After getting a bad taste in my mouth from Apple's DRM I don't want to buy into DRM at all any more... which is why I won't be picking up an HD-DVD/Bluray player anytime soon. I've made my choice... I just don't want the crap... but I don't need the government to legislate other people's choices for them.

            Friedmud
      • But then don't all patents and trade secrets d othe same?

        If I patent a new type of razor blade that only works with my patented handle, aren't consumers forced to use both if they want to use either? Or if the blade only works with my secret shaving cream formula?

        Is the shaving system (music system) the product, or are the individual pieces the products?
        • In fact, yes. The model of free trade was formed before the onset of the current patent trolling. And I predict some serious problems with the free trade model when more patents come into play.

          Patents limit the offering side of the market. They can either limit the number of offerors (if the patent holder limits the amount of licenses granted to manufacture), or it can limit the qualities a product may have (if the patent holder limits the features you may implement, as it is with DRM).

          I don't say that pate
        • A nitpick: Patents and trade secrets are opposite. Patents are protected (for a short time) because the inventor told other people the process. Trade secrets are protected because the inventor hasn't told anyone the process.
      • If the manufacturer forces him to use product A only with product B, the customer cannot make this decision. If he is forced to use product A if he wants to use product B, this violates the laws of free trade.

        Not really, since other companies are free to offer an alternative bundle of Product A and product B. Usually, the only time this is illegal is when Either product A or product B is a monopoly, at which point it runs afoul of antitrust law.

        In this particular instance, there are really four products

    • This is just like [the United States of America] to try to limit what a business can do. If [Microsoft] wants to sell [an operating system] that only [includes a single internet browser], that is okay. If it upsets consumers, they will buy their [operating system] from somewhere else. This is how business is supposed to work, right?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:12PM (#15637902)

    This article presents the DADVSI law as if it would be good for free software. It isn't.

    With the law as it is passed, there is a very real risk that anyone in France who distributes software such as libdvdcss could face up to three years in prison.

    Don't be distracted by the headlines about Apple. This law could be a major blow to legal playback of DVD and other protected digital media using free software.

  • by us7892 (655683) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:13PM (#15637906) Homepage
    Why have the French taken so much interest in iTunes and music downloads to the iPod? Where is the French interest in this? Are iPod's hard to come by in France? And some other players don't have a rich selection of music available from their online music stores?

    Perhaps everyone in France should just download Tunebite http://www.tunebite.com/ [tunebite.com], and convert their protected iTunes downloads to readily playable mp3's. Or is there some sort of tax involved in all of this that the French gov't is after...
    • Parce que, la constitution:

      Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite.

      Desole, slashdot casse mes accents!
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:43PM (#15638760) Homepage Journal
      I think it is an issue of deliberate lock-in. We wouldn't dream of buying a Sony CD, much less having to buy Sony's CD player in order to use Sony's CD. Then if you bought a Philips CD, you'd have to use a Philips player. It is a regression of formats to go from something that was open and now it is either locked to a certain brand product or you have to degrade the quality to play it in some other device. That Tunebite program is only a loop-back reencoder, it doesn't just strip the protection, it also degrades audio quality again to use it in some other product.

      Another concern brought up by the Scandinavian cases is that Apple reserves the right to change the terms of the use of the product after you've paid for it, and you get no recourse if you don't like what they do.
  • Apple will have it's little tantrum, and pull all it's marbles from the game. Now hear the big sucking sound of the vacuum eagerly filled by other music sellers...
  • It's About Time... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesireCampbell (923687) <desire.c@gmail.com> on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:15PM (#15637931) Homepage
    It's about time that someone otyher than Microsoft was forced to play nice with their competitors.

    I still think it's stupid to force a company to help it's rivals - but at least the EU's trying to be fair about it.
    • It's about keeping competition running. MS as well as Apple do have a more or less monopoly in the areas the judges stepped in.

      Competition does only exist when monopolies don't. And monopolies are amongst the most harmful things that could happen to a free market.
  • You just burn the song to a CD and rerip it as an unprotected MP3.


    And yes, the CD burning and ripping part is built-in to iTunes already.


    And yeah, Apple even tells you to do this to back your music up. So it's not like it is a hidden feature or some secret backdoor around the DRM or anything.
    • You just burn the song to a CD and rerip it as an unprotected MP3.

      And yes, the CD burning and ripping part is built-in to iTunes already.

      And yeah, Apple even tells you to do this to back your music up. So it's not like it is a hidden feature or some secret backdoor around the DRM or anything.

      Or you could just make a law that requires Apple to open up the specifications to competitors, so they can make Apple DRM compatible players. So now competitors can make Apple DRM compatible players. Yay!

    • Also, if you have the time and no blank CDs you can just record it in Audacity while it's being played through iTunes. It's a digital to digital copy and as far as I can tell there isn't anything that can stop it.
    • Complying with the directive by "allowing" people to jump through hoops to create inferior music files is not acceptable.
  • Millions of iPod owners march the streets with banners, singing songs and protesting against this new law.

    (wait for it .. waaait for it)

  • Let's face it. There's no way in hell that the record labels will allow DRM free vendors to set up shop in France. This is not a victory for DRM hating ogg fans.
  • Anyone else read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand (if so congrats and apologies)?

    Anyone want to buy some Miracle Metal (formerly Rearden Steel)? Anyone want to buy some MiracleTunes (formerly iTunes)?
  • Controversial (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Digital Vomit (891734) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:25PM (#15638019) Homepage Journal
    "Lawmakers in the French government have passed a controversial iTunes law, which has the stated intention of forcing Apple to allow purchased music to be universally useable."

    How sad that a law that is in the best interests of the people in a democracy -- and of society as a whole -- is considered "controversial".

    Apple said it hoped the market would be left to decide 'which music players and online music stores are offered to consumers.

    And let the mythical "invisible hand of the free market" take care of consumers? Yeah, right.

    The final compromise asserts that companies should share the required technical data with any rival that wants to offer compatible music players and online stores

    Damn right. Proprietary file formats are an abomination unto human civilization!

    Sorry. I've had a little too much sugar...

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:37PM (#15638128)
      How sad that a law that is in the best interests of the people in a democracy -- and of society as a whole -- is considered "controversial".

      Why is standardizing on one form of DRM in any way helpful to the populace.

      The Apple system of becoming the primary music playback device is helpful to the populace because it encourages other people wanting to sell music to use open formats - like eMusic which sells in MP3. It could well be that if there were only one form of DRM (say Microsoft) they would simply licence that and there would be no MP3 stores. If a mix of players were popular but had no shared open standard like MP3 the consumer would be equally screwed.

      If Apple wanted to be truly closed and hurt the populace at large then the iPod would play ONLY protected AAC files. That is not the case.
  • I agree! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by COMON$ (806135) on Friday June 30, 2006 @02:29PM (#15638057) Journal
    And while we are at it we need to make sure that all data is universal to every device, I am pissed that my 35mm camera film is not accepted by my iPod and that AAA batteries are not easily converted to work in my D cell devices. My dell laptop batteries wont work in my Thinkpad, and rant on....

    Seriously if people dont like iTunes format then dont buy them...there are plenty of options.

  • by Submarine (12319) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:25PM (#15638603) Homepage
    Just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DADVSI [wikipedia.org]
    Most news sources just tell rubbish about this law.

    This so-called "iTunes law" began as a law meant to criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing as well as any circumvention of DRMs.

    The so-called "iTunes" clauses were introduced as amendments, proposed by free software activists who wanted to save the legal possibility of making free software players. Apple was a side casualty.
  • by CptNerd (455084) <adiseker@lexonia.net> on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:37PM (#15638699) Homepage
    Isn't if funny that no one is mentioning that a French company, Archos, manufactures a line of media players, which hasn't been doing so well competing with Apple? I'm sure the French government has absolutely no vested interest in supporting efforts to hurt foreign competitors.
  • Stop it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Yvanhoe (564877) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:52PM (#15638852) Journal
    and begin to get our facts, fanboys. The orginal law (which doesn't cite Apple and in fact englobes many other MORE crucial things, like CSS implementations for linux) did in fact forbid DRMs. Remember your memes ? DRMs are bad. Evil. Apple's DRM are as bad as Google China censorship.

    Under the pressure of Big Businesses (tm) (and fanboys, but they only do harm on /. there are none in the French Senate) said that DRMs could be good, that media format could be closed, crypted and DMCA-protected. Hoorah !

    The funnier is that the law that passed allows Apple to do what it wants with its DRMs, that is the kind of law thay wanted. And that is catastrophic.
  • by johnrpenner (40054) on Friday June 30, 2006 @03:53PM (#15638866) Homepage

    if you burn your iTunes Store DRM tracks onto an Audio CD,
    it will no longer be DRM protected, and it can be freely used
    and converted for use on any other player -- the issue is not
    a matter of can/cant, but of convenience.

    2cents

  • by amichalo (132545) on Friday June 30, 2006 @04:58PM (#15639460)
    People always said iPods and iTunes were like razors and razor blades...

    If so, then where are the laws saying my Company A razor blade has to work with my Company B razor. I don't want to have to pay $5 for the Company A razor when I already have one that does pretty much the same thing from Company B. I know there is a solution called "Super Glue" (e.g. burn to CD and rip) but that would require me to buy Super Glue (blank CDs) so in some screwed up world we call Franch, that is unreasonable so what _is_ reasonable is to have Company B make their razor accept Company A blades. There, now everyone is happy ... except Company A and Company A shareholders.
  • by zotz (3951) on Friday June 30, 2006 @05:33PM (#15639704) Homepage Journal
    "Apple said it hoped the market would be left to decide 'which music players and online music stores are offered to consumers.'"

    Pure hogwash. "Let the market decide" is a short form of "Let the free market decide."

    We are talking devices protected by patents here for playing music and video protected by copyrights. Both forms of government granted monopolies. Where exactly is the free market in all of this again?

    all the best,

    drew
    (da idea man)
  • by DECS (891519) on Saturday July 01, 2006 @12:17PM (#15642705) Homepage Journal
    An awful lot of screed is being disgorged about Apple's DRM, despite the fact that it is effortlessly simple to get around. Even the most basic user can make a playlist and burn a CD, then use it in whatever device or platform they desire.

    People posting about how they bought lots of iTMS songs, then moved to Linux, and now are hopelessly befuddled about their options, are complete liars pushing FUD.

    An interesting comparison that nobody seems to be making: what about all the other platforms that make no effort at interoperability with other hardware or software? Why hasn't Scandinavia or France been grandstanding against:

    - Sony Playstation games, which don't play on an Xbox, or a GameCube. None can be burned to CD and played elsewhere.
    - Microsoft's Windows platform, which "locks" applications written to its APIs to its own OS? No way to burn your Windows apps to a CD and import them into Linux.
    - Apple's Mac OS X software (apart from CLI apps) can't be burned to a CD to run on Linux.
    - What about Linux' Gnome and KDE apps? Shouldn't everything be a massively fat binary to run anywhere?

    ( insert 5,000 other obvious and absurd examples here )

    Further, rabidly attacking Apple over DRM is like attacking Starbucks over their coffee bean economics. They're the leaders in fair trade/shade grown/sustainable coffee production, so yeah attack them for trying to give a corporate shit about playing fair, then rejoice after putting them out of business, and watch ADM-CoffeeCo replace them selling Frankincoffee grown in the wake of slash and burned rainforest.

    Or, in the case of Apple, do a dance on their tombstone, and then you can get rewarded by the WMA alternative, which doesn't support unlimited CD burning, expires tracks when you stop paying for subscription fees, and will soon only run on Paladium PCs.

    How ruthlessly absurd.

    The Revolution Will be Open Sourced!
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/146AE13C-A0E 6-426B-9B32-433F4CABC730.html [roughlydrafted.com]
    BSD & GPL: Different Sources for Different Horses
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/3FA34DA6-CD7 A-44C1-9D8A-4AB90106BB4D.html [roughlydrafted.com]
    Apple & Open Source... Strange Buffaloes?
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/EB25ECDF-0E5 A-41DF-8C18-99A08767ABEE.html [roughlydrafted.com]

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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