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French Lawmakers Approve 'iTunes Law' 423

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."

EU Officials Cautious on AntiTrust Issues 156

An anonymous reader writes "News.com has a piece up looking at reactions from EU officials to the iTMS antitrust case. The individuals involved are wary of cracking open the DRM that protects the music sold at the iTunes Music Store." From the article: "One of the most outspoken government advocates on the issue is Norwegian consumer ombudsman Bjorn Erik Thon, who said he would act soon depending on how Apple responds to a letter the government had sent the company. If Apple can require an iPod for songs via iTunes, then music, book and film companies might restrict their products to specific players too, he said."

Canadian Record Industry's Secret Lobby Campaign 144

CRIAWatch writes "Michael Geist has an editorial published in the Hill Times, a Canadian political newsweekly, about a secret lobbying campaign by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. The report details how days after the last Canadian election CRIA lobbyists worked with officials to plan an event featuring speakers on the CRIA payroll who are promoting a DMCA for Canada, dozens of government officials from seven departments, an expensive lunch with senior government executives paid for by taxpayers, as well as a private meeting with the Canadian Heritage Minister who is responsible for copyright law."

UK Music Fans Can Copy Own Tracks 154

An anonymous reader writes "BBC news is reporting that music fans in the UK won't have to fear litigation from the British Phonographic Industry. Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said 'consumers would only be penalized if they made duplicates of songs for other people.'" From the article: "Mr Jamieson also called for Apple - which makes the popular iPod portable music player - to open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers. Apple applies a digital protection system to its downloads, which means they are not usually compatible with other companies' devices. "

Death By DMCA 414

Dino writes "There's a good article in the IEEE Spectrum, titled 'Death by DMCA', which talks about how whole classes of devices were eliminated, and how others won't even see the light of day as a result of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. One example is ReplayTV's TiVo-like devices which featured sharing capabilities, along with automatic ad skipping; the company was sued to bankruptcy, and the reincarnated device supported neither sharing nor ad skipping."

How iPods Took Over the World 360

An anonymous reader writes "The Observer has a piece today about the iPod's ascension to dominance of the mp3 player market. The author argues that it's largely the result of clever business tactics and the iTunes music store." From the article: "The second thing about the iPod: it puts you, not them, in control. Basically, the record labels are devotees of the Henry Ford business model: 'You can have any music you want so long as it's what I want to give you.' But using the cyberspace jukebox, you're no longer at their mercy. You don't have to pay for the four filler tracks on every album. You don't have to buy albums at all. You can put country next to classical, punk next to jazz, Barry Manilow next to Placido Domingo (wait, that's a joke)."

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