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France vs. Apple Computer

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
France is reportedly trying to pass a law to open iTunes to non-iPod devices. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

What do you think that Apple should do?

V/R,

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post #2 of 24
I think Apple should do nothing. This would make it legal to remove DRM when there wasn't another option.

Pirating is still illegal but you'd be allowed to remove DRM for your personal use.

Making iTunes compatible with other players is a nightmare. Apple would have to support everyone else's player and it would slow the development of the platform. Boo hiss.
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post #3 of 24
I think Apple would probably like to keep the store open. However, if fairplay DRM becomes essentially null and void then I imagine labels would go up in arms about protecting their property, and do their best to withdraw from iTMS in France.

On the other hand, I don't think this law has a very good chance of getting passed. *a fud in the night*
post #4 of 24
God bless the French. Somebody's got to stop the DRM train.

If iTMS leaves, fine. Other compatible services will spring up to fill the void.

I like Apple, but locking the world into single, proprietary systems has got to stop.
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post #5 of 24
The French are likely pissed because an Englishman is repsonsible for the design of one of the most succcessful products ever.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #6 of 24
I just hope this will work the other way around, so maybe apple one day will be forced to allow other DRM-schemes on the iPod. Why? Because some other online music stores sell much higher quality (bitrate) music!
Right now I would love the convenience of legally shopping the ITMS, but simply refuse because of the way-too-low bitrate of the ITMS. Somehow I highly doubt this will change in the foreseeable future.
(same goes for the low resolution videos on the ITMS btw).

Come On apple, you sell us QUALITY hardware and software, now start selling us QUALITY entertainment files!
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Lupa
I think Apple would probably like to keep the store open. However, if fairplay DRM becomes essentially null and void then I imagine labels would go up in arms about protecting their property, and do their best to withdraw from iTMS in France.

Apple wouldn't have to shut the store down if they don't open it up to other players, however it would make cracking Apple's FairPlay DRM legal. While this may not please the record labels it all depends on what the other players do. I think Apple would rather lose a few 99 cent downloads than iPod sales. Plus, in the case of cracking, the song or the iPod is still sold and the user has to jump through hoops to do the conversion.

Besides, I don't think the average consumer wants to deal with DRM cracking and whatnot. And while it may be legal, Apple doesn't have to guarantee that cracked files will play normally in iTunes or on the iPod.

This bill has no teeth and is just a vague threat.
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post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
I don't think that the government of France (or anyone else) has the right to violate Apple Computer's property rights. If the Government of France wants to 'level the playing field', they should come up with their own Les Tunes audio format.

(With apologies to Le Mod du Power)
Think of the benefits to French Culture and to its ongoing pursuit of Le Purity. Le governement could pass legislation to have le MP3 Player only play French music with French lyrics. If les record companies wanted access to the all-so-important-French-Music-Market, then les record companies would have to publish their music in French. I can imagine les soundtracks of every cine du le Jerry Lewis ever made echoing in les brains of le French rampaging youth via their French Government designed, French Government approved, innovative Audio Helmets (combining the best in audio fidelity, impact resistance and punctual holiday alarms).

Les, los, der, the damn politicians everywhere have too much time on their grasping hands.

V/R,
Aries 1B
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post #9 of 24
Sure if Apple takes away their iTunes store, they can always go back to eating snails!!


People complain about DRM alot! Why don't you just buy CDs in the shop if you're so upset.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
God bless the French. Somebody's got to stop the DRM train.

Hear, hear!

Copyright and other "intellectual property" law has gotten way out of whack, far too imbalanced in favor of copyright holders and "content providers". Selling music you can only play in certain brands of players is like selling books you can only read while sitting in a particular brand of chair.

Forcing a company to provide compatibility for music or other audio/video media can be a bit of a gray area -- the analogy with books isn't perfect. Certainly it wouldn't have made sense when CDs first came out for the record companies to have been forced to create a kind of CD which would also play on a turntable and/or in a cassette deck. (And hey! What about 8-track?).

Should Apple be forced to sell MP3 and/or Windows Media files for compatibility? I can't go along with that. If Apple feels AAC is a technologically superior format, they should have a right to use that format, exclusively if they wish.

But the DRM applied to their AAC files? That's a purely artificial barrier to compatibility. I can see where a valid argument could be made to disallow such artificial barriers.

Beyond that, however, and what I really find objectionable about the DMCA and similiar laws, is the idea that customers are not only obliged to accept such artificial barriers, but that they can be harshly punished for daring to go around those barriers, simply because doing so might lead to possible infringing uses of DRM-protected content. If DRM did absolutely nothing other than help protect copyrighted material, I might find it a little less objectionable. But protecting intellectual property has become an excuse to simulataneously create artificial product lock-in and other barriers to competition.

Enforcing anti-circumvention puts the government into the role of helping companies prop up their business models and protecting those business models from robust competition. Apple has all the right in the world to encourage the purchase of iPods through the use of their music store, but it flies in the face of what free-market capitalism is supposed to be about when the force of law is brought to bear to force consumers to go along with purely artificial barriers to traditional "fair use" and to more open competition.
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post #11 of 24
The AAC format is an open standard and any player can support it, so it really isn't part of the argument although the French lawyers and courts may be ill informed.

What is applicable is Apple's DRM format used on the iTunes Music Store. I somewhat liken it to the "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" signs where your iTMS tracks require an iPod for portable listening.

What is really interesting is that Apple is up front about this restriction. It isn't directly required but by failing to license FarePlay they have effectively locked out other players. However, users can still burn audio to CD and a few 3rd party players are supported (ROKR phone, for example).

I don't know how many users truly have downloaded a bunch of iTunes tracks only to learn they can't put them on their clunky Plays For Sure device, but I doubt its a lot. Sounds more like jealousy and sour grapes to me.

Which is why I think the route Apple will unofficially go is "let them strip the DRM", because its not too easy depending on the content and we're talking about a small set of users and fair use rights anyhow.

Opening up the FarePlay format would impact Apple's ability to do business and would become a constant distraction. Further, junky players would reflect badly on Apple, so this is a lose-lose situation. Even if they open it up and charge an arm and a leg for licenses I doubt it would be worth it.


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post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
I don't know how many users truly have downloaded a bunch of iTunes tracks only to learn they can't put them on their clunky Plays For Sure device, but I doubt its a lot. Sounds more like jealousy and sour grapes to me.

I don't really want any thing other than an iPod for a portable MP3 player. But I much prefer my Roku SoundBridge to AirTunes, and the Roku can't play DRM protected music from iTunes.

That's not a victory for quality.

Burning music to CD and having to re-rip those CDs to use other players causes a loss of sound quality (and/or really big files), not to mention an inconvenience which is incurred solely as the result of a completely artificial barrier and not a reasonable technical incompatibility.

Besides, even though it's physically possible to burn a CD and re-rip it, it's unclear whether that's legal to do under the DMCA and similar laws, of it that would constitute and illegal act of circumvention.

That Apple is up front about their DRM restrictions is besides the point. The government shouldn't be in the business of enforcing artificial barriers to competition and restrictions of traditional fair use, regardless of how up front Apple is. It's not a symmetrical bargaining situation for the consumer, and it's about time that government was more about what benefits the masses than what benefits corporate interests which buy the laws they need.
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Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #13 of 24
GO FRANCE...LOCK IN SUCKS

Need I say more?
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post #14 of 24
I think the only consequence of this is that where an application like playfair might still be illegal, consumers cannot be held criminally liable for using such software, which is the opposite of how it works in the US. However, even though you and I can be held liable for using playfair or developing our own DRM stripping software for our own use, I don't think such a case has ever been prosecuted, except where further dissemination of digital rights, i.e. piracy, is involved. For this reason, I don't think Apple would leave the French market just because of this.

In addition, all those protected WMA files would have to play on the iPod. Apple's obviously not the only digital audio content provider that is going to object to this.
post #15 of 24
My Gamecube only plays Gamecube games. Nintendo has exclusive license over what plays on it. I can't play my Gamecube games (proprietary commodity) on anything buy my Gamecube (proprietary hardware).

My Xbox only plays Xbox games. Microsoft has exclusive license over what plays on it. I can't play my Xbox games (proprietary commodity) on anything buy my Xbox (proprietary hardware).


My iPod plays iTunes, Mp3s, Podcasts, Downloaded shows, purchased shows and so on. You can dump pretty much whatever formats you want on the damn thing as long as they'll play. I can't play my iTunes (proprietary commodity) on anything but my iPod (proprietary hardware).

I think my point is made?
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post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by grahamw
I think my point is made?

I think not.

There are reasonable technical reasons why an Xbox game doesn't play on Nintendo. There are reasonable technical reasons a CD doesn't play on a turntable. Demanding interoperability in those cases would stiffle technical innovation and put a large technical burden on the providers of these things.

The barrier to interoperability caused by DRM is purely artificial. While DRM is supposed to be there to protect the content of the media, it's also being used to protect business models from competition, which favors the big guy over the little guy and stagnation over innovation.

You also have to think about the way the laws involved ar enforced: If twenty years ago you'd come up with some whiz-bang inexpensive adapter to play a CD on a turntable, you'd be praised for innovation, you'd be able to get a patent on your device, and probably make a lot of money on it.

Might your CD/turntable adapter upset the plans of those who'd signed up to manufacture CD players and put a dent in their profits? Oh, no! Boo hoo! You mean capitalists can be allowed to lose money to a competeting product in an open market!? They don't get government-protected success for their investment!? Horrors!

These days, attempt to solve the compatibility problem between an iTunes purchase and a Roku SoundBridge, and you're breaking the law, possibly subject if prosecuted to years in jail and large fines.

No, your Xbox game analogy doesn't hold well at all.
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post #17 of 24
I think fiarplay Stinks thanks for asking...

I was interested in buying a Sonos music player a little while and decided not to when I realised the £200 or so of music bought from iTunes would be useless. It's a superb piece of kit (with no comparable apple equivelent) and it's a real shame that apple won't license this stuff to allow me to play my music on something other than an ipod - I don't want to share it with anyone, I just want to listen to it - after all I bought it.

Plus, I like to dabble in music production but software packages like Albleton Live and Reason can't use AAC files (fairplay or not) and this hinders creativity. I used to buy vinyl and make mixtapes of the best stuff for my car and I also nick bit from other peoples tracks to make my own music. None of this is wrong in my eyes as I bought the music in the first place.


Yes, and before you say it - I know there are way around this but it's not the point. It's just not FAIR. I'm all upset now.
post #18 of 24
France 0, Apple 1
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post #19 of 24
Ignore...
Hard-Core.
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post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I think not.

There are reasonable technical reasons why an Xbox game doesn't play on Nintendo. There are reasonable technical reasons a CD doesn't play on a turntable. Demanding interoperability in those cases would stiffle technical innovation and put a large technical burden on the providers of these things.

The barrier to interoperability caused by DRM is purely artificial. While DRM is supposed to be there to protect the content of the media, it's also being used to protect business models from competition, which favors the big guy over the little guy and stagnation over innovation.

You also have to think about the way the laws involved ar enforced: If twenty years ago you'd come up with some whiz-bang inexpensive adapter to play a CD on a turntable, you'd be praised for innovation, you'd be able to get a patent on your device, and probably make a lot of money on it.

Might your CD/turntable adapter upset the plans of those who'd signed up to manufacture CD players and put a dent in their profits? Oh, no! Boo hoo! You mean capitalists can be allowed to lose money to a competeting product in an open market!? They don't get government-protected success for their investment!? Horrors!

These days, attempt to solve the compatibility problem between an iTunes purchase and a Roku SoundBridge, and you're breaking the law, possibly subject if prosecuted to years in jail and large fines.

No, your Xbox game analogy doesn't hold well at all.

You know what, you don't have to buy the music from apple. There is no restraint. No one is holding a gun to your head. You don't have to buy an ipod either. Quit you whining and take your dollars or francs or whatever and go somewhere else. Thats how you vote.
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post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by ibuzz
[B]You know what, you don't have to buy the music from apple.

Isn't that the whole point of iPod + iTMS?

Quote:
There is no restraint.

Can it play my .ogg, .wma, .flac, .mpc,... files that I purchased in X bands website with no DRM?


Quote:
No one is holding a gun to your head. You don't have to buy an ipod either. Quit you whining and take your dollars or francs or whatever and go somewhere else. Thats how you vote.

That's deep man. That's deep.
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post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
I think not.

No, your Xbox game analogy doesn't hold well at all.

Hmm. Feel free to disagree, however, these are functional examples in current commerce. I think you're wrong
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post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Isn't that the whole point of iPod + iTMS?



Can it play my .ogg, .wma, .flac, .mpc,... files that I purchased in X bands website with no DRM?




That's deep man. That's deep.


I thought you were going PC Gene, why are you still poilshing your epeen?
How about asking if it can play your Vinyl while you're at it. If you don't get it, DON'T GET IT!
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post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally posted by ZoranS
I thought you were going PC Gene, why are you still poilshing your epeen?
How about asking if it can play your Vinyl while you're at it. If you don't get it, DON'T GET IT!

but what if you get it and get em regularly but just want to listen to em on a sonos/roku etc.? after all it's just a digital file - not a physical format. Do you get me?

What's the worst that could happen..?
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