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More Euro countries enter battle over iTunes DRM

post #1 of 159
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France, Germany, and the Netherlands are all teaming up with Norway to pressure Apple into opening its iTunes music format for the sake of compatibility, according to news reports.

Compounding Apple's existing troubles, three of the most influential European nations have now said that they too supported Norway's pursuit of the iPod maker over concerns that its proprietary FairPlay protection scheme was violating antitrust laws.

The stepped-up rhetoric began on Monday, when Norway's lead consumer ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon imposed a deadline on the Californian company. The industry watchdog took Apple to task for limiting the use of songs bought from the iTunes Store to only its iPod player, demanding that the company broaden compatibility with other devices by October or else face court time and fines.

"It cannot be good for the music industry for them to lock music into one system," he said.

Thon also made the surprise revelation that France and Germany were now involved with forcing Apple's hand in the matter. The former country's UFC-Que Choisir and the latter's Verbraucherzentralen equivalent have quietly backed the attempt to loosen Apple's grip on the iTunes ecosystem, citing the same reasons of fair competition.

This news alone appears to have magnetized the issue and turned it into a popular cause, as the Netherlands' consumer protection agency said on Thursday that it would look into Apple's practices in its own country for the same reasons as its European and Scandinavian forerunners. Agency spokesman Ewald van Kouwen claimed to have been directly "inspired" by Norway's fearlessness and justified the Dutch response through common sense.

"When you buy a music CD it doesn't play only on players made by Panasonic," Kouwen declared. "People who download a song from iTunes shouldn't be bound to an iPod for the rest of their lives."

Apple has so far only begrudgingly acknowledged the mounting cases against it. The Cupertino firm told the Associated Press through its spokesman Tom Neumayr only that it was aware of the problem and that it hoped Europeans would promote a "competitive environment that lets innovation thrive," a not so subtle allusion to its belief that opening FairPlay would hurt iPod sales.

Norway first discussed penalties against Apple in August of last year. Denmark and Sweden have supported the cause since then, but were not joined by supporters outside of the northern territories until the recent announcements.
post #2 of 159
great news.

I'm not paying for songs that have built-in limits, while downloading Limewire songs or converting CD's to MP3 do not contain those limits.

DRM = punishing fair buyers = encouraging them to get songs the illegal way = bad for the industry including Apple.

People are buying more and more songs the legal way. The next step for Apple is to start trusting their (potential) customers.
post #3 of 159
Silly.
Clearly a result of strong lobbying...

Why not:
"People who buy Xbox games shouldn't be bound to an Microsoft gaming console for the rest of their lives."
Duhh.

(and you can still burn CD's (and even rip to mp3) from your iTunes library)
post #4 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendoka View Post

Silly.
Clearly a result of strong lobbying...

Why not:
"People who buy Xbox games shouldn't be bound to an Microsoft gaming console for the rest of their lives."
Duhh.

That is not an equivalent thing at all.

The reason you can't play an Xbox game on another console is because the Xbox represents a hardware platform that Microsoft consider to be state-of-the-art at the time of development to trade-off retail price, performance, and profits. Games then have to be written to target that hardware platform to obtain decent performance, and this requires considerable effort.

A music player on the other hand, is much more of a generic platform. Any player on the market is technically capable of decoding AAC (even if the manufacturers haven't implemented an AAC codec, they could if they wanted to), and therefore the only thing stopping them playing iTunes Store downloads is FairPlay DRM.

Whilst licensing FairPlay may do Apple some damage, it is difficult to deny that Apple being forced to licence FairPlay would be good for the consumer.
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post #5 of 159
Eurotrash.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #6 of 159
Interesting notion. It makes one wonder if Microsoft's DRM works with Apple iPods. If not then we might need to go after Microsoft next...
post #7 of 159
All DRM ought to be outlawed.
post #8 of 159
It seems to be generally understood that, in terms of music, Apple makes its money from iPod sales not from iTunes Music sales; the iTunes Store being a means to encourage iPod sales. So, at first sight, licencing the FairPlay DRM would seem to be shooting itself in the foot by cutting sales of iPods. But, if Apple licences the FairPlay DRM for each player that other manufacturers make at the amount of profit it makes on an equivalent capacity of iPod, it would not lose out overall and consumers would have the choice. Personally, I suspect I'd choose an iPod, but hey, each to their own!

Now, surely no one could say that is anti-competitive could they?

BTW: I wonder what the IT policies of those European Governments involved require their Government Departments to use in the way of PCs; surely we won't find any of them restricting them to Windows-only PCs will we? Now that would be anti-competitive!
post #9 of 159
Quote:
The stepped-up rhetoric began on Monday, when Norway's lead consumer ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon imposed a deadline on the Californian company. The industry watchdog took Apple to task for limiting the use of songs bought from the iTunes Store to only its iPod player, demanding that the company broaden compatibility with other devices by October or else face court time and fines.

"It cannot be good for the music industry for them to lock music into one system," he said.

It gets tiresome hearing the same misrepresentation over and over. Burn your tunes
to a cd, then re-rip the tunes to mp3 and load up your generic player. Nobody is
prevented from doing this. It is just comparatively inconvenient. Apple should not
be required to make the use of competing hardware as convenient as using its own.

What does the music industry think about DRM? It is my understanding that, at the
time they agreed to let the iTunes store sell their property, they insisted on some
type of DRM. Why don't the European consumer people target their actions on
the music companies?

Plus, I consider it dishonest for the consumer ombudsman to make his argument
as if his motivation were to help the music industry. It is his job to be an advocate
for consumers, not industrialists.
post #10 of 159
Apple should charge a hefty fee to license their DRM to other manufacturers. That would shut the boneheads up.

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post #11 of 159
The statements from the 'europeans' as reported are, of course, false. No one is 'locked into the iPod' just because of purchases from iTunes.

1) the songs will play on any Mac or Window's PC

2) The songs will play on any CD player

3) Re-encoding at a higher bit-rate, say 256+ mp3 or wma will preserve the quality of the 128bit AAC and be playable on any mp3 player.

It also continues to ignore the point that DRM is forced on the sale by the record companies, NOT APPLE!!!!.

FairPlay was pioneered by Apple as THE MOST OPEN DRM out there. It does allow fair-use. Is it open use??? no but there is NO requirement for open use.

I agree that this if being lobbied by those who simply can't compete with a great solution. And, I'm sorry, but it is typical of Europe to go after any successful american enterprise with gov't backed approaches - Airbus.
post #12 of 159
Quote:
"It cannot be good for the music industry for them to lock music into one system," he said.

How much do you want to bet that the music industry is completely behind this (perhaps with buddy microsoft's backing too) - check it:

The music industry (in America at least) backed down from trying to charge more per song - because Apple was the game in town.... Apple said no, they backed down because Apple runs the game for leagal music downloads...

Now the music industry seems to not care that much at all about DRM - surprising? They want to wrangle control from Apple, so that they can charge whatever the hell they want... and now that Microsoft says it will pay a fee for each Zune sold (wonder how many millions that's been so far ) they think they can outmaneuver Apple on this one....

And people, please for the love of god stop with the rediculous analogies! Yes you can buy gas from any station to power your car, but you can also only buy xbox games for the xbox (and not PS or nintendo), so anyone can make an analogy to present their idea...

DRM sucks, but the DRM Apple has implemented I'm okay with. Up to this point Apple has been very good about striking the balance between legal music, and looking out for the consumer (songs are still 99¢). Apple made the iPod, they made their iTunes system.
post #13 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

It gets tiresome hearing the same misrepresentation over and over. Burn your tunes
to a cd, then re-rip the tunes to mp3 and load up your generic player.

But then you loose additional quality from a file of already dubious quality. To maintain quality, you have to rip back from CD with a lossless format, which takes up a lot more room than a 128 kbps file. At the moment, I'm not too perturbed by FairPlay because I can remove it with no quality loss (i.e., generate an un-encrypted 128 kbps AAC from a FairPlay AAC), which enables me to listen to the tracks on my iPod, Sony W810i and Roku SoundBridge rather than just my iPod.

If the ability for me to remove FairPlay disappears, I'll be pretty pissed.
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post #14 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

I agree that this if being lobbied by those who simply can't compete with a great solution. And, I'm sorry, but it is typical of Europe to go after any successful american enterprise with gov't backed approaches - Airbus.

Really? So can you name the European companies that this legislation is trying to protect?
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post #15 of 159
If Apple were to loosed this fight, what's to stop these countries from forcing Apple to let OSX run on non-Apple hardware? This will be a fight to the death. I don't see Apple relenting on this one bit.
post #16 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

If Apple were to loosed this fight, what's to stop these countries from forcing Apple to let OSX run on non-Apple hardware? This will be a fight to the death. I don't see Apple relenting on this one bit.

I remember hearing something to that effect shortly after Apple announced they were switching to Intel processors. Not with Europe, but some analyst saying that Dell could sue Apple because of that....

But you're right. Where does it stop.
post #17 of 159
Mr H

You want quality , buy a music CD and import any song you want in any format and in any bitrate with two notable exceptions , WMA and Ogg .

Honestly , your excuse about the consumer rights is just hogwash , it all about you and what you want and it has nothing to do with competition or whatever excuse you want to post . Here is a simple fact of life , there are billions of people who have no iPod or any mp3 player whatsoever , in fact, they are more content on listening music on a CD or cassette player and their radios than getting a high tech music device such as an iPod . The people who complains ITMS the most are those who think that everything should be given to them freely or as cheaply as possible.
post #18 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Really? So can you name the European companies that this legislation is trying to protect?

I didn't say they were protecting any existing company, did I. That's the current problem, there is no successfuly, or marginally successful company again Apple/iTunes at this point. I believe there is/was a similar effort in the Search space where France was going to Nationally fund a Search alternative to Google.

In any case my point is the stated reasons for the actions are false which leads one to suspect the motives and forces driving this effort. Is it convenient to use something other player, not really, but that's something for a competitor to do, if they think there is a market. Regarding the need for lossless, this is again an audiophile's argument. I've done just high-bit rate, as I stated, and hear no significant degredataion. This is, of course, subjective, but could be cured if Apple were required to offer 192 kbps songs. (again subjective, I know. I don't really want to drag this off to the 'I can hear it' thread death).
post #19 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

France, Germany, and the Netherlands are all teaming up with Norway to pressure Apple into opening its iTunes music format for the sake of compatibility, according to news reports.

Compounding Apple's existing troubles, three of the most influential European nations have now said that they too supported Norway's pursuit of the iPod maker over concerns that its proprietary FairPlay protection scheme was violating antitrust laws.

1. Close Norway iTS (can't be selling that much anyway)
2. Add full TV, Movie content to the rest of the European iTS' to reaffirm usefulness
3. Wait for the 'lobby-to-reopen-the-Norway-store-because- we're-being-singled-out' to start campaigning
4. Re-open the Norway iTS (nah! just kidding, keep it closed!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The stepped-up rhetoric began on Monday, when Norway's lead consumer ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon imposed a deadline on the Californian company. The industry watchdog took Apple to task for limiting the use of songs bought from the iTunes Store to only its iPod player, demanding that the company broaden compatibility with other devices by October or else face court time and fines.

"It cannot be good for the music industry for them to lock music into one system," he said.

Wrong Bjoern! It's the only approach that has worked, in fact you could say we didn't have a (legal digital download) music industry without it, and now you want to break it! - MS's open-architect DRM failed and even they have moved to a proprietary system!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"When you buy a music CD it doesn't play only on players made by Panasonic," Kouwen declared. "People who download a song from iTunes shouldn't be bound to an iPod for the rest of their lives."

Which precisely why CD sales are slipping and P2P theft is rising to the point where 80% of music player users think it's 'OK'

Can any other iTS location which makes a negligible creative contribution to the global music industry and hence has nothing to lose please sign up!

McD

(where's the pro-DRM lobby and why doesn't iTunes DRM my ripped CDs?)
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post #20 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally View Post

How much do you want to bet that the music industry is completely behind this (perhaps with buddy microsoft's backing too) - check it:

The music industry (in America at least) backed down from trying to charge more per song - because Apple was the game in town.... Apple said no, they backed down because Apple runs the game for leagal music downloads...

Now the music industry seems to not care that much at all about DRM - surprising? They want to wrangle control from Apple, so that they can charge whatever the hell they want... and now that Microsoft says it will pay a fee for each Zune sold (wonder how many millions that's been so far ) they think they can outmaneuver Apple on this one....

I could believe MSFT was behind it more than the music industry in general. It would be very
self-destructive for music companies to remove DRM and then try to raise
prices. Legal downloads would plummet and piracy would sky rocket, wouldn't it?

Come to think about it, MSFT would be harmed by the DRM removal precedent also.
It would apply to the ZUNE ecosystem also. (i had a big laugh attack when I typed
"ZUNE ecosystem" ) Admittedly, losing something that small wouldn't hurt
MSFT much, except for their credibility (milk spits out my nose )
post #21 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

You want quality , buy a music CD and import any song you want in any format and in any bitrate with two notable exceptions , WMA and Ogg .

Yeah, if I want the whole album (or most of the tracks), that's the best option. But if I want only one or two tracks?

Does the concept of a minimum acceptable quality make sense to you? If 128 kbps AAC is your minimum acceptable quality, you don't what to go under that, by definition. Re-compressing 128 kbps with any lossy codec, at any bit-rate, will result in additional quality loss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

Honestly , your excuse about the consumer rights is just hogwash , it all about you and what you want and it has nothing to do with competition or whatever excuse you want to post .

You think it's just me who doesn't like DRM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

Here is a simple fact of life , there are billions of people who have no iPod or any mp3 player whatsoever , in fact, they are more content on listening music on a CD or cassette player and their radios than getting a high tech music device such as an iPod .

So? I said that Apple being forced to licence FairPlay was possibly bad for Apple (I actually think it would be good for them in the long run, but that's a different debate), and definitely good for the consumer. You have failed to demonstrate otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

The people who complains ITMS the most are those who think that everything should be given to them freely or as cheaply as possible.

Please explain how my reasoning implies I want things for free? I want to pay for my music, and then be able to play it on any device I choose, without having to compromise file size or quality.
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post #22 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbow View Post

BTW: I wonder what the IT policies of those European Governments involved require their Government Departments to use in the way of PCs; surely we won't find any of them restricting them to Windows-only PCs will we? Now that would be anti-competitive!

Governments cannot make other governments submit to their anti-trust laws -- that would violate the commonly accepted international law of sovereignty. (Ever wonder why entitites like OPEC haven't been busted?)

And, no government will hold itself accountable.

So, your argument is moot, I am afraid.
post #23 of 159
Come on, spell Verbraucherzentrale right - or go with my alternate version.http://forums.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/1wink.gif
Sure it's going to hurt apple's little ecosystem, but then again, evolution is still widely held to be a self-evident truth in Europe, and in the end the fittest mp3 player will survive. And I personally have no doubt which that will be.
post #24 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

This will be a fight to the death. I don't see Apple relenting on this one bit.

Don't be so sure. People said the same when the US dropped its suit against Microsoft, but the EU persisted (and does so to this day). And, MSFT tried its best to play hardball with the EU.

But it looks like Vista is finally going to play by the EU rules -- i.e., even Ballmer seems to have relented.

This will become an EU-wide issue soon, in my judgment.
post #25 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacloo View Post

great news.

I'm not paying for songs that have built-in limits, while downloading Limewire songs or converting CD's to MP3 do not contain those limits.

DRM = punishing fair buyers = encouraging them to get songs the illegal way = bad for the industry including Apple.

People are buying more and more songs the legal way. The next step for Apple is to start trusting their (potential) customers.

And you've written a cheque to the music companies for all the songs you've downloaded? Come off it dacloo! I think you should have stopped after the 5th word!

Non purchase of songs due to DRM is a lame excuse for people who were going to steal them anyway - it doesn't affect the majority of fair buyers

(cue the usual comments about - Don't push me I'm an audiophile, bit-rate's too low, I like to configure my own audio system so I can convince myself I know what I'm doing - vote with your feet and buy the music from those common-architecture/non-DRM music stores that offer such an awesome solution, you probably get more thrill out of the chase anyway)

McD
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post #26 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbow View Post

BTW: I wonder what the IT policies of those European Governments involved require their Government Departments to use in the way of PCs; surely we won't find any of them restricting them to Windows-only PCs will we? Now that would be anti-competitive!

You might be onto something there. International trade agreements like NAFTA (North
American Free Trade Agreement) and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade)
include the concept of non-Tariff barriers to trade. A company can allege that a
country has a non-Tariff trade barrier and bring it before an unelected, secretive
arbitration board formed under the agreement. The board can impose penalties on
the offending country if the complaint is agreed upon. Two examples I can think of
related to NAFTA are when Ethyl Corp, who makes makes lead gasoline additives in
Canada, was denied by the US to sell their product because it violated environmental
laws; also a Mexican company, whose name escapes me at the moment, was
prevented from selling their tuna in the US because it contained too much dolphin
meat, in violation of US law. Both companies brought cases to the NAFTA board
and won. (sovereignty is not all it used to be.)

If any of the countries vexing Apple right now have non-tariff trade barriers
against Apple computers, Apple should bring a suit before the World Trade
Organization.
post #27 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Don't be so sure. People said the same when the US dropped its suit against Microsoft, but the EU persisted (and does so to this day). And, MSFT tried its best to play hardball with the EU.

But it looks like Vista is finally going to play by the EU rules -- i.e., even Ballmer seems to have relented.

This will become an EU-wide issue soon, in my judgment.

But as I alluded earlier. This goes to the heart of Apple's business model. Apple makes the hardware and the software. They want to control the user experience. If itunes is forced open to work on other hardware, why not OSX? Do you think Apple will just relent to this? I'm not saying that the EU won't make an issue of this, bit I do think Apple would(will) fight this to the bitter end. It destroys the Steve Jobs' business model for Apple.
post #28 of 159
Europe should try it. Then again, so should the U.S.

I guess it never occurred to the brilliant idiots that Apple hurts themselves by limiting what you can do with the downloads. I, for one, won't buy anything from the Apple store for that reason. The free market works, people.

Not that I would have asked, but funny how these people weren't enraged that Microsoft Widnows didn't work on Mac hardware. How about all those other software manufacturers that snub the Mac? Funny these fascists didn't force them to write a version for the Mac (again, something I wouldn't ask government to "give" me.)
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post #29 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Macintosh View Post

Interesting notion. It makes one wonder if Microsoft's DRM works with Apple iPods. If not then we might need to go after Microsoft next...

I think both companies should be free to do business in a free market (this includes no government support for their DRM.) Nevertheless, yes, it seems out of balance.
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post #30 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

They [Apple] want to control the user experience.

I think that was basically the thrust of MSFT's argument too -- but it failed.

And, note that the problem that the Europeans seem to have is with iTunes, not the iPod ( i.e., Apple's software, not hardware).

OS X is a different issue: It is seen as competition to Windows/Vista, and hence a source of competitive discipline for MSFT -- i.e., worthy of being preserved/protected in whatever form!
post #31 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Yeah, if I want the whole album (or most of the tracks), that's the best option. But if I want only one or two tracks?

Does the concept of a minimum acceptable quality make sense to you? If 128 kbps AAC is your minimum acceptable quality, you don't what to go under that, by definition. Re-compressing 128 kbps with any lossy codec, at any bit-rate, will result in additional quality loss.



You think it's just me who doesn't like DRM?



So? I said that Apple being forced to licence FairPlay was possibly bad for Apple (I actually think it would be good for them in the long run, but that's a different debate), and definitely good for the consumer. You have failed to demonstrate otherwise.



Please explain how my reasoning implies I want things for free? I want to pay for my music, and then be able to play it on any device I choose, without having to compromise file size or quality.

Then guess what , tough luck . Before iTMS , I have to buy the whole CD to get the songs I want . After iTMS , I still have to buy CDs of artists the music store does not carry . You see , pal , common sense is the thing here . If I want a much better bitrate , I buy the CDs. If I want convenience , I go to iTMS , screw the bitrate . Does that make sense to you ?

2nd. Nobody likes DRM , that said , nobody is forcing you to buy songs in iTMS or loading DRM loaded songs in your iPod . If you don't want the damn service , check Emusic or other music sites. The iPod as well as the iTunes application will accept any music file as long it's not wma or ogg.

3rd The only winners if Apple licenses their Fairplay are the record companies. The biggest losers are both Apple and the consumers

4) You want to pay for your music and get then to play to any device you choose at the best filesize and quality ? The answer to that is very simple , get the music industry to grow up and see that DRM and other industry induced limitations on digital music downloads is a self defeating strategy . In fact , they are suffering financially as of now.
post #32 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

If itunes is forced open to work on other hardware, why not OSX?

Because iTunes is dominating the digital music purchase market. OSX is not dominating any market. Anti-trust means just that - taking action against companies that use their market-dominating position to squash competition. No such danger on the OS market.

And by the way, this is also the reason why the idea of appealing to the WTO is completely ridiculous. The reason the EU is taking action against Apple is because the iTunes/iPod model is limiting competition, it has nothing to do with trade barriers. As far as the Europeans are concerned, they couldn't care less whether iPods or music are imported or sold, but they have a - legitimate, I believe - concern about HOW that's done.

Again, calm down, just because it's Apple doesn't make it the gospel. I own AAPL stock and I don't mind them making more money, but I'm also a consumer who doesn't see why I shouldn't be able to play my iTunes on other devices.
post #33 of 159
Burn to CD, convert through iMovie, There even a Applescript that will do all your library for you.
Anyway whats the problem give your money to Apple. They will just keep bring us more cool products.

If you have a problem just buy else where.
post #34 of 159
Quote:
If the ability for me to remove FairPlay disappears, I'll be pretty pissed.

That's the crux of the argument. The fact that Apple allows FairlyPlay to be removed means the song is not locked to the iPod forever.

Quote:
I guess it never occurred to the brilliant idiots that Apple hurts themselves by limiting what you can do with the downloads. I, for one, won't buy anything from the Apple store for that reason. The free market works, people.

Those brilliant idiots have 75% of the music download market. Can you really argue with success?

Quote:
The reason the EU is taking action against Apple is because the iTunes/iPod model is limiting competition,

How exactly does iTunes or iPod limit competition?
post #35 of 159
Easy enough to fix. Just a two part solution.

Part 1: The license fee to other manufactuer's is 100 Million USD per year, per device model.

Part 2: The price per song for EVERYBODY on iTS is $49.99 USD per song. If you purchase an iPod, then Apple will give you an instant $49 credit towards each song that you purchase. The iPod has to be registered to the same name as the iTS account, any fraud discovered will result in any credit towards that indiviual's name being removed.

Everybody's happy, you can officially buy songs off of iTS to use on you POS player.
post #36 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I think that was basically the thrust of MSFT's argument too -- but it failed.

Apple wouldn't use that as a defense against the EU, but it is the Apple business model under Steve Jobs. Remember who killed the clones? While the EU might might see Apple as a competitor to Windows and Vista and not initiate action against Apple in regards to OSX, what happens if Dell sues Apple in a European court in order to unlock OSX? Admittedly that could happen now but if the Eu were to succeed against Apple in iTunes that would seem to be a strong legal precedent and might embolden someone like Dell. Hell Michael Dell might do it just to spite Steve Jobs.
post #37 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by f.duane View Post

Because iTunes is dominating the digital music purchase market. OSX is not dominating any market. Anti-trust means just that - taking action against companies that use their market-dominating position to squash competition. No such danger on the OS market.

And by the way, this is also the reason why the idea of appealing to the WTO is completely ridiculous. The reason the EU is taking action against Apple is because the iTunes/iPod model is limiting competition, it has nothing to do with trade barriers. As far as the Europeans are concerned, they couldn't care less whether iPods or music are imported or sold, but they have a - legitimate, I believe - concern about HOW that's done.

Again, calm down, just because it's Apple doesn't make it the gospel. I own AAPL stock and I don't mind them making more money, but I'm also a consumer who doesn't see why I shouldn't be able to play my iTunes on other devices.

I mentioned the WTO in the context of another post which referenced the possibility that
some countries might have rules requiring the use of Windows computers, to the exclusion
of Apple computers. I did not make any statement about the WTO in the context of
iTunes, although, since you brought it up, I think consumer laws which limit the ability
of companies to trade internationally might actually be considered non-tariff barriers
to trade. (not saying I agree with it, quite the contrary I prefer each country to make
its own laws.) However, if the European countries in question are signatories to GATT,
they should take their obligations under the treaty into account (or better still repeal
their support of it)

Again, as many have already pointed out, you ARE able to play your iTunes on other
devices. It is just not as convenient as playing them on Apple devices.
post #38 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

I agree that this if being lobbied by those who simply can't compete with a great solution. And, I'm sorry, but it is typical of Europe to go after any successful american enterprise with gov't backed approaches - Airbus.


None of the people or groups in this report are backed by any government. The closest you get is the Norwegian Ombudsmen who despite being paid by Norwegian tax payers, is independent of government. Norway's government actually went as far as saying they would not investigate Apple's practices.

The rest are consumer groups with no teeth.

I fail to see how anyone can be of the position that DRM is a good thing for consumers be they idealistic Europeans or xenophobic American capitalistic lackeys.
post #39 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wil View Post

Then guess what…

3rd … The biggest losers are … the consumers

Guess what? You have still failed to demonstrate this is true. How is buying a song on iTunes and being able to play it on any device that supports AAC worse for the consumer than only being able to play that file on an iPod?
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #40 of 159
A number of people have posted in this thread that it's "Apple v the EU" in this argument. Please, that's not the case. The complaint has not been brought before the EU Parliament, council or courts. Norway isn't even a member of the EU.
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