Scandinavian groups give Apple more time

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The consumer protection agencies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark said on Wednesday they will give Apple Computer until Aug. 1 to reply to their claims that the iTunes music store and service operates in violation of Scandinavian consumer laws, according to Reuters.



The previous deadline required Apple to respond by June 21st, the report notes.



In the letter sent to Apple last week, the Scandinavian agencies claimed the company's standard customer contract violated Norwegian law and is clearly unbalanced, disadvantaging the customer.



Specifically, it alleged that customers have to relinquish fundamental rights, such as the right to freely use legally bought products, in order to download music from iTunes.



The agencies are demanding that Apple make a number of changes to its customer contracts, such as allowing songs purchased from its iTunes to be played on competitors' devices.



If a court finds Apple guilty, the company could face fines and be required to shut its Norwegian iTunes store.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    If a court finds Apple guilty, the company could face fines and be required to shut its Norwegian iTunes store.



    Seems like the Norwegians could be getting more than they asked for.
  • Reply 2 of 35
    coxnvoxcoxnvox Posts: 50member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    The agencies are demanding that Apple make a number of changes to its customer contracts, such as allowing songs purchased from its iTunes to be played on competitors' devices.

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    Somebody buy me a ticket to Norway and I'll show those ole Viking legislators how to take a $0.15 CD and use Apple's own iTunes to create files that you can play on any player you want to.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    mchumanmchuman Posts: 154member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by coxnvox

    Somebody buy me a ticket to Norway and I'll show those ole Viking legislators how to take a $0.15 CD and use Apple's own iTunes to create files that you can play on any player you want to.



    I agree..but does anyone still think this is about DRM? Its about hating Apple plain and simple.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    jamezogjamezog Posts: 163member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by McHuman

    I agree..but does anyone still think this is about DRM? Its about hating Apple plain and simple.



    Yep. This won't be the last court battle over Apple's successes, either. That's the curse of being the top dog in a very lucrative market.



    It'll be interesting to see how all this pans out compared to the court battles over Microsoft's dominance a few years ago (remember how they were talking about forcing MS to split into multiple companies?). The two situations seem to be similar in some ways.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by coxnvox

    Somebody buy me a ticket to Norway and I'll show those ole Viking legislators how to take a $0.15 CD and use Apple's own iTunes to create files that you can play on any player you want to.



    Looks like someone always brings this up, and I guess I've taken the job putting this in perspective... You aren't completely wrong, but you might not be as right as you think.



    Once you burn DRM-protected iTunes music to CD, you are now limited to CD players as a playback device. If you want to open up the use of other non-Apple devices, like other portable players, car MP3 players, SoundBridge, Squeezebox, etc., or if you simply want to use Apple hardware and not have the hassles of authorizing and deauthoring systems, you have to re-rip the CD you burned.



    What happens then? (1) You lose sound quality, a lot in fact if you compress your re-ripped music back down to 128 AAC kbps just like your original purchase, (2) you lose no sound quality, but have to deal with a MUCH bigger file (about 6 times bigger if you use Apple Lossless or FLAC), or (3) some in-between compromise, like re-compressing back down to 192 kbps -- a 50% larger file, not so much loss of sound quality.



    The very fact you have to burn a CD and re-rip it to get portability across devices, even apart from the above sound quality/file size penalties, creates an artificial barrier to competition. The DRM which is supposed to serve the purpose of protecting copyright of the content being sold -- the music itself -- is being misused to protect a particular line of products and a particular distribution method.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by coxnvox

    Somebody buy me a ticket to Norway and I'll show those ole Viking legislators how to take a $0.15 CD and use Apple's own iTunes to create files that you can play on any player you want to.



    The DRM is not all of the problem as far as I got it. At least the Swedish agency are reacting to the freedoms Apple are taking in the EULA which says that they might change the contract at any time without prior notice, and the fact that Apple takes no responsibility for direct damages caused by the iTMS and the media.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    scavangerscavanger Posts: 286member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by McHuman

    I agree..but does anyone still think this is about DRM? Its about hating Apple plain and simple.



    Glad to see an unbiased opinion. I for one hope that Apple loses. I will not buy products with DRM on them, because many have clauses that allow them to change the license restrictions at any time in the future even if you bought the product previously, I personally see this as unacceptable that a company can change it's agreement after you've already purchased a product. While Apple offers one of the better DRM's it still has that option to change it's terms later on. DRM isn't about stopping illegal file sharing it's about having to rebuy all of your media every time you want to use it on a different player.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Zandros

    At least the Swedish agency are reacting to the freedoms Apple are taking in the EULA which says that they might change the contract at any time without prior notice, and the fact that Apple takes no responsibility for direct damages caused by the iTMS and the media.



    This is a pretty important point. The EULA allows Apple to change the terms after purchase without recourse, which Apple has done. That gives me another reason to not use their service, because I don't think that is something a legitimate or ethical business would do.
  • Reply 9 of 35
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jamezog

    Yep. This won't be the last court battle over Apple's successes, either. That's the curse of being the top dog in a very lucrative market.



    Wrong! You need to get your facts straight.



    Apple is not "top dog" in Europe; the iPod and iTMS don't have anywhere near the dominance that they do in the U.S.



    Also, this is not just about DRM (and it creeps me out a little how much Apple fans seem to have no problem with DRM), it is also about Apple being able to change the terms of use of the product (iTMS tracks) after you've bought them, and that they disclaim any responsibility for iTunes causing damage or data loss.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    Are any other companies selling DRM-encumbered files being questioned as well? Or are there no other online stores in these countries? Surely the terms and conditions have more to do with the record companies interests, and hence all online stores would have similar conditons
  • Reply 11 of 35
    scavangerscavanger Posts: 286member
    While Apple isn't top dog in Europe it still is the biggest online music store in the world. Most other sites are far more restrictive then Apple when it comes to what you can do with media, however since Apple is the figurehead of the business so to speak it makes a nice attackable position. It is worth noting however that other DRM solutions atleast some of the ones based on Microsoft technology atleast make the attempt at being interoperable, where Apple flat out refuses to license their technology.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by scavanger

    While Apple isn't top dog in Europe it still is the biggest online music store in the world. Most other sites are far more restrictive then Apple when it comes to what you can do with media, however since Apple is the figurehead of the business so to speak it makes a nice attackable position.



    Not being as in the wrong as others is not a very defensible position.



    I thought I saw in some other stories that other businesses are being investigated, but it was vague.



    Quote:

    It is worth noting however that other DRM solutions atleast some of the ones based on Microsoft technology atleast make the attempt at being interoperable, where Apple flat out refuses to license their technology.



    True.
  • Reply 13 of 35
    coxnvoxcoxnvox Posts: 50member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Wrong! You need to get your facts straight.



    Apple is not "top dog" in Europe; the iPod and iTMS don't have anywhere near the dominance that they do in the U.S.





    You seem pretty quick to jump all over someone for a fairly axiomatic, not to mention benign, statement. First off, jamezog did not say that Apple dominates every market everywhere in the world. He merely called Apple top dog, which any analysis bears out. My cursory glance at recent numbers showed Apple at 20% of the portable player market worldwide, with Creative 2nd at 7 percent. If you don't want to agree that Apple is top dog, then I would love to hear who is...

    Secondly, your overly-defensive response sounds as if you took the statement to be a US-centric one, when it would appear that Jamezog is offering a Canadian viewpoint...



    I took the time to read thru the iTunes License Agreement, and the iITMS Terms of Service and Terms of Sale, and only section 9d of the Terms of Service bothered me. It does imply that your use of purchased tunes could be altered by future changes to the ITMS, because the DRM is such that it is an ongoing process. (For example, ITMS "knows" how many computers you are playing a purchased song on.) I hope Apple can find a solution that provides the user a little more security that their purchases will not be unduly limited in use in the future.
  • Reply 14 of 35
    I hate that these forums are so prone to people attacking each other's views rather than exchanging ideas politely, but some comments here piss me off too, so here goes...

    Quote:

    Originally posted by JeffDM

    Quote:

    Originally posted by scavanger

    While Apple isn't top dog in Europe it still is the biggest online music store in the world. Most other sites are far more restrictive then Apple when it comes to what you can do with media, however since Apple is the figurehead of the business so to speak it makes a nice attackable position.



    Not being as in the wrong as others is not a very defensible position.



    I thought I saw in some other stories that other businesses are being investigated, but it was vague.




    Apple had to fight to get us the least restrictive DRM available for legally downloadable music. Not to mention, Apple stood their ground when the record labels were pushing hard to raise prices under the variable pricing structure. The record companies were saying, "If they really like the song, then let's charge them as much as we can get them to pay." The iTMS is NOT very lucrative on it's own. People should be a little more appreciative. Apple probably doesn't have much choice but to leave the door open for DRM restriction changes because the music industry/RIAA could start a battle with Apple any day. But maybe the single most important thing is that NO ONE IS FORCED TO CHOOSE iPOD or iTMS FOR ANYTHING. Where is the freakin' consumer's responsibility to do a little research before they buy and make their choices based on the devices/applications/DRM that they think they can live with? God, people are so f'ing lazy. It's always someone else's fault. I'm not sure I believe that Apple would even have DRM if they could have gotten the recording industry's buy-in for the whole music download thing without it.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by JeffDM

    Quote:

    Originally posted by scavanger

    It is worth noting however that other DRM solutions atleast some of the ones based on Microsoft technology atleast make the attempt at being interoperable, where Apple flat out refuses to license their technology.



    True.



    Microsoft has no choice. They only have the software. They have no store or music players of their own. They make their money by licensing their DRM. They aren't some magnanimous company giving something away. Don't be so naive as to think that Microsoft is looking out for you. I would have been so inclined to say the same about Apple until Steve Jobs fought the industry for the 99¢ song price. The portable player companies are in the same boat. They only have the hardware. They are just jumping on board with Microsoft's DRM because they can't have Apple's DRM, and Microsoft is huge. Whether you like them or not choosing their DRM format, though more restrictive, gets you direct access to a whole lot more potential customers. No, Microsoft and Creative and Real and Rio... they're only trying to figure out how get Apple's hand out of your pocket so that they can get theirs in, and they aren't really interested in providing you the best user experience or one of them would follow Apple's lead and provide an end-to-end, seamlessly integrated solution (portable player/jukebox & music library application/store). Wouldn't they?



    Since not having DRM is not an option that the recording industry will allow, I think it's way past time for those who want to complain about DRM to go to the SOURCE: THE RECORDING INDUSTRY, and stop bitching at Apple for having to subject us to it.



    Next thing you know someone's going to win a personal injury lawsuit against a fast food joint because the coffee they bought was hot and they got burned when they spilled it while holding it between their inner thighs. Waaaaahh! "I didn't know the coffee would be hot!" Always someone else's fault.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01

    But maybe the single most important thing is that NO ONE IS FORCED TO CHOOSE iPOD or iTMS FOR ANYTHING. Where is the freakin' consumer's responsibility to do a little research before they buy and make their choices based on the devices/applications/DRM that they think they can live with? God, people are so f'ing lazy.



    I agree that Apple has probably gotten the best terms on DRM that they could get away with with the music industry the way that it is. But I'm sure that Apple's not unhappy about the product lock-in (yes, I know, not absolute lock-in, yadda, yadda) that their exclusive DRM helps to feed, either.



    I haven't been "lazy" about checking the terms of Apple's DRM, and neither have many other people. We know the terms, and think the terms aren't very good. This situation is mostly due to uneven bargaining power and laws which are more and more excessively in favor of "content providers" and not very balanced for consumers.



    Instead of being stuck with nothing other than a "take it or leave it" choice about music sold wrapped in DRM, I'd rather see the law even things out so that consumers get a better deal and so that traditional fair use rights aren't lost.



    Even if you think the RIAA, et al, are more at fault for the DRM situation than Apple is -- and you'll get no argument from me there -- Apple is bringing DRM to the point of sale. From a legal standpoint, if you're trying to use consumer protection laws to fight DRM, fight imposed artificial incompatibilites, and fight unpredictable we-can-change-the-deal-any-time-we-like EULA terms, Apple and other online music vendors are where you need to start.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    scavangerscavanger Posts: 286member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by macbear01



    Since not having DRM is not an option that the recording industry will allow, I think it's way past time for those who want to complain about DRM to go to the SOURCE: THE RECORDING INDUSTRY, and stop bitching at Apple for having to subject us to it.





    I disagree. The best way to stop DRM is to fight the companies providing the product, the fact that people are buying the product just shows the RIAA that consumers don't think DRM is bad. If the consumer group wins, it will force Apple and other companies to either abandon the market (which you can only do for so long, and rulings like this can potentially have a domino effect) or change the licensing terms. At some point the RIAA will have to allow Apple and other companies to offer a a less restrictive product, thus making DRM less of a hassle for consumers.
  • Reply 17 of 35
    areseearesee Posts: 776member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by scavanger

    I disagree. The best way to stop DRM is to fight the companies providing the product, the fact that people are buying the product just shows the RIAA that consumers don't think DRM is bad. If the consumer group wins, it will force Apple and other companies to either abandon the market (which you can only do for so long, and rulings like this can potentially have a domino effect) or change the licensing terms. At some point the RIAA will have to allow Apple and other companies to offer a a less restrictive product, thus making DRM less of a hassle for consumers.



    No, your wrong. RIAA will simply refuse to let anyone provide the product and then bitch that bit-torrent and digital downloads is destroying CD sales.



    I'm more intrigued about the complaints with the EUL. Particular Apple stating that they are not responsible for iTunes security holes and that it is keeping its right to change the iTunes terms anytime. Is Windows being sold in Norway? And if so, how is Microsoft staying in business after paying for all that virus recovery? And the changing terms issue is a common term in most EULs. How is it normally handled in Norway. Are software companies expected to make their software operate the someway for ever? At which time can they change, the next version or must they create a completely new product?
  • Reply 18 of 35
    scavangerscavanger Posts: 286member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aresee

    No, your wrong. RIAA will simply refuse to let anyone provide the product and then bitch that bit-torrent and digital downloads is destroying CD sales.



    You can't do anything about the RIAA unfortunately. They are not selling the product, while it maybe them who tells Apple how to write it's EULA's, in the end it is still Apple that sells the product and it's Apple EULA. If the RIAA doesn't want to embrace new technology thats fine let the so called "loss" from bit torrent eat them alive.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    evilmoleevilmole Posts: 43member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by McHuman

    I agree..but does anyone still think this is about DRM? Its about hating Apple plain and simple.







    Please tell me why they should hate Apple? Not everyone in the world is a Windows or Mac zealot, you know. Don't place your own restricted world view on others.
  • Reply 20 of 35
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by aresee

    And the changing terms issue is a common term in most EULs.



    It may be common, but that doesn't make it good.



    For instance, Apple would be perfectly within their "rights" (according to the iTMS EULA, that is) to decide that you can only burn each song you've purchased once and only once, or even decide that no more CD burning would be allowed at all. Not just for new songs bought under new terms, but for everything you've already purchased, now after-the-fact reduced in value by newer, more restrictive terms.



    This has nothing to do with the idea of making "software operate the someway [sic] for ever", as in dealing with OS changes. This has to do with preventing the development of a very cramped notion of "purchasing" music and other media, where so-called purchases become no more than rentals, under arbitrarily changing terms.
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