Norwegian official applauds Apple-EMI deal, asks others to follow

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
An advisor to the Norwegian Consumer Council, a group that has been pushing Apple to drop its digital rights management (DRM) scheme on iTunes tracks, is applauding the firm's joint announcement with EMI on Monday and encouraging other industry players to follow suit.



"It's with great interest [that] I've listened to the webcast from EMI and Apple today," Torgeir Waterhouse, a senior advisor to the Norwegian Consumer Council, told MacNN. "No matter how the digital music market develops, today will always stand out a very important date, the day when two of the really big market players finally took responsibility that follows from the position and made an interoperable solution available to consumers."



The Norwegian council last June lodged a formal complaint with the Consumer Ombudsman, a government representative, arguing that Apple iTunes terms of service violates Section 9a of the country's Marketing Control Act. It further alleged that iTunes' digital right management violated consumer protection laws.



In his letter to MacNN on Monday, Waterhouse called on other music labels to follow suit, encouraging them to offer DRM-free music for the sake of consumers. "I especially call on the three other mayors to [seize] the moment and show that [they are] able to take on the responsibility as some of the most important distributors of culture and offer music without DRM or DRM that offers the consumers 100 percent interoperability," he wrote.



The senior advisor also asked the movie industry to take heed of EMI's important step, as well as any company in other cultural sectors that are slowly entering the download service market. "If they want the respect and business of [the] consumer they also need to offer up a fair deal which among other elements includes true interoperability [with] the complete absence of lock-in technology," he wrote.



However, while Waterhouse said it's encouraging to see EMI and Apple take the important first step, he noted that Apple is still refusing to let the Ombudsman release its reply regarding what actions it plans to take to make sure iTunes complies with Norwegian law. The official stressed that one of the key factors to achieve a well functioning information society is for the debate and steps toward it to be open to the public -- the very same public that is the basis for a successful transition toward the digital information society.



Waterhouse also warned that Apple is still required to abide by Norway's September deadline, which calls upon additional measures to ensure iTunes is legally operating within that country in the name of fairness on behalf of consumers.



"It's important to note that this move does not take the heat off iTunes for the end of September deadline. By the end of September [Apple] needs to alter the terms of service and DRM used in the iTunes Music Store to provide a fair deal to the consumers who legally buy music," he wrote. "Still, this move by EMI and Apple today should serve as proof that it really is possible to fix the problems the industry has chosen to introduce with DRM."



"Today both EMI and Apple have proven that they're willing and able to start their part of the job -- they really deserve a round of applause for the important step they've taken today," Waterhouse continued. "We're now calling on all other relevant market players and governments to be equally responsible and solution oriented and take the similar and first important steps themselves."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,546member
    So we can assume all Norwegians will go online and buy the entire EMI catalog immediately? Yeah, right.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Didn't Apple say they would just pull the product off the market for Norway... So instead of the Ombudsman helping his consumers he hurts them if Apple pulls the product. I can not wait to see how many people come out the wood work and say they made this happen...



    Also, this proves chasing Apple is not the solution, it is the record labels who say wherther content must be DRM free...
  • Reply 3 of 23
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Seems like the easiest solution is to either close the norwegian itunes store or simply remove all 128K DRM content on it and offer available EMI and indie content at the same price as the rest of the EU for 256K non-DRM AAC...



    Compliance...done. Norway and Apple...loser. Limewire...winner.



    Vinea
  • Reply 4 of 23
    wallywally Posts: 211member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    this proves chasing Apple is not the solution, it is the record labels who say whether content must be DRM free...



    Exactly... I am so sick of the "work the way up the food chain" mentality. Apple didn't create the DRM in the first place and while they may have benefited from DRM it was a requirement to sell tracks via iTunes. So why is Norway threatening Apple with anti-trust lawsuits? To ultimately get to the record labels?



    Idiots.
  • Reply 5 of 23
    runningrunning Posts: 20member
    And I applaud and ask others to follow too
  • Reply 6 of 23
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,546member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Didn't Apple say they would just pull the product off the market for Norway... So instead of the Ombudsman helping his consumers he hurts them if Apple pulls the product. I can not wait to see how many people come out the wood work and say they made this happen...



    Also, this proves chasing Apple is not the solution, it is the record labels who say wherther content must be DRM free...



    Don't remember Apple ever saying this... but plenty on these boards speculated they would.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    Seems like the easiest solution is to either close the norwegian itunes store or simply remove all 128K DRM content on it and offer available EMI and indie content at the same price as the rest of the EU for 256K non-DRM AAC...



    I suspect Apple will argue that offering consumers a choice satisfies Norway's complaints, but if that doesn't wash, they'll do just that -- remove all DRM'd content from iTS in Norway, and only sell DRM-free music.
  • Reply 8 of 23
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Didn't Apple say they would just pull the product off the market for Norway... So instead of the Ombudsman helping his consumers he hurts them if Apple pulls the product. I can not wait to see how many people come out the wood work and say they made this happen...



    Also, this proves chasing Apple is not the solution, it is the record labels who say wherther content must be DRM free...



    I do not recall Apple saying that. Besides that would be the last card that Apple would use. However I completly agree that if Norway has an issue still, come September I would close the iTune store in Norway, however it is not up to me.



    Who is inline to be the #1 business in Norway if Apple pulls out?

    I wonder how soon they will server that other company with compliace requirement papers.

  • Reply 9 of 23
    dp123dp123 Posts: 17member
    Actually, Apple told them that, beyond some of the basic contract issues which Apple already changed, that the Consumer Group doesn't have authority... that it's Norweigan copyright law at issue.



    So... Apple continues to stonewall... The Consumer Group tries to get a trial which may or may not be accepted... If they get a trial, they may or may not get the result they want... If they do, Apple appeals... Etc... The deadline and the Ombudsman are a non-issue. By the time any of their posturing does become an issue, Apple is likely to have 80% of their content potentially free of DRM, and the issues (like whether or not 100% compatibility can ever be achieved under any circumstances) will be more clearly understood... And Apple will have more options at such time anyway. Not to mention that even with the lionshare of the market, Apple will have done more for compatibility than Nokia, Zune, and several others in the market. They will look rather pathetic going after the one company doing the most to be a commercial success and to provide the consumers what they want.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Also, this proves chasing Apple is not the solution, it is the record labels who say wherther content must be DRM free...



    This has already been covered, under the relevant consumer protection laws, the complaint has to be lodged with the store that sold the wares to the consumer, not the wholesaler.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    Yay the Norweigens are happy...



    I'll sleep better now.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wally View Post


    Exactly... I am so sick of the "work the way up the food chain" mentality. Apple didn't create the DRM in the first place and while they may have benefited from DRM it was a requirement to sell tracks via iTunes. So why is Norway threatening Apple with anti-trust lawsuits? To ultimately get to the record labels?



    Idiots.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    This has already been covered, under the relevant consumer protection laws, the complaint has to be lodged with the store that sold the wares to the consumer, not the wholesaler.



    Actually the US government passed the law, which requires companies who distributed electronic copies of copyrighted material to protect it with DRM.



    Apple is only following the law, and as someone pointed out Apple might have benefitted from the how the law was written which is not the first time this has happen. Pass a law and there will always be someone willing to capitalize on it.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Actually the US government passed the law, which requires companies who distributed electronic copies of copyrighted material to protect it with DRM.



    Apple is only following the law, and as someone pointed out Apple might have benefitted from the how the law was written which is not the first time this has happen. Pass a law and there will always be someone willing to capitalize on it.



    I wasn't talking about the US, but rather Europe.



    I've never heard of a law like that and I'm skeptical that it exists. If you are referring to DMCA, then I'm pretty sure that you are misinterpreting that law because I have never seen such an interpretation anywhere. It adds legal protections to encryption schemes, it does not require distributors to add DRM, that's up to them and the rights owner.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Don't remember Apple ever saying this... but plenty on these boards speculated they would.



    Your right I paraphased it, they made a statement to the affect that they could not remove the DRM, and never stated why and said they would not license Fairplay. Then went on to say that if Norway and other EU countries continue to pursued this issue it could in turn hurt the whole digital media industry... IE Apple pulling out of the market.



    So they did not state it exactly as I did, but it was implied.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post


    Who is inline to be the #1 business in Norway if Apple pulls out? I wonder how soon they will server that other company with compliace requirement papers.



    The next inline of distributing digtial content in Norway I beleive is www.thepiratebay.org which we all know what they do.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    I'm just wishing the AI article would have mentioned what California town Apple is based out of. The information just seems incomplete without knowing that.



    (Looking it up) Oh yes, Cupertino!



    \
  • Reply 17 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I wasn't talking about the US, but rather Europe.



    I've never heard of a law like that and I'm skeptical that it exists.



    Everything you ever wanted to know about DRM



    http://www.law.berkeley.edu/institut...resources.html



    Even EU is drafting DRM laws similar to the US



    Here is more information for you,



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Rights_Management



    I would not lie, I just find it interesting that people are not aware of this stuff and think Apple made this up to keep people from putting content on non apple products
  • Reply 18 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    It adds legal protections to encryption schemes, it does not require distributors to add DRM, that's up to them and the rights owner.





    Your right, and Apple does not own the content and the content owers requires DRM therefore Apple is requirement to protect the DRM (IE not remove or make it easy to be removed) and they have done so, to the point of changing how it works over time such that people who attempted to work around it were shut down.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wally View Post


    Exactly... I am so sick of the "work the way up the food chain" mentality. Apple didn't create the DRM in the first place and while they may have benefited from DRM it was a requirement to sell tracks via iTunes. So why is Norway threatening Apple with anti-trust lawsuits? To ultimately get to the record labels?



    Idiots.



    It seems to be the places/people who are complaining the most are socialist in nature, it is all about the common good. That no one has ownership rights, everything is or should be in the public domain.



    I never saw an issue with Apple's DRM, except the 128Kbit encoding. It still allowed me to do what I wanted with the music if I choose to buy it and give a copy via CD to a friend if I like. It is no different than when LPs and Tapes were around. I loaned out my LPs and Tapes to friends and I am sure they made a copy at the time, and I did not see any copyright police at my front door then and should not now since I never profitted form any of it.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    Your right I paraphased it, they made a statement to the affect that they could not remove the DRM, and never stated why and said they would not license Fairplay. Then went on to say that if Norway and other EU countries continue to pursued this issue it could in turn hurt the whole digital media industry... IE Apple pulling out of the market.



    So they did not state it exactly as I did, but it was implied.



    They've not said anything of the sort at all.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    The next inline of distributing digtial content in Norway I beleive is www.thepiratebay.org which we all know what they do.



    Sweden.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    It seems to be the places/people who are complaining the most are socialist in nature, it is all about the common good. That no one has ownership rights, everything is or should be in the public domain.



    Norway's governement is currently a centre-left coalition but it's been mostly a conservative government since WW2. You'd hardly call it a socialist country.



    But please do keep up the errors. You're three for three so far.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    I never saw an issue with Apple's DRM, except the 128Kbit encoding. It still allowed me to do what I wanted with the music if I choose to buy it and give a copy via CD to a friend if I like. It is no different than when LPs and Tapes were around. I loaned out my LPs and Tapes to friends and I am sure they made a copy at the time, and I did not see any copyright police at my front door then and should not now since I never profitted form any of it.



    Four for four.
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