Will French Deliver Coup de Gr√¢ce to iTunes DRM?

May 12th, 2006 | By | Category: Digital Music, iPods & Portable Media Players

Political voyeurs are watching French lawmakers to see if changes to the country’s copyright law could affect the way Apple’s iTunes Music Store delivers copyrighted music. Apple uses a form of digital rights management (DRM) that is exclusive to the company, limiting the ability of users to use alternate devices.

The French National Assembly has passed a bill that would permit consumers to ask a court to force companies like Apple to let songs bought from iTunes play on other portable devices. The Senate version, passed Wednesday, would accept such appeals only from companies.

Apple, Vivendi and Time-Warner have lobbied against the law. One reason is that it reduces penalties for digital piracy to the equivalent of a traffic fine. Companies also are against law because it could force them to license their technologies and copy protection schemes.

The French bill has received an unusual amount of attention, partially because of the fact that changes in France could affect users around the world, and also because the bill would increase end-user rights, the opposite of most recent legislation around the world.

via New York Times (subscription)

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