updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue May 23, 2006
EMI backs Apple
EMI Group today backed Apple in its stance against a new French law that could force the Cupertino-based company to open up its FairPlay DRM to competitors. EMI Chairman and CEO Alain Levy said he was concerned about Apple's hold over the digital music market, but regarded the French bill with "amazement," according to MarketWatch. "We believe market forces work better than legislation in this case," Levy said. The hotly-debated law was recently softened, but industry watchers say Apple might still pull out of France because the remaining regulations may be too strong. The bill could also create large amounts of paperwork for companies like EMI, forcing them to retrieve specific authorizations to sell music through iTunes. Digital sales currently account for 5.4 percent of EMI's revenue, though such sales are expected to account for one-quarter of the business by 2010. "The growth rate is hard to predict because expansion of digital is dramatic, explosive I would say," EMI Chairman Eric Nicoli said.