updated 02:10 pm EDT, Wed June 21, 2006
France iTunes DRM bill
The French draft law that initially threatened Apple's French iTunes Music Store has passed both the National Assembly as well as the Senate, and is poised to pass both houses tomorrow. French lawmakers agreed to weaken the measures after Apple called the bill "state-sponsored piracy," resulting in a loophole for companies such as Apple and Sony which will allow them to maintain their copy protection on music with permission from music copyright holders. The bill would provide record labels with a vital bargaining chip in their struggle for variable pricing on digital music sales, though, as Apple has so far maintained a stranglehold on pricing with its industry-leading iTunes service. Key members of the process say they have agreed to many of the weaker measures endorsed by senators, according to the Associated Press.