updated 09:55 am EDT, Tue August 1, 2006
Apple, anti-DRM complaints
Apple has offered a reply to criticism by consumer agencies in Scandinavia of its digital rights management (DRM) policy for iTunes. The Norwegian council is still reviewing the response which came in the form of a letter, according to InfoWorld, meeting the deadline set by those agencies which prompted Apple to defend itself. The letter will likely determine the future of the iTunes Music Store in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. "If they won't change anything, we'll most probably have to take them to the court in Sweden," Bjorn Smith said, a spokesman for the Swedish Consumer Agency. [updated, corrected]
The Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman first filed a complaint with Apple earlier this year, requesting that the company change some of its iTunes Music Store agreement terms and asking that the company defend its DRM policy.
The Consumer Council of Norway requested that the Ombudsman send the complaint to Apple, claiming that because digital music consumers can't play music purchased from iTunes on the player of their choice, the iPod-maker's DRM violates the Norwegian Copyright Act.
Norway did not wish to ask Apple to change the DRM policy without offering the company time to defend its policy, because that kind of change would require a major business model change, according to the report.
Some of the iTunes Music Store agreement terms also came under fire, which state that Apple retains the right to change the terms of purchases while claiming no responsibility for damage that iTunes software could incur to users' systems.
In early June consumer rights agencies in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden won a preliminary ruling, asking Apple to reply to their complaints by the 21st of June. Those groups later decided to extended the deadline to August 1st to allow Apple ample time to respond to their complaints.