updated 10:15 am EDT, Thu August 3, 2006
Apple defends iTMS Norway
Apple in a letter to the Norway Consumer Council denies claims of acting illegally by restricting music purchased from its iTunes Music Store to only play on its own devices. Apple has said that its practice is "not unfair," but admitted that it should clarify its marketing situation, according to the Financial Times. "Our position is that this is a tool to lock consumers into their products," said Torgeir Waterhouse, a senior adviser to the Norwegian Consumer Council. "This is just the start of a long struggle. We are at the beginning of a booming digital market and if we don't win this one then we won't be able to achieve a fair marketplace."
Apple claims that its letter contains industrial secrets, but the company's claims were rejected by Norway's Ombudsman. The letter did surface with major portions censored out, however.
"I question why this is necessary," Waterhouse said.
The Ombudsman must now review Apple's response before deciding on possible further action. The final outcome of the battle between the Norway Consumer Council and Apple could prompt similar actions in other countries, following the lead of France which recently passed a law to open up Digital Rights Management such as Apple's FairPlay to competing entities.
iTunes vs. France
Apple refuted the new French law, which was watered down by the French Senate before finally passing both houses. The French Constitutional Council has since declared portions of the law unconstitutional, further diluting some of the controversial aspects of the bill.