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Norwegian government pushes for open iTunes Store

updated 10:05 am EDT, Mon September 29, 2008

Norway vs. iTunes Store

Apple should soon face scrutiny from the Norwegian government over practices at the iTunes Store, writes the Associated Press. Bjoern Erik Thon, the consumer ombudsman for Norway, says he is planning to bring Apple in front of the government's Market Council, over allegations that the iTunes Store is closed off to non-Apple media players. The company has until November 3rd to respond; Thon has been pushing for a voluntary change for two years however, on the basis that Apple's practices break Norwegian law.

The problem, Thon alleges, is that DRM-protected files sold through iTunes will work only on iPods and iPhones. Even iTunes Plus files, technically DRM-free, are still sold in the uncommon M4A format. iPods are also incapable of playing Windows Media files, despite their being one of the most common types of DRM-protected media.

"It's a consumer's right to transfer and play digital content bought and downloaded from the Internet to the music device he himself chooses to use," says Thon. "iTunes makes this impossible or at least difficult, and hence, they act in breach of Norwegian law."

The Market Council's decision is expected in early 2008, and could have international ramifications for Apple's business. Denmark, Finland, France, Germany and the Netherlands are said to back Norway's efforts.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bearcatrp

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    This is a crock..

    of c***. If the files you downloaded don't work on your device, its your fault for not insuring it works. Apple, tell them to eat crow and pull out of that country. There are plenty of other devices that play windows media files. This is Microcrap stiring up this c***!

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    this sort of thing

    stifles innovation.

    It is OK to sell Windows Media DRM files, which are proprietary, even though they do NOT play on the most popular music player -- would have to sell in AAC or MP3 for that, but it is not OK to sell the iPod because they don't play Windows Media files?

    This is why Europe is screwed up.

    I think someone in the Norwegian government, or maybe the King, got a different sort of player or did not buy an iPod and is mad now :)

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Norway only!

    Please go back to your geo-books. Norway != Europe... :-)
    Actually, they are not even part of EU:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofEuropeanUnionmemberstatesby_accession

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Norway only!

    Please go back to your geo-books. Norway != Europe... :-)
    Actually, they are not even part of EU:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofEuropeanUnionmemberstatesby_accession

    But I do think this is a silly case

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Norway go away

    Well I like that iTunes could read every music format that exist. But you can already do iTunes conversions from lots of several formats (MP3 etc).

    This is all Norway Bullshit subsided by M$$$$.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Norway go away

    Well I like that iTunes could read every music format that exist. But you can already do iTunes conversions from lots of several formats (MP3 etc).

    This is all Norway Bullshit subsided by M$$$$.

  1. Dez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Car

    My petrol car will break if I put diesel fuel in the tank. Who should I sue?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    Re: this sort of thing

    stifles innovation.

    How, exactly, does this stifle innovation? In fact, most people would tell you that by having better competition, it would drive innovation, not stifle it. Differentiate yourself on quality, capability, value. Apple can do all of this, no? They don't have to go the way of M$ and just try to keep users locked into their eco-system, like MS does with Windows.

    If Apple just licensed FairPlay to other device makers, all would be for the best, wouldn't it? Oh, right, I'm talking to the macNN crowd of "Apple-first and only!"ers!

    It is OK to sell Windows Media DRM files, which are proprietary,

    iTMS files with Fairlay are proprietary as well. They have no problem with proprietary. In fact, MP3 and AAC are technically proprietary, since they are owned specs, not 'open'.

    even though they do NOT play on the most popular music player -- would have to sell in AAC or MP3 for that, but it is not OK to sell the iPod because they don't play Windows Media files?

    This is why Europe is screwed up.


    No, this is why YOU are screwed up. You don't understand the complaint.

    You complain about WM files not playing on an iPod, but that's not M$'s fault. They'll license WMA to anyone who wants to sign up. It is Apple who is keeping the files off the iPod, not MS.

    And they aren't complaining about MS files because (a) MS doesn't control the whole market of both devices and media for the devices, and (b) the DRM you whine about is available for use on many different devices, so the consumer has CHOICE.

    And I know CHOICE is one of those things Apple-lovers hate. They'd prefer having only a couple of Apple-supplied options, and that's it. Makes it easier for them to live. But a lot of people like choice. They might have owned an iPod, but found some Samsung player nicer because it has built-in bluetooth capabilities and a radio.

    But they're now locked into Apple's ecosystem (unless they want to try to convert all their crappily encoded 128kbps AAC files into CDs to then re-crappyily encode them to MP3 or unprotected AAC).

    I think someone in the Norwegian government, or maybe the King, got a different sort of player or did not buy an iPod and is mad now :)

    And wouldn't you be? Oh, right, you would just give apple the pass and say "That's OK, I'll just buy all my music again!"

  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Open

    The main difference between WMA DRMed files is that anyone can license the technology and build it into their player. Apple does not do this and instead won't license the technology to anyone. In a nutshell Apple is preventing anyone but them being able to play the files from iTunes, this should not be the case. As to whether having the non-DRMed files in M4A, this is the next version of MP3 so I don't agree with the argument of it being uncommon when a)70% of MP3 players i.e. iPods play it, and Sony-Ericsson and Nokia who control 90% of the cell-phone marketplace also support it. Therefore, I would say M4A is one of the most commonly supported formats.

  1. appleusr

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    ANd which

    Which stores can I use my ipod with on my mac...Zune store nope oh there are none.

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