updated 09:05 pm EST, Thu November 6, 2008
iTunes Norway conflict
Norway's Consumer Ombudsman has said that he will take Apple before the country's Market Council, as the computer manufacturer failed to provide a sufficient response to request that iTunes be made compatible with other media players than the iPod, according to CNNMoney. The Ombudsman, Bjoern Erik Thon, made a demand for action at the end of September but gave the company until November 3rd to submit comments before a case is heard. "iTunes has shown a lacking will to comply with our demand and we are now preparing to try this case in the Market Council," said Thon.
Apple has reportedly given explanations to customers about methods of circumventing the DRM restrictions, such as burning the tracks to a CD and then converting back to MP3 to be put on other devices. The agency sees the limited action as insufficient and a sign that Apple has no plans to change the iTunes content availability.
The conflict in Europe has been brewing for a few years now, with propositions coming from several countries including France, the UK, and Norway. Steve Jobs tried to explain the company's position early in 2007 by explaining that the company would actually prefer DRM-free music and "would embrace it in a heartbeat."
To remove the DRM from the available tracks, however, would require the big record labels to allow their music to be sold without restrictions. Jobs pointed out the futility of the labels' stance, considering the same companies that require DRM on any content sold on the Internet are also selling it on CDs without protection.
A Norwegian agency had responded to Jobs open DRM letter by putting responsibility back on Apple to spearhead the changes, and claimed that the company was trying to side-step the primary concerns. "[Steve Jobs] also goes on to turn the whole issue on its head by stating iPod owners are not locked into [the] iTunes Music Store - the issue our complaint [addresses] is of course the opposite, iTunes Music Store customers are locked to the iPod," the statement said.