Apple's Jobs says 'Non!' to the French

Apple's Jobs says 'Non!' to the French

Summary: Steve Jobs will not be attending Apple Expo next month, and the company won't say why

TOPICS: Hardware

The mercurial Steve Jobs will not be attending Apple Expo in Paris next month, sparking speculation that his absence could be intended as a snub to the French.

In the past, Jobs had been a constant presence at the major European Apple exhibition. But after missing the last two for very good reasons, including serious illness, he was slated to attend this year's show.

On Monday, Apple confirmed that Jobs will not now not be attending this year's show, but did not give a reason why. Clémentine Tisserand, speaking on behalf of the show's organisers, Reed Expositions France, told Macworld UK on Monday that Jobs would not be delivering the show's keynote.

"There will be no keynote at this year's show," said Tisserand. That decision had been taken by the company, she said, but gave no further details.
The announcement immediately sparked speculation about Jobs's motives in turning down the opportunity to address European Apple users.

One theory was that this resulted from a spat between Apple and the French nation over the future of iTunes in France. French government officials had ruled that the digital rights management (DRM) used by Apple was unconstitutional, as it means that songs bought over iTunes can only be played on iPods or through iTunes. This, they argued, prevented other music player suppliers from competing.

In May the French Senate changed its tune slightly with the introduction of an amendment, which said a company that agrees to provide the code for accessing their music players will receive a licence fee as compensation, along with guarantees that the transfer of information will not weaken its copyright-protection measures.

At this stage, it appeared likely that Apple might carry out its threat to pull out of France, traditionally strong territory for the company, all together.

Then, in July, the company got further good news when France's Conseil Constitutionnel wrote more protection for copyright and digital rights management into its constitution.

It remains to be seen, though, whether this will calm Apple enough to stop it going through with its threat to remove itself from France.

There are other possible reasons behind Jobs's no-show in Paris, including a possible recurrence of the illness that hit him two years ago. Earlier this month, Apple found itself under pressure to squash rumours circulating around this subject.

Topic: Hardware


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • It is always funny, this difference between the corporate run
    USA and Europe, where laws, at least to some extent, are not directly writen bye the corporate gods.
    In a way, I sincerely hope both the Apple and the Windows gods would pull out of the rest of the world, including Europe.
    Anyway, deep down, there must be something elementary wrong in the way Jobs thinks. Pulling out of France or Scandinavia would make absolutly no inpact.
    Surely he must think there is some walue in his threat.
  • Ridiculous !

    That there would be a 'threat' that apple will pull from the french market.

    Ha Ha,

    There is no threat that apple would pull out of the French market whose people are always willing to pay a lot more for 'design' stuff. Next to northern-Italy I would know of no other european nation that are such good apple buyers.

    Apple's stance is anyway rediculous monopolistic about their music bussiness. They know it will have to end some day but they fight tooth and nail to stay the microsoft of music players..