Norway to challenge closed iTunes model

Norway to challenge closed iTunes model

Summary: Norway's Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon announced that he's taking Apple Inc. to the government's Market Council to force the company to open its iTunes music store to digital players other than its own iPod.

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware, Mobility
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Norway to challenge closed iTunes modelNorway's Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon announced that he's taking Apple Inc. to the government's Market Council to force the company to open its iTunes music store to digital players other than its own iPod.

Currently, songs purchased and downloaded through iTunes are designed to work with Apple's market-leading iPod players but not competitors' models, including those using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media system. Likewise, iPods generally can't play copy-protected music sold through non-Apple stores.

Two years ago Europe began a concerted effort to have Apple open iTunes so that purchased tracks could be played on any music player, not just the iPod. According to the report Apple has until 03 November 2008 to respond to the complaint, although Thon doesn't expect the Market Council to decide on the case sometime early next year.

How about making all music DRM-free? Wouldn't that solve all of our digital music problems?

(Tip: AP)

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Mobility

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11 comments
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  • And so it begins...

    ...although Norway aren't part of the EU you can be damn sure the Trade Commission are watching this one closely.
    Sleeper Service
  • It would solve DM problems, but create a large one for Apple

    as if many iPods are purchased on the strength of iTunes, then that could seriouslly affect the sales of the iPod itself.

    If that was not the case, then logiclly Apple would be offering 2 DRM versions of their music library: One for the iPod, and another for non iPod units.

    Revenue wise it would make sense to sell to everyone, would it not? And licensing a second DRM would be no more expensive then it would be for any other music service that is currently doing just that.
    GuidingLight
  • RE: Norway to challenge closed iTunes model

    So they pull all their DRMed stuff and don't replace it because big content won't let them. Apple looses sales and the people of Norway are forced to find somewhere else to get their music. Sounds like progress to me.
    bugmenot.com
  • Based on ignorance

    The integrated model of iTunes and iPods is successful because it works. But, anyone can download DRM-free music from Amazon, and many other sources and import it into iTunes and their iPods. In fact, it is the music companies that are forcing Apple to sell low quality, DRM'd music. In order to break Apple's stranglehold (which was based on a superior experience), the music companies are permitting many competitors to sell non-DRM, and better quality (256 kbps) music than they allow Apple. Norway is barking up the wrong tree!
    jorjitop
    • Well...

      [i]But, anyone can download DRM-free music from Amazon, and many other sources and import it into iTunes and their iPods.[/i]

      You can download any Windows-compatible media player you want to use, yet we all know how well that argument worked out for Microsoft when the EC came knocking at their door.
      Hallowed are the Ori
      • Wrong point..

        Windows and "windows compatible" has nothing to do with
        this.

        jorjitop is quite right in all but one crucial point.
        Amazon.com does not sell it's music to customers outside
        United States. I can't buy MP3:s from Amazon because I
        live in Finland, neighbor of Norway.

        Norway is barking up the wrong tree here. The lack of DRM
        free from iTunes and the restrictions on Amazon are both
        because of the big record labels and the customer is
        certainly suffering because of them.
        vmaatta
  • The simple Answer...

    is to repeal the DMCA; the biggest betrayal of technological innovation in the history of the world. GREED only wins the short term. DRM will disappear because as people emerge from the stupid state they've been in and realize that they can get better, the companies will move with them, it's happening already. Sometimes you need need landmark suits like this one to pull the public's heads out of their you know whats...
    reapur
    • Yeah but..

      If Apple could sell all the music DRM free they would. It's the
      record companies that don't allow it because they want to
      hurt iTunes. They want to bring iTunes' market share down
      so they could dictate how much they profit and how iTunes
      sells the music.

      Suing Apple accomplishes nothing. Everyone should be suing
      the big record companies.
      vmaatta
  • RE: Norway Not Barking!

    Closed license market behaviour is anticompetitive in open markets across Europe.This is the first of many challenges to monopolistic behaviour Apple will be receiving in the wake of MS behaviour.Norway is right to protect the consumer and the UK should be not too far behind.
    The Management consultant
  • How about making all music DRM-free? Wouldn???t that solve all of our....

    No.

    That would simply provide impetus for an even broader file theft industry. Why buy it when they give it away?

    His idea is correct, and in the US, apple is guilty of violating the antitrust act on many levels. They have hardware lockins on all of their products and services. This would'nt be an issue if they weren't saleable as seperate pieces, but since they are, it constitutes a breach.

    Though, I guess I guess if you're willing to pay for apple's degree of highway robbery limited hardware and software, you obviously don't understand the value of money to begin with, so, carry on.
    Spiritusindomit@...
  • RE: Norway to challenge closed iTunes model

    With new options opening to consumers every day including DRM free - vs DRM, paid vs ad-funded all these models in easy to use streaming and download stores, although iTunes was quick off the block, to maintain the lead, they need to listen to their customers on this.The consumer is in a position to dictate how they want their music and how much they want to pay for it. At We7, we have recognised this and offer a variety of options to our users the main theory being that they should be able to listen to and discover all the music they want for free and buy what they really love to do whatever they want with - i.e DRM free.

    Steve Purdham
    CEO - We7
    http://www.we7.com
    We7Steve