Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Norwegian Consumer Council Declares Fairplay Illegal

The ombudsman and Norwegian Consumer Council have agreed - Apple's Fairplay DRM is illegal in Norway, citing a lack of interoperability between iTunes purchases and competitor's portable devices.
"It doesn't get any clearer than this. Fairplay is an illegal lock-in technology whose main purpose is to lock the consumers to the total package provided by Apple by blocking interoperability," Waterhouse told OUT-LAW.COM. "For all practical purposes this means that iTunes Music Store is trying to kill off one the most important building blocks in a well functioning digital society, interoperability, in order to boost its own profits."
Given Apple's ongoing issues surrounding DRM in France, there seems to be mounting pressure from European consumer groups for Apple to open up iTunes in Europe. It will be interesting to see how Apple would react to a court mandate to remove Fairplay from their products; after all, I can't imagine that iTunes Norway contributes too heavily to Apple's bottom line (i.e. not at all) - so would Steve comply or just shut down the store? The music industry can't control him - since when does Norway have any clout?
(via Out-Law)

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