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january 26, 2007:
france and germany join scandinavian groups in effort against apple itunes

Digital Media Wire reports: “In June of 2006 consumer agencies in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden charged that Apple was violating contract and copyright laws in those countries by not enabling customers to purchase, download, and play tracks from iTunes on their non-Apple portable players. A Norwegian official today revealed that French and German consumer groups have joined the Scandinavian countries in their efforts to pressure Apple.” Here is my take on this: Apple couldn’t have cared less (and probably didn’t) about having any DRM on their iTunes store – after all, they don’t sell DRM, they sell cool hardware (and only then some music).

It’s the major record labels that asked for it, and it’s those same labels that should solve the problem by dropping the stifling DRM requirements. If Apple went for an open MP3 format (which they must do, ASAP, anyway), iTunes would just be one of many online stores and destinations that could sell music, but of course iPods and Macs and iPhones would still sell just as much as today (in fact, probably even more). In my view, going after Apple for not having an open standard is understandable (and obvious), but it’s really the labels that should be forced to open up their licensing policies. DRM is killing the market for digital music; it’s as simple as that. Open formats, flexible pricing, open licensing standards – and we would have another huge growth spurt in digital music.