Apple hit by Swedish anti-iTunes pressure

Ryan Block
R. Block|06.11.06

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Apple hit by Swedish anti-iTunes pressure
France's iPod law came and went, and Denmark's anti-iTunes Music Store pressure didn't really seem gather a whole lot of steam; we just saw Norway turn to their own national consumer ombudsman for assistance in prying open Apple's FairPlay DRM so Apple music will, um, play fairly on other devices. But now we can tack on another to the growing number of European nations dissatisfied with Apple's DRM lockbox: Sweden. The Swedish Consumer Agency spokeswoman Marianne Aabyhammar had this to say about the Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish anti-iTunes triumvirate: "iTunes' terms and conditions are illegal in all three countries," and "If iTunes fails to improve its terms and conditions in Sweden, we may take the case to Sweden's market court." Funny how this same spirit of Swedish openness drove Jens of Sweden out of business, but let's keep focused; there's no denying that we're past the tipping point, and the pressure by European states for Apple to open its music systems change its ways is only going to increase in virulence. If Apple's going to make it out of this one unscathed, it seems like they might have to seriously reconsider their business model -- at least in Europe.

Update: according to iTWire, the DRM is apparently not the specific target of the Scandi triumvirate, but is rather the end user terms and conditions outlined by Apple's iTMS. Norway's Consumer Council, for example, apparently takes an anti-DMCA stance and allows for the lawful breaking of DRM for fair use purposes -- which is what's in question here. So even though the issue at hand may not be about the DRM, it's still about the DRM. And we all know (and have known) what's really at stake here is getting Apple to open up and allow people to listen to the music they bought on whichever playform they choose, right? Ok, good.
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