France is pushing through a law that would force Apple Computer Inc to open its iTunes online music store and enable consumers to download songs onto devices other than the computer maker's popular iPod player.
Under a draft law expected to be voted in parliament on Thursday, consumers would be able to legally use software that converts digital content into any format.
It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management -- the codes that protect music, films and other content -- if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France.
"It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up ... You have to be able to download content and play it on any device," Vanneste told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday.
Now, I can understand not wanting to have to get an iPod in order to listen to mp3s downloaded from the web. I've been toying with the idea of getting an mp3 player at some stage, just for portability reasons; I've gotten so used to having all of my music files on the computer with me that I feel bogged down with something as cumbersome and 20th-century as a CD player. But I wouldn't get an iPod because I simply have never met a piece of Apple hardware that I liked.
However, iTunes is not the only place on the web to download music legally. Personally I find Napster's service to be much preferred because you pay a flat fee rather than paying per song. As Lee over at RT points out:
This is nothing more than the French government seeing an American company selling an American device to French consumers, and being pissed off that a French company isn’t profiting from it, so they’ll use the power of the state to skew the market in their favor.
Yup. Sounds French.