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Apple Responds to French Law Proposal

Apple has been tight lipped about the law that the French Government has been debating that would force them to open up their DRM so that others could offer compeintg music stores and players.

In a statement, Apple spokeperson Natalie Kerris said that if the law passes, “legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers.” However, Kerris’ next comments seemed to suggest that the company was preparing to comply with the law, even if it disagreed with it. Furthermore, she even suggested Apple might somehow benefit from the law. “iPod sales will likely increase as users freely upload their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music which cannot be adequately protected,” she said.

I do agree that iPod sales could be the benficiary even if they do not like the law. Like it or not, they did not gain their huge market share just because of their DRM and their iTunes market. Now that the player is firmly entrenched, an increase in available music will just allow them to sell more. I am not really sure why the French government is taking this route. I am all for getting rid of DRM, but that is not really what this proposal is really all about. It is about interoperability, but why the government has chosen this particular path is somewhat inexplicable. They think they are fostering competition, but all they will end up doing is flooding the market with bootleg copies. It also still possible that Apple will pull out of France all together, the couple percent of their sales that wil be lost may not be as important as them protecting their intellectual property rights.

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Posted by Jeff

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