Following up on an earlier post (here), lawmakers in France’s National Assembly have approved a bill bu a 2 to 1 margin that would force companies that employ proprietary formats to open them up som competitiors would be able to offer competing hardware and downloads. The company that is affected the most by this is Apple with their iPod’s and iTune’s using a format that no one else can offer or play.
So who wins and who loses here? It is not quite that easy. Of course it would be nice if all players shared a common format, but that will never happen. With the largest percentage of users, both the iPod and iTunes have nowhere to go but down, so Apple can gain nothing by this. Micorosft? Seems to not affect them all that much, they aren’t a leader in this field, and probably wouldn’t be in a more competitive field either. Consumers? It’s a mixed bag. Being able to choose where to buy music may sound nice, but if you let the recording companies have control of pricing, watch out. Giving them a choice of hardware would be nice for them, but Apple has yet to be outdone on design and ease of use. So, they end up with some options, but will most likely pay dearly for the option of choosing other music providers.
The funniest quote in the article is the following: “It is important to consumers to have the ability to move songs between their various listening devices,” said John Kennedy, chairman and CEO of the International Federation of the Recording Industry. I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment, but of course the recording industry are the ones that want to restrict how many devices you can use and exactly how you should use it. So, the quote sounds good, but is disingenuous at best.
The bill still needs to be passed by the Senate in order to become law, expected to begin in May.
Posted by Jeff