iTunes - French say 'non'

  dms05 09:55 14 Mar 2006

Interesting article about the French attitude to DRM click here and how they might force Apple to open iTunes to competitors. They may also make it legal to crack DRM provided it is only to copy from one format to another. I've alos read elsewhere that the French are likely to make Peer to Peer swapping legal by including a tax on media.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 13:10 14 Mar 2006

Itunes can easily be copied to anohter format and the method is contained within here

  dstarr78 13:27 14 Mar 2006

Yehs thats for music[, you want ripped from a CD. But the music you download from iTunes is AAC format and it can't legally be cracked to make it available to swap it to another format.

  dms05 14:03 14 Mar 2006

dstarr78 is correct. AAC means you HAVE to use an iPod to play the music. The French believe you should be able to play the music on any format player if you have legally paid for it. They've decided against legalising Peer to Peer exchanging though. The article says Apple have taken 3 years to sell 1 billion tracks whereas 1 billion tracks are illegally exchanged over P2P networks each month.

  dstarr78 14:30 14 Mar 2006

It is pretty bad that they have been allowed to do this. I love my iPod very much, but I don't like that I won't be able to buy any other mp3 player other than an Apple one due to the amount of songs I've bought from Apple.

It'd be like, if you bought food from Tesco and it HAD to go into a Tesco fridge. There's no way that would be allowed, so why is this?

  dms05 15:34 14 Mar 2006

The long history of media reproduction has been one of open access. In the days of vinyl discs they would play on any record player. Then CD's would play on any make of CD player. DVD's would play on any player. Along comes Apple and only allows music media from their store to play on Apple brand iPods.

I'm sure in the early days people did try to make media specific to certain brands but in the long run open access worked. I think it may again given time.

Maybe the French are making the first steps in that direction.

  Stuartli 15:41 14 Mar 2006

My understanding is that the French always say Non.

  Monument 16:01 14 Mar 2006

iTunes allows you to burn your downloaded tracks to an Audio CD. Once you have that then conversion to another format is simple.

  dms05 16:17 14 Mar 2006

Yes but that involves 'cross media' conversion.

I think the French argue that within a Media type (ie computer files of the mp3 concept) that you should be able to run all (MP3/WMA/AAC etc) on all players - not just players from a specific brand (who also refuse to allow anyone else access to their file format).

So you should finish up with the same situation as CD/DVD/LP where any media will play on any player. Seems sensible to me.

I think the big music organisations would also like to slacken Apple's grip on their market.

  Forum Editor 18:38 14 Mar 2006

on this - once you've paid iTunes for a track and downloaded it to your PC you should be able to transfer the music directly to another device of your choosing, whoever the manufacturer of that device might be - your Tesco food analogy is a good one.

Limiting you to playing the music on only two devices - the PC you originally downloaded to, or an iPod is - in my opinion - a restrictive practice, and should be prohibited by legislation. There must come a point in this digital rights/copyright debate when commonsense prevails. By restricting the use of legally-downloaded files in this way iTunes are placing normally law abiding people on the horns of a moral dilemma; either they stick strictly to the letter of the law, and deny themselves the freedom of choosing a music player other than an iPod, or they bend the law and go for the cross-media conversion you mention.

Consumers ought not to be placed in this kind of situation, and I'm watching the French situation with interest. It's time that someone took a good look at the iTunes business model from the consumer's point of view - see my response to a reader's letter about iTunes UK pricing in the current edition of the magazine.

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