Friday, March 17, 2006

France to open up iTunes

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 the proposed law it would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management if it is to enable to the conversion from one format to another.

Read more here.

What might the implications of this proposed law? Should other nations consider implementing a similar law? Why? Why not?

2 comments:

Simon said...
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Simon said...

In my opinion, the legislation seems to contradict itself. One the one hand it imposes fines and jail for those who download illegal files and create and distribute file sharing software (i.e. fight piracy). But it also allows consumers to circumvent file protection embedded in itune mp3's, so that they can be shared across other hardware platforms. This will only allow these files to be more easily distributed across P2P networks...

Anyway, the positive implications of this law are that it will further restrict illegal file distribution. Everyday users - by the thousands - need to be prosecuted for it to be effective. Other countries must implement similar laws for this to be effective otherwise the technology will still be available to be downloaded from other domains and servers can obviously exist in other countries.

The negative implications of this law is that it will stifle file sharing technology. The technology has many valid uses - this is the way of the future!! Further, a lot of independent artists actually use this technology as a great marketing tool. A popular file, by an unknown artist, distributed amongst a popular P2P network can make a superstar overnight!!

I think the French got it right the first time - laws relating to file sharing technology should be relaxed. Everyone should just pay an annual fee to download as much as they want the proceeds should be distributed to the artists a la APRA. The technology will never be stopped - the cat is already out of the bag...