Apple versus France (DRM issue)

The Herald Tribune has published a good article about the bill that is going to pass in the French senate this summer [link tot the article].

As you might have read somewhere, there is somewhat of a dispute going on between Apple and the French government. The latest are proposing a bill which will force companies like Apple to open up their DRM system. This would allow the enduser to buy music, video’s and digital media in general and play it on any equipment.
It is very funny to see how Apple is trying to protect the lock-in they have at the moment. Funny to see a company who is considered to be cool and innovative using old-school tactics of the 19th hundreds.

It is most likely that if this bill is passed in France, other countries in Europe will make a simmular bill. The first signs in that direction can be seen in Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

In most cases Government interference is bad. It stops innovation and is most of the times to restrictive. In this case I question the attitude of Apple. Forcing Apple to open their DRM model is good for the customer but at the same time gives Apple the opportunity to license their DRM model and receive income from that. Of course it mean that their model has to be superior to other DRM models, but that is a good business challenge.

Yahoo is selling it’s first DRM free music.

This could be significant [read the article].

French DRM Law Revised for iTunes

I am afraid that the French have no balls!
Read this article [link] in BetaNews. The French have watered down the original bill which would ban the use of DRM formats that are closed down for third parties. Or easier said; A person who buys a DRM protected piece of data should be able to play it on any equipment it has. So if I buy a song on iTunes I wouldn’t be forced to buy an Apple iPod to be able to play it on something else then my PC.

I hope the Scandinavians have bigger balls.

A DRM perfect world

I’ve been writing about the French and their approach about DRM. They are introducing regulation which will open up the issue around Digital Right Management used by different suppliers.

I have nothing against the French, I have nothing against DRM and I have nothing against Apple. But what I don’t like is being locked in by one supplier.
Apple has the market on online music sales with their iTunes and is expanding it into the video market as well. I don’t own Apple equipment and I am not going to buy it just because it enables me to buy from their website.

I want an open DRM model which enables me to play my music and video on any device from any brand I happen to own. Maybe the French initiative will help me.

First cracks showing in proprietary iTunes systems

Betanews reports about a possible break which could force Apple to open up its proprietary iTunes DRM model [link betanews]. iTunes is one of the most popular models for buying music on line. The biggest problem with the model is that Apple has made sure that music bought on iTunes can only be played on Apple equipment. With the recent introduction of all kind of home media equipment around the iPod, Apple has been trying to extend that lock in.

With the French move it could be that we can finally see Apple, but also Microsoft and the whole Music industry, be forced to use ‘open standard’ and to allow users who bought music to use it on any equipment they own. So playing your music on your PC, MP3 player, CD player, Car Stereo, etc.