Norway puts it to Apple

Yahoo! News / Reuters:

Norway stepped up its battle with Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes on Thursday when its consumer ombudsman said the software giant must open access to its music download system by October 1 or face legal action.

Last June, Norway’s powerful ombudsman said iTunes violated Norwegian law by forcing consumers to play their downloaded music on Apple’s iPod music player — a landmark decision which prompted other European countries to review the situation.

Free-marketeers should keep their hats on. This is all about digital rights management, of course, and that means copyright. Copyright protects innovation and is a way of protecting reasonable interests and expectations in the free market, of course, but it is, after all, a state construct. Within some degree of reason the state axiomatically sets the parameters of the protection it will afford under copyright. Guess what: Here’s a parameter. Looks like the RIAA and Hollywood haven’t gotten to the hardy Norsemen yet.

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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

2 Responses to “Norway puts it to Apple”

  1. January 25, 2007 at 6:00 pm #

    Purely from a business point of view:
    I wonder how much apple stands to gain or lose from opening their DRM scheme to other devices. If I knew that I could play a track I bought at the apple store on Windows Media Player, or on a Zune, or whatever, I just may go on a shopping spree. As it stands, I don’t like the fact that if someone comes out with something better, I’ve got to re-buy a bunch of music…

    Note how none of this has to do with me wanting to give music to the world…

  2. January 28, 2007 at 1:06 pm #

    Good question, but it’s hard to imagine the Apple guys didn’t run this through their spreadsheets and conclude this is this the profit-maximization outcome. Of course they could be wrong, as they were when they refused to allow cloning of the Macintosh, for what look like very similar reasons. PC’s could be cloned, and a world of software bloomed even though everyone swears and swore that the Apple OS was superior to DOS / Windows.