Norway puts it to Apple
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.