TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: France Adopts Toned Down Version of Download Law

France Adopts Toned Down Version of Download Law

Reuters News Wire (
Fri, 30 Jun 2006 13:19:37 -0500

The French parliament on Friday adopted a watered-down version of a
law once seen as posing a major threat to the future of online media
stores like Apple's iTunes in France.

The law, intended to counter the dominance of industry leaders like
Apple or Microsoft in online media stores, aroused bitter opposition
in its original form and sparked suggestions Apple might pull its
iTunes operation out of France.

In its initial form, the bill would have forced online stores like
iTunes to drop barriers that prevent songs it sells being played on
portable MP3 devices and computers designed to work with another music

At present, songs bought on iTunes can only be played directly on
Apple technology like the iPod although they can also be burned onto

But after amendments introduced in the Senate, the law allows
companies to argue that measures to restrict the technical
compatibility of songs or films sold online were undertaken at the
request of the authors.

The law, passed without a further reading after a special
administrative measure from the Minister of Culture, was condemned by
the opposition Socialists and several deputies in the ruling UMP

The Socialists said they would seek a ruling by the Constitutional

But the government said it provided adequate rights for both consumers
and operators.

"It will allow the development of legal services," Culture Minister
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said.

Apple's iTunes service is currently the biggest online content store
after the runaway success of the iPod player but it faces competition
from several rivals including Sony Corp , Dell Inc. and Microsoft.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily. And, discuss this and other topics in our forum at (or)

For more tech news each day, please go to:

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Grant Gross, IDG : "A Lose/Lose Situation for Telcos"
Go to Previous message: Lisa Baertlein: "Google Checkout Makes Debut"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page