Apple calls proposed French DRM law ‘state-sponsored piracy,’ predicts iPod sales increase

“Apple Computer Inc. said on Tuesday a proposed French law that would force Apple to make sure that songs bought on its iTunes music store can work on any portable player would result in ‘state-sponsored piracy,'” Reuters reports. “‘The French implementation of the EU Copyright Directive will result in state-sponsored piracy,’ said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. ‘If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers.'”

“The new legislation would require that online music retailers provide the digital rights management software that protects copyright material to allow the conversion of music in one format to another,” Reuters reports. “But Apple said the law, which it opposes, would likely actually increase its sales of iPod music players. ‘iPod sales will likely increase as users freely upload their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music which cannot be adequately protected,’ Kerris said. ‘Free movies for iPods should not be far behind.'”

The bill must now go to France’s Senate for a second reading [expected to begin in early May], and a vote, before it becomes law.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Too Hot!” for the heads up.]

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Related article:
French National Assembly approves digital copyright bill; could affect Apple’s FairPlay DRM – March 21, 2006


  1. I think I am alone in this position on this board, but yee haw! I’m opposed to DRM or any kind and formatt wars are something we should have left in the 80’s. If I buy music I want to own music, not a right to play it on what the RIAA thinks I should be able to play it with.

    I hope other countries follow suit. The idea that it wil increase piracy is proposterous. Anyone can get an illegal copy of just about any song pretty easily. To stop piracy you would have to prevent even one song from leaking thorugh a DRM strategy. Once the torrent sites have one free copy of a new album it’s game over piracy wise. A bunch of people in France with DRM free MIchael Jackson songs isn’t going to change that.

    Apple is mad about this because they have a great situation where buying one of their products leads you to buy another and another. Without that mechanism working for Apple, or any content or hardware supplier, the consumer will have the entire free market at their disposal. It may be bad for Apple, becaus ethey have no where to go but down, but if they maintain a superior music player and a superior store, without relying on one to bolster the other, they should be able to maintain the lead they have.

  2. That was clever of her to throw in the comment about “free movies not being far behind”! …she correctly assumes that that comment will get the Hollywood lobbying interests into gear, increasing the chances that the law will be shot down or rendered too weak to be of much consequence! smart…


    DRM IS A LIE. When an agenda driven DRM infection peddler gets on a soapbox and blathers about how it is necessary to protect the BMW payments of a producer who leeches off the talented, rest assured, they are lying to you. DRM has absolutely nothing to do with protecting content, it is about protecting the wallets of major corporations. The funny thing is they aren’t protecting it from you, they are protecting it from each other.


  4. …freely upload their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music which cannot be adequately protected,’

    What this means is Apple’s hardware can’t and won’t support a DRM standard from another maker.

    Someone could create a real iPod killer, some portable player that takes a couple of G5 processors to decode the DRM and then under the French law, Apple would have to support it, meaning they would have to upgrade their iPods to have two G5 processors.

    Stupid French law, piggybacked on a real purpose bill.

    Funny it works the same in our great USA too.

  5. Free movies for iPods should not be far behind.’

    And there’s the threat from Apple. The iPod is famous enough without needing a music/movie store anymore which makes no profit and creates aftermarket headaches.

    Apple would love to sell a DRM free/universal player now.

  6. yeah, i feel really punished for only being able to copy a protected file five times, or make unlimited mp3 or audio cd’s worth of protected content, which i can re-import into my playlist and then do whatever i want with it.

    man, apple really hates consumers and only loves money. they are so strict with their DRM! i mean, i REALLY need to be able to copy my songs as many times as possible! why? umm… well, that’s none of your business!

  7. There’s nothing wrong with DRM in concept – it’s natural that the copyright holders want some protection of their property. However, what is totally unacceptable is that companies such as Apple can produce proprietary DRM schemes that then lock you into their brand of media player. This is clearly an anti-competitive ploy. Those on this board who retort that all you have to do is burn to CD then rip to MP3 clearly don’t understand that audio quality losses this incurs – on an already compromised audio standard. DRM should be an open standard, leaving me free to play the music I purchase on the player of my choice.

  8. DRM should be an open standard, leaving me free to play the music I purchase on the player of my choice.

    What companies open standard?


    Rememeber hardware decoding has to a lot to do with DRM too.

    If I’m company A with lock on processors that can decode my DRM faster than anyone elses, everyone is forced to use the same DRM…

    You can see where this is going.

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