iTunes Music Store rivals in Denmark push for DRM interoperability legislation similar to France

“Apple’s problems in Europe look to be getting worse, not better. Following on the heels of France’s legislative push for DRM interoperability comes word that Denmark is thinking along the same lines. Reportedly, Maersk and the country’s largest telecommunications company, TDC, are speaking out in favor of such interoperability. Maersk and TDC are not only two of largest companies in Denmark, but they are amongst the largest and most powerful in Europe. Both also operate online music ventures,” Ken Fisher reports for Ars Technica.

“Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister of Culture, said that legislation addressing the matter would be introduced in 2007. He expressed optimism that DRM interoperability would be backed by the various record labels who are eager to see legal alternatives to piracy flourish online,” Fisher reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Can’t compete? Try to legislate and/or litigate.

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Related articles:
Will Apple’s Steve Jobs bid France adieu? – March 22, 2006
Wired’s Kahney: Proposed French copyright protection law a good thing for consumers in the long run – March 22, 2006
Apple calls proposed French DRM law ‘state-sponsored piracy,’ predicts iPod sales increase – March 21, 2006
French National Assembly approves digital copyright bill; could affect Apple’s FairPlay DRM – March 21, 2006


  1. TDC is run by pirates. Only a little while ago did they remove pirating lists and child pornography from their own news servers. They are owned by American investors by the way, but in the process of being sold to other American investors I believe.
    Mærsk, on the other hand is a guy not even the Arabs fool around with. At the height of all this Muhammed cartoon farce, with the official boycott of Denmark and Danish products, not even Iran dared to boycott Mærsk. He controls 90% of the ships that move their oil.

    joe goes political!!

  2. Yes okay Apple Computer advertised iTunes Music Store, iTMS as being the only legal way to use the internet for downloading music, but isn’t that argument getting long in the tooth now?

    I stick with my previous comment here on MDN with the French law in that iRiver or other near competitor could be allowed access to iTMS with the only catch being that iRiver player owners or other near competitors device can only do so via a subscription.

    So as an iTMS customer and user of iTunes the store would display prominently somewhere ‘iRiver owners click here to subscribe to this service’. Current iPod users, me included, would just continue on blissfully as though nothing much other than a change in the design of the store front has happened.

    It is not Apple’s fault or anyone’s in particular if their device/service is the best around, any company in any market selling to the general public should do that, though Microsoft doesn’t and in the area of computing they are the only exception and are IMO ‘of what not to do’.

    iTMS could if Apple do this and this’ll be on Apple’s terms not iRivers as iRiver will have 0 choice in the matter just to save their own business, just to reiterate my previous comment in the French news item, iTMS could become a fully profitable business model for Apple Computer and not just as means to end piracy or just to sell iPods.

    If you own an iRiver player and don’t like music download subscription services even where just using iTunes to rip a CD is not enough for you, go buy an iPod instead!

  3. DRM-interoperability is simple and promotes REAL competition between retailers. If Sam Goody sold Paul Simon CD’s that only played on Sam Goody CD Players, it would be equally unfair to the consumer. Even if Sam Goody CD Players *are* the best ones out there, they still shouldn’t be able to lock the products they sell (not manufacture) to the hardware they manufacture. It’s anti-competitive, and if it’s not illegal already, it should be.

  4. Personally (and it doesn’t affect me anyway since I don’t live in France, but…) I don’t have problem with legislation that recognizes consumer “fair use” rights, including the right to circumventing DRM to exercise those rights. For backup, transfer, etc.

    For all practical purposes, Apple’s iTunes DRM restrictions already allow for this, anyway. No one has been compelled or forced to use iTunes to purchase music or iPods. Consumers all over the world have had (and still have) freedom of choice about what music player to buy and download service to use.

    Neither Apple, nor any other download (or subscription) service, should be compelled to share intellectual (or other) property with competitors under the guise of “consumer/fair use rights”. Especially since, in the case of these particular pieces of “consumer legislation”, it will be iTunes/iPods competitors reaping the real (read financial) benefits.

    Not consumers.

    And especially not Apple.

  5. Apple should now allow other MP3 players to use Fairplay. The other companies have all proved that they are incapable of coming up with a credible iPod alternative, so the iPod market share will remain the same. In the meantime, Apple gets money on the few occasions when someone else does sell something.

    If you think about it, if Creative players were Fairplay compatible, would you buy one? Or would you buy an iPod?

    BTW, Norway is also hinting that it might implement something similar. Looks like Apple may be forced into this after all.

  6. leodavinci:

    “Comsumers … have freedom of choice about what music player to buy and download service to use.”

    Not so. Buying an iPod limits you to one choice (iTunes) as a download service. And buying from iTunes as a download service limits you to one choice (iPod ) as a music player.

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