“So France doesn’t like the idea that Apple and the iPod and iTunes are intertwined with a proprietary structure that has no way for any other player/music download service to compete. The French say that Apple must either open the kimono, as it were, or be banned. Apple thinks it may as well walk away from France,” John C. Dvorak writes for PC Magazine. “Screw those French!”
“The French are also skeptical about the whole movie-piracy phenomenon. Why should illegally downloading the equivalent of a $19 disc result in a $250,000 fine and 5 years in prison? Shoplifting a $100 item from a store—which is tangible and real—has fewer consequences. Does this make any sense to anyone? The French don’t think so. Illegally copying movies or downloading should be like a traffic ticket—perhaps a $100 fine. Now they are being accused of ‘encouraging’ piracy. How’s that? $100 is a lot of money,” Dvorak writes. “The American tendency to prioritize poorly seems to be thematic. It took yet another new twist when a get-tough stance against Wi-Fi poaching cropped up in Illinois. Yes, forget burglary, where someone steals something tangible. Instead, we need to bust Wi-Fi poachers… Law enforcement should not be wasting the taxpayers’ money looking inside every car where they see some guy sitting reading a newspaper, in hopes of finding a Wi-Fi poacher… I’m moving to France.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Alan” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: France’s idea of making the penalty fit the crime might be sound, but the proposed law would unfairly penalize the one company that worked and built their business to market dominating levels while also rewarding all of the also-rans for failure. We can see how that idea might sound good to a socialist in France, but it hardly strikes us as a good deal for Apple. What is the impetus to create successful businesses in France, if the government makes a habit of throwing all of your hard work out the window to the benefit of those who couldn’t compete on a level playing field? Apple should pull the plug on France if the proposed law ever actually does get enacted as written today.
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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