“Apple Computer Inc. could negotiate new deals with record labels and artists to sidestep French government plans to open the copy-protection technology of its iTunes music service to rivals, under a draft Senate amendment to be voted on this week,” Laurence Frost reports for The Associated Press. “The amendment, proposed by the Senate Cultural Affairs Committee, softens the terms of a government-backed copyright bill Apple criticized as “state-sponsored piracy” after its first reading in March by lawmakers in France’s lower house.”
Frost reports, “The Senate committee’s changes could allow Apple to maintain the exclusive link between iTunes and the iPod, lawyers and officials told The Associated Press. Under the key amendment, compatibility disputes would be taken to a new regulatory authority that would have the power to order exclusive file formats be shared – but only if the obstacles they pose are ‘additional to, or independent of, those explicitly decided by the copyright holders.’ In other words, Apple and Sony could continue to refuse to share their FairPlay and ATRAC3 file formats, provided they obtain the authorization of artists and other copyright holders whose music they sell online, said Valerie Aumage, an online copyright specialist with Paris law firm Dubarry Le Douarin Veil. ‘As long as Apple can show that the restrictions conform to the wishes of copyright holders, there would be no case to answer,’ she said.”
“The draft amendment follows intensive lobbying by the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company, which sent representatives including iTunes designer Bud Tribble to Paris last month for a series of meetings with senior lawmakers. The Brussels-based Business Software Alliance, which campaigns on behalf of major software and hardware makers including Apple, Microsoft Corp. and Hewlett Packard Co., has also warned that the draft legislation would harm the fight against piracy and undermine new technologies like high-definition DVDs,” Frost reports. “The Senate is expected to complete its reading of the copyright bill in coming days, after which the legislation passes to a joint committee of Senators and lower-house deputies, charged with hammering out a compromise text.”
More in the full article here.
• Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
• Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
• Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
• Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
Vive l’iTunes! French ‘state-sponsored piracy’ DRM law gutted in committee – May 01, 2006
Force open Apple’s FairPlay? What has possessed the French this time? – April 27, 2006
French Trade Minister: Apple’s iTunes must play fair in French music market – April 14, 2006
JP Morgan: French DRM law will have limited impact on Apple Computer – March 28, 2006
Dvorak: What the French got right with proposed DRM law – March 28, 2006
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