Norway complains about Apple iTunes Music Store

“Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman has filed a complaint with Apple’s music download sales service iTunes, arguing that the transaction terms violate Norwegian law. The move is the latest step in Scandinavian skepticism towards the successful service’s protection system of songs sold for use on Apple’s massively popular iPod player,” Joacim Lund and Jonathan Tisdall report for Aftenposten.

“Sales at iTunes are downloaded in a format expressly designed to be played on iPods, and if users want to play their music in another format on another advice after purchase, they must violate their agreement,” Lund and Tisdall report. “Consumer Ombudsman Bjørn Erik Thon told TV 2 that Apple iTunes would either have to change their practices in Norway or pay fines.”

Full article here.

“Apple was reported to Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman earlier this year by The Consumer Council of Norway, an independent consumer rights organization. The Consumer Council complained that the iTunes Music Store’s terms and conditions and DRM violated Norway’s Marketing Control Act,” Peter Cohen reports for Playlist.

“The group called FairPlay ‘an unreasonable technical term of use, in so far as it prevents purchasers of music files at iTunes from using other MP3 players than iPods. The sole purpose of this type of DRM is to lock consumers into buying products from a dominant market player.’ The group said in its complaint that Apple’s terms of service for using the iTunes Music Store expressly forbids users from circumventing the DRM, and said that such a restriction is forbidden under Norway’s Copyright Act,” Cohen reports.

Full article here.
We’ll comment as soon as we finish playing our Norwegian-bought Xbox games on the PlayStation we picked up in Oslo; right after we download some songs from MSN Music Norway that play on our Macs and iPods. But, first, we’re going listen to Apple iTunes Music Store-purchased songs on our Motorola SLVR mobile phone.

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Related articles:
Consumer Council of Norway files a complaint regarding Apple iTunes Music Store’s terms of service – January 27, 2006
Apple’s vs. Microsoft’s music DRM: whose solution supports more users? – August 17, 2005

70 Comments

  1. Macromancer. I respectfully disagree (Wow, has phrase ever been used by an MDN reader before? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” /> )

    Someone can’t play music on their (inferior) Creative mp3 player, and MDN’s response is to forget about it because why would one expect to be able to play Xbox games on their Playstation. Its a silly comparision.

  2. J, Jeff . . . Why aren’t you two bitching about Microsoft’s DRM policy as loudly as you are about Apple’s? Just because WMA-locked tunes play on MORE devices doesn’t make MS’s restrictions any less onerous than Apple’s for an individual user.

    Now, if you’re against ALL music protection schemes, that’s one thing. But to grouse solely about Apple’s relatively benign DRM is unfair and hypocritical.

  3. “J,

    What about MDN’s excellent point that Motorola mobile phones play iTunes songs? That totally destroys Norway’s argument all by itself.”

    Fred. Yes, it does. But the Motorola example also demonstrates is that it isn’t such a stretch to have Fairplay music playing on other devices, or as MDN would say “an X-Box playing Playstation games.” Comparing mp3 players to gaming consoles simply does not work.

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