Norway gives Apple until June 21 to change iTunes Music Store terms

“Apple Computer Inc. and its iTunes shop in Norway have until June 21 to change the terms of conditions for the download of files, having been found to have broken local consumer protection law in a number of ways,” Peter Clarke reports for EE Times. “If Apple does not make its songs playable on all music devices by June 21, it faces fines which would then be followed by court action. And Apple is facing similar moves in other countries across Europe, according to reports.”

“The Consumer Council of Norway filed an original complaint against iTunes Music Store on Jan. 25 2006 and on June 6, was told it had won support for almost all its complaints. The legal decision agrees that the terms of agreement demanded by iTunes are unreasonable with respect to Section 9a of the Norwegian Marketing Control Act,” Clarke reports. “The key findings are: that iTunes has tried to impose English law on the contract; that iTunes digital rights management restricts the use of iTunes to Apple’s iPod, and that iTunes reserves the right to change unilaterally consumers’ rights to access material already purchased.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Apple’s iTunes Music Store faces fresh legal attacks from Norway and Sweden – June 09, 2006
Norway complains about Apple iTunes Music Store – June 07, 2006
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

88 Comments

  1. Doing my best Al Pacino in GF2 voice:

    If you want, I will give you my answer now……

    If I were Apple I would file a counter-suit vs. Microsoft saying that Norway is playing favorites by forcing ppl to buy the PS2 versions of Medal of Honor for their PS2. Instead of making the X-Box version work on the PS2 as well and MS needs to bear the cost of providing the inter-system compatibility.

  2. I actually agree on the point that they shouldn’t be able to change the terms after you have purchased something. I can’t see how that could hold up in any court, if you are supposedly buying something vs. a subbscription/rental where the material doesn’t actually belong to you.

  3. I noticed a link at the bottom of this article….download this article, print this article, license this article………license the article!?!?! Where does all this end? Itunes music might have DRM, but i chose to abide by that when i download the songs to begin with. And i can burn them to a audio cd and convert back, albiet at a sound quality loss, to mp3 or whatever format. At least I don’t have to sign/click a licensing agreement everytime i play the song….but if the RIAA had it’s way, it would be just like that.

  4. Remember when there were all those fscking whiners on MDN complaining and complaining and complaining “We don’t have iTMS. Oh, we need iTMS, why can’t we have it. Oh, Apple, when we will ever get iTMS. Drat, can’t get music because we don’t have iTMS, when will Steve grace us with iTMS.”

    Well stick bloody iTMS up your herring filled asses, scandavian dumbasses. Enjoy it for the next nine days, you stupid whiny twats.

    (Seriously…make it compatible with other players? What’s Apple supposed to do, go hat in hand to Microsoft to license WMA, which Microsoft doesn’t even offer for the computers Apple manufactures? How fscking retarded can you be? Maybe its all mercury-laden herring going to their heads.)

  5. Rather than being reactive to this, you really should consider the three main findings noted above and how fair it is for Norway to pursue Apple over this.

    I have downloaded 71 songs from iTunes since it opened here in Australia, and find the fact that Apple “reserves the right to change unilaterally consumers’ rights to access material already purchased” as unfair. It was also unreasonable for Apple to have imposed English law on the contract in Norway.

    Regarding lock-in, while I fully acknowledge Apple’s obligation with DRM, I think its decision to restrict playback to iTunes (on Mac, PC and mobile) and iPod is inhibiting in the long run for the growth of digital music as a platform in which the best competitor can win out, rather than Apple who took the early lead and chose to lock in customers.

    Sure, for the forseeable future I probably won’t encounter any problems with this, but what happens if I wish to choose a non-Apple supported device for my music in the future when my iMac/iPod are ready to be replaced? I can’t honestly see Apple being beaten in the iTunes/iPod combo any time soon, but in the very least I should have the right to choose.

    CD burning/ripping is not an acceptable workaround.

    So rather than getting defensive for Apple (have you no awareness that this is just a company?), we should make sure that Apple is kept in line and helps to grow the digital music industry (which i truly believe is its intention), rather than simply ensuring its own short-term agenda.

  6. the same demands are going to be made across europe. pulling out of norway is not a realistic long term option unless apple is prepared to eventually pull itunes out of europe.

    there is no connection between video games or windows software. in both of those cases, people do not have a reasonable expectation that the software will work on other systems. people do have such expectations when buying music.

  7. Europe fought Microsoft (bigger and more money than Apple and won) with regard to the monopoly on Media Player on the Desktop. They’re not about to let Apple walk all over them and have a hardware monopoly, now are they?

    What Norway and similar countries are doing to Apple is no different than what they did to Microsoft.

    Apple NEEDS to license FairPlay to other Vendors. If the ipod really is superior, it won’t matter, will it? I haven’t seen a GOOD argument for the Apple-DRM. License it… so I can play itms songs on an iRiver. Make it the standard. The INDUSTRY REALLY needs a standard.

    I prefer iPod, but when you think about it, there’s no real competition for it.

  8. Fcuk the Norwegians! They are all pissed anyway! Europe is trying to be something it is not and trying to do do it decades before it actually can.

    Norway and Sweden and some of the other ‘small’ countries will be but a glitch in the force if Apple pull the itunes service.

    The wankers deserve nothing. let them eat cake and vodka!

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