iTWire’s Beer: Europe’s misguided attempt to censure Apple iPod+iTunes is exercise in stupidity

“With the rest of Europe looking on approvingly, France and the Scandinavian triumvirate of Sweden, Denmark and Norway are attempting to censure Apple for tying one piece of its intellectual property to another piece of its intellectual property… Blind Freddie can see that Apple’s wildly successful business model works because of a number of factors, two of the main ones being that iTunes is a wonderful concept and the iPod is a lovely product. However, there is a third factor which is equally important. The relationship between iTunes and iPod is symbiotic. Any attempt to severe the connection between the two facets of Apple’s business is just not on,” Stan Beer writes for iTWire.

“This is yet another exercise in stupidity. Apple has fought hard to keep prices of music from record companies at an affordable level for consumers so that they’ll buy products from Apple rather than resort to piracy,” Beer writes.

“It seems that in their zeal to enforce their own peculiar brand of socialism in the consumer space, European governments feel that they must curb the excesses of evil US capitalist technology companies like Apple, which won its market share fairly in a highly competitive market, despite being very late on the scene. It seems that Apple’s major crimes are being innovative, producing superior products and, above all, being American. These are heinous crimes indeed in a part of the world where the 35 hour working week, six weeks annual paid holidays and a reputation for technological mediocrity have become the norm,” Beer writes.

Full article here.
Nice article form Beer. Just a note of clarification: A song purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store can be burned to audio CD an unlimited amount of times and played on any CD player and/or imported into any portable music player than offers a method of importing from standard audio CDs. iPods can import from audio CD and iTunes can import in MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV, and Apple Lossless formats. Users do not need an iPod in order to use and purchase from iTunes Music Store. Users do not need to use or purchase from iTunes Music Store in order to use an iPod. So, obviously, iPod is not “tied” to iTMS and iTMS is not “tied” to iPod.

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Related articles:
Apple awaits final approval of French DRM Legislation – June 23, 2006
French lawmakers agree to water down DRM bill that would affect Apple’s iTunes – June 21, 2006
It’s no wonder EMI is supporting Apple in France – May 23, 2006
EMI backs Apple on French DRM law – May 23, 2006
BusinessWeek: still very possible that Apple will close iTunes Music Store in France – May 12, 2006
French copyright bill approved: Apple will not have to share FairPlay DRM details with competitors – May 11, 2006
French Senate vote could offer loophole for Apple’s iTunes – May 09, 2006
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

Can Scandinavians really force Apple to change iTunes Store terms? – June 16, 2006
Scandinavian triumvirate extends deadline to August 1 for Apple to reply to iTunes concerns – June 14, 2006
Norway gives Apple until June 21 to change iTunes Music Store terms – June 12, 2006
Norway: iTMS DRM under scrutiny, Microsoft DRM next – June 09, 2006
Consumer Council of Norway files a complaint regarding Apple iTunes Music Store’s terms of service – January 27, 2006


  1. “These are heinous crimes indeed in a part of the world where the 35 hour working week, six weeks annual paid holidays and a reputation for technological mediocrity have become the norm,”

    I don’t understand how that matters. In the United States and in other Western democracies, money talks, and money buys influence. Apple’s “beleaugered” competitors can’t compete (Micro$oft) and they pay high-priced lobbyists to influence governments here and abroad. Their social priorities really don’t have anything to do with corruption in government. That can, and does, happen everywhere.

  2. The record companies really are the bad ones. I have some friends in a small band that recently got put on iTunes, and they said that after Apple and the record company take out their chunks of the music, the band itself gets something like 7 cents per download. That’s crazy.

  3. on the other hand an independent artist can join iTunes and get anywhere from 63 – 80 cents per download..depending on the distributor and country where the track was downloaded! (I speak from experience)

    So leave iTunes artists will go independent.

  4. I’ve never understood why people argue against the way Apple sells this product since you can burn CD’s to put music on other devices, plus, if anything Apple is the champion of low cost downloads.

  5. And what the hell is up with that 38 (comma) 5? I guess the decimal is lost in Europe…

    Actually 7 cents isn’t bad of course the record company gets 90 Apple gets 2 and the band gets 7 – now thats fair – But if the band wasn’t on iTunes they would get nothing! It is easier to get noticed on iTunes then a dusty CD in the back of a record store.

  6. MDN, you’re way off base here. This guy’s article is a Fox News style rant against European “commies” hurting our poor American companies that are “just trying to earn an honest buck”. If Apple wants to play in the international market then stuff like this is inevitable, and not necessarily wrong. People are overreacting to the Scandinavian demands here, which I think are perfectly reasonable and consumer friendly.

    I know the US government believes that companies rights are more important that individuals, but when did the US public buy into this as well?

  7. MDN says over and over again that iTMS files can be burned to a CD and ripped to any format needed.

    What MDN fails to say is that the major Labels have lobbied to made it illegal to do that in almost every juristiction in the western world.

    So, the truth is, you cannot legally use iTMS files on rival players in most countries where there is an iTMS.

    And yet, the only complaints about iTMS lockin have come from Apple’s competition or their paid shills, not Apple’s customers.

  8. Their social priorities really don’t have anything to do with corruption in government.

    Nowhere in the article does it refer to corruption of any kind. The point Beer is making is that Socialist are genetically opposed to captialism. If a capitalist firm is doing well, then it must be because it is taking advantage of the consumer.

    The arguments for opening iTMS to other players, is to permit those that bought something other than the iPod to get songs from it.

    What the socialists ignore is that there are several (actual number declining) alternative music download services with an equal number of songs, charging essentially the same amount as iTMS. The real crime is that those services are not compatible with the iPod. If lack of choice is truly an issue, then the victims are iPod owners.

    The consumer isn’t being hurt by the popularity of iTMS/iPod at all.

    Socialists. Their heart is in the right place, but their head is stuck firmly up their arse.

  9. What Scandinavia is complaining about is the agreement you have to “sign” when buying songs nothing else. It’s not the Scandinaivian goverments that are doing this but consumer organisations that are behind it. The agreement you accept when buying from ITMS more or less gives Apple the right to change how many times you are allowed to burn your music after you have bought it.

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