Parts of French ‘iPod Law’ struck down as unconstitutional

“The French Constitutional Council has declared major aspects of the so-called iPod law unconstitutional, undermining some controversial aspects of the legislation,” Thomas Cramptom reports for The International Herald Tribune.

“Released late Thursday, the council’s 12-page legal finding made frequent reference to the 1789 Declaration on Human Rights and concluded that the iPod law violated the constitutional protections of property,” Cramptom reports. “In particular, the council eliminated reduced fines for file sharing and said companies could not be forced, without compensation, to make music sold online compatible with any music device.”

“‘The Constitutional Council effectively highlighted the importance of intellectual property rights,” said Dominique Ménard, a partner at the Lovells law firm and a specialist in intellectual property, adding that Apple Computer and other companies could not be forced to share their copy-protection technology without being paid for it,” Cramptom reports.

Crampton reports, “While the Constitutional Council highlighted the need for compensation, it was not such good news for Apple and other companies that what remained in place is the principle of forced interoperability, said Jean-Baptiste Soufron, legal director of the Association of Audionautes, a group opposed to copy restrictions. ‘It is good news for Apple because they receive monetary compensation, but much bigger bad news if it forces them to license iTunes,” he said. “We might see the first test case of this by the end of the year.'”

Full article here.

Related articles:
French lawmakers give final approval to watered-down ‘iTunes law’ – June 30, 2006
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. Apple will simply pull out of France. People can buy music from other sites and they have to make it operate on an iPod which Apple makes money from.

    Apple is a hardware company. iTunes Music Store is a service so people will buy iPods…..

  2. Democracy? What democracy? This country is a corporate state run by an oligarchy of CEOs and their bought and paid for stooges in the Congress. It is government of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation. Checks and balances? We don’t need no stinkin’ checks and balances!

  3. All Apple has to do is make the licensing fees so high that only Microsoft could afford it and if Microsoft wanted Apple’s DRM software they would be paying Apple’s R&D budget for 5 or 6 years to get it.

    There is no way Microsoft would use someone else’s standard.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.