French anti-iTunes law deemed unconstitutional

“The controversial French law which would have forced Apple to make music from its iTunes online shop playable on any device has been rejected by the French Constitutional Council. The whole law may have to be rewritten,” OUT-LAW News reports.

“The Constitutional Council reviews all laws after they have been passed to ensure that they do not conflict with the French constitution. One of the protections afforded by the constitution is a protection of property, and it was on this basis that the Council rejected some aspects of the law,” OUT-LAW News reports.

OUT-LAW News reports, “A 12 page legal finding was published by the Council late last week and it referred principally to the 1789 Declaration on Human Rights, part of which protects property. The document said that any companies forced to make music playable on any device should receive compensation because the firm would be sharing copy protection technology it had built itself.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Parts of French ‘iPod Law’ struck down as unconstitutional – July 28, 2006
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. Are we going to demand that Microsoft make all XBOX games playable on Playstation, or Gamecube, or any other system that comes down the pike?

    Should we demand that Ford make engines that’ll fit inside Toyotas, GMs, or any other type of car?

    Should Microsoft be forced to write all of its software so that it is readable by either Windows or Mac OSX?

    By the way, should that mean that all other music services need to make their files playable on iTunes??

    Shouldn’t all mp3 players work on both Mac and PC?

    This is stupid. The reason Apple made the files only readable by iTunes is for copyright protection. iTunes protects the files against illegal copying. That way Apple can make sure they aren’t being copied and sold illegally, which keeps the prices down and helps the music companies build their trust in iTunes.

  2. Joe,

    You missed it completely. It’s not that all XBox games should play on all playstations. It’s that they should play on all Macs, Windows, Be, Linux (All flavors), Unix (All Flavors), as well as playstations, Nintendos, etc.

    MP3 players all play music and PCs all play music, then all can license MP4, and play the format, but the DRM and Apple lossless formats are proprietary. If Apple has to share them with others then MSFT has to share WMA format and its DRM is Apple.

    This would place Apple and MSFT on the same playing Field, but then both sides lose because they have individual conracts with the music labels, and there is no way the labels would make one generic contract encompasing all digital agreements with Apple, MSFT, Real, et al. This would end the digital music industry, and all sides lose.

  3. Thank goodness there is still a shred of common sense in the world! France’s iTunes interoperability requirement was and is utterly ridiculous. Next they would have gone after Sony because their “memory sticks” don’t work in other brands of digital cameras! Whoever wrote this law should do something he (or she) is better suited for, like selling shoes.

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