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Court: Apple doesn't have to license its DRM

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 12 Nov 2004 15:14 User comments (1)

Court: Apple doesn't have to license its DRM The French Competition Court handed a victory to Apple is an important lawsuit filed against it by its competitor, VirginMega (a joint venture between the British Virgin and French Lagardere). VirginMega had sued Apple over its decision not to license its FairPlay DRM technology to third party companies.
Basically, by providing a licensing mechanism, other online music stores could also sell DRM-locked files that could be played in Apple's iPod portable players. DRM is a piece of technology that limits the media file's use to certain devices (or to certain timeline, etc) -- like in Apple's case, the songs purchased from iTunes are locked with the FairPlay DRM technology that is only playable by iTunes software on Windows or Mac or with iPod. As iPod is by far the most popular portable audio player on the market right now, it is understandable that other online music retailers would like to get their offering to be compatible with the player.

However, the court's decision was also a victory for one of the Apple's rivals -- Real. Under the European Union competition legislation, the dominant market player can't block others from accessing to a technology that is "indispensable". Now, what does that has to do with RealNetworks? Well, court found that a software released by Real, called Harmony, users of Real's online music store can transfer their Real-DRM-locked files into FairPlay-locked files and thus play them with iPods. But Apple doesn't exactly like the idea of Harmony, and has accused Real of cracking their DRM system in order to develop the product. But, now, under the court decision, Apple can't block tools like Harmony, because the moment they do so, their practice violates the ruling and court might force them to officially licence the FairPlay to other companies.

Source: eWeek

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1 user comment

114.11.2004 5:47

drm this, lock that.....lol. Let them all fight over their schemes that will not work.

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