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Norwegian Consumer Council will continue fight over iTunes

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2006 17:05 User comments (7)

Norwegian Consumer Council will continue fight over iTunes The Norwegian consumer watchdog has said that not only is Apple breaking Norwegian laws, it also is breaking a promise made by Steve Jobs several years ago in relation to digital music files. The Norwegian Consumer Council disapproves of the handling of the music downloads business by the private sector. Torgeir Waterhouse, senior adviser to the Norwegian Consumer Council, has attacked the sector in talks with The Register.
"The digitalisation of culture and other consumer products is simply too important to be dictated by the industry," he said. Norway's consumer ombudsman ruled in June that iTunes is breaking section 9a of the Norwegian Marketing Control Act and ruled that aspects of the iTunes Terms and Conditions were illegal. The ombudsman pointed out that it attempted to put Norwegians under an English legal contract.

Apple has responded as it was ordered to by July 31st, but the consumer watchdog believes it falls short in vital areas. Apple has acknowledged the jurisdiction of Norwegian law, has promised not to implement changes to the terms of service retrospectively to music a consumer had already purchased and will make changes more visible, Waterhouse noted.

However, he said that Apple has made little effort to respond appropriately in the area of its Digital Rights Management technology; FairPlay. "They do not even try to come close to lift the lock-in between iTunes Music Store and the iPod." he said "It seems clear to us that iTunes intend to continue their unfair practice of using the DRM as lock-in technology under the cover being [a] copy-protection only scheme."

He also had some criticism for Steve Jobs over a comment he made a few years ago. "The position they're signaling now is the direct opposite of the consumer-friendly attitude Steve Jobs put forward in 2002, when he told MacWorld that 'if you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own'", he said. Jobs made those comments some months after the iPod launch and a year before iTunes launch.

"Obviously there'll be a lot of work on the DRM issue which clearly is the area where iTunes Music Store is most reluctant to offer the consumers a fair deal." Waterhouse said. The Norwegian Consumer Council does not expect the issue to be resolved soon.


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7 user comments

15.8.2006 1:26

Couldn't agree more! DRM is just a lock-in which they call copy protection!! I seriously hope it is found that Apple is breaking the law and that they are forced to remove it...Apple are facing a lot of pressure over this and we'll have to see if they break under this pressure

25.8.2006 5:41

DRM sucks! End of discussion.

36.8.2006 2:06

Don't buy music with DRM protection. If everyone used common sense and stopped downloading music from sites like I-tunes we could protect our basic rights as a consumer. As a consumer we should own the right to the play the music whenever and however we want.

46.8.2006 4:33

Same story over and over... Down with DRM!!!

57.8.2006 7:57

/shrug. Here's a thought don't use iTunes or iPods if you don't like it. There are other options.

67.8.2006 19:02

As long as there are noobs around, technologies like DRM and substandard devices like the iPod will continue to maintain the limelight.

Too many consumers "want" an iPod because of some comercial that they saw on TV.

There are much better pieces of hardware on the market, but most people don't want to bother doing the research to find out what is good and what isn't.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Aug 2007 @ 20:50

79.8.2006 12:20

I've got to agree with Unfocused. Apple is a business and they want to make money. As long as they can keep convincing people that the ipod and itunes are "cool" they will keep pushing their products, however crappy they may be.

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