French Apples

French law would force Apple to open iTunes Music Store to non-iPod devices

Are the French going to pass a law that forces Sony to release PlayStation games for Microsoft’s Xbox on the same day? Who’s writing the law that requires Autodesk to release the French version of AutoCAD for Mac OS X or the one that forces French website developers to stop developing Microsoft Internet Explorer-only websites?

A song is a song is a song. If you want the latest Britney Spears song to play on the Creative or iRiver player that Grandma mistakenly got you for Christmas, what’s stopping you from buying it from, shudder, Napster or whatever outfit still happens to be in business? And what about exclusives? How would the French handle that one? If iTunes – or Napster for that matter – has a deal to offer an exclusive song from an artist to drive customers to their stores, how “exclusive” is it? Remember, in Apple’s case, iTunes exclusives are also there to sell iPods. If those songs can be played anywhere (let’s pretend that the songs aren’t stripped of their DRM and up on P2P within minutes anyway), doesn’t that damage the exclusivity agreement beyond repair?

This unjust law would unfairly damage one party, Apple, that has worked hard and fairly to win the market while disproportionally benefitting all of the loser outfits that couldn’t compete with Apple in the open market. How would France compensate Apple?

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