Scandinavia Asks iTunes to Open Up

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BOSTON, August 25, 2006 (PodTech News) — Government representatives from Denmark, Norway and Sweden are meeting this week to discuss possible legal action against Apple. Consumer advocates say that Apple’s iTunes music store is unnecessarily restrictive, in that music and videos purchased through iTunes are only playable on the company’s iPod player. At issue is Apple’s Digital Rights Management, or DRM, which ties iTunes files to the iPod. Scandinavian countries want Apple to loosen its DRM. Apple says its products are, for consumers, the best way to get and enjoy digital music.

PodTech’s Clark Boyd speaks with Torgeir Waterhouse, of the Norwegian Consumer Council, and Peter Brown, Executive Director of the Boston-based Free Software Foundation.

Reporter’s Notes: Be sure to check out the Norwegian Consumer Council’s webpage dealing with its complaint against Apple. It’s in English. There’s also a link there to the actual complaint. For more information see also the Free Software Foundation. More information on Defective by Design, the anti-DRM campaign, can be found here. There was one quote from Peter Brown that I had to lose from the piece, but I wanted to include it here. Brown was quoting Eben Moglen, Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University, who serves on the FSF’s Board of Directors. Brown said that Moglen once described iPod and iTunes as: “possibly the last razor selling unique razor blades … here was the final Gillette razor, where you had to buy the blades and the razor, and only those blades fit that razor.”

— Clark Boyd

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