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ITMS Faces Complaint From Norwegian Ombudsman

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the and-they-don't-say-bork-bork-bork dept.

270

Whiney Mac Fanboy writes "Following the French Bill that threatened Apple's iTunes service in France, the iTunes music store is facing more uncertainty in Scandinavia. According to a report in Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, Norway's Consumer Ombudsman has filed a complaint with Apple's music download sales service iTunes, arguing that the transaction terms violate Norwegian law. The Register is also reporting this story:, saying a contract cannot be regulated by English law, rather than Norwegian law, so iTunes must accept responsibility for damage its software may do, and said it is unreasonable to alter terms and conditions after a song has been sold. Consumer Council told the Reg: 'The Consumer Council has asked Apple to respond as to whether iTunes should work on other platforms - they have until 21 June to respond. After that the Ombudsman is likely to set another deadline and then start fining the company.' The BPI (Britain's RIAA equivalent) has also called upon Apple to license Fairplay."

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Symptom of a wider problem. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493952)

While I'm sure we're going to have the inevitable "Apple should withdraw from Scandinavia" posts here, people should really consider that this is a symptom of a wider problem; Apple trying to operate assuming that all legal systems are the same as the US's.

Notions of fair use / legal exchange of copyrighted materials vary all over the world. Apple's DRM ignores all these difference (limitting legal use of content in some countries) and relies on the whip of the US-only DMCA for enforcement.

Its pretty obvious that this isn't really an Apple/Norway problem, but a DRM/Worldwide problem - Apple is just the most successful DRM pusher (the first try is free!) at the moment.

PS. FP on my own story submission?

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494031)

PS. FP on my own story submission?

I, for one, welcome our new solipsistic, non-editorialising overlords!

Re:Symptom of a wider problem. (-1, Troll)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494054)

PS. FP on my own story submission?

Yo yo... lemme get like... fiddy karma yo...

Re:Symptom of a wider problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494124)

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Download Connection is:: 8762 Kbps about 8.76 Mbps (tested with 5983 kB)
Download Speed is:: 1070 kB/s
Upload Connection is:: 1060 Kbps about 1.06 Mbps (tested with 1496 kB)
Upload Speed is:: 129 kB/s
Tested From:: http://testmy.net/ [testmy.net] (Server 1)Test Time:: 2006/06/08 - 6:56am
D-Validation Link:: http://testmy.net/stats/id-74WJC2O8D [testmy.net]
U-Validation Link:: http://testmy.net/stats/id-OCJ23HPT5 [testmy.net]
Host Average:: host:cox.net dl-avg:4626Kbps ul-avg:662Kbps
User Agent:: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [!]

Re:Symptom of a wider problem. (2, Interesting)

arborlaw (978993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494173)

The "wider problem" here isn't only the US-centric serving-up of DRM...it's the US-centric view completely. You make a contract with a citizen in another country, the contract is governed by...the other country's laws. Doh.

Re:Symptom of a wider problem. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494383)

Apple should withdraw from Scandinavia anyway, it would be a major victory for anti-DRMs and make pulicity around this issue.

Re:Symptom of a wider problem. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494412)

While I'm sure we're going to have the inevitable "Apple should withdraw from Scandinavia" posts here, people should really consider that this is a symptom of a wider problem; Apple trying to operate assuming that all legal systems are the same as the US's.

This is a symptom of a wider problem. US companies do tend to assume that US Law is applicable everywhere, and indeed, this view is not restricted to companies. USians do often think that everyone, everywhere is subject to penalties for infractions on their laws or properties. Take the case of McKinnon for example. Many felt his extradition was correct, despite the fact that he is not subject to US law, and that the US armed forces properties overseas do not enjoy any protection under the UK legal system.

Of course, owing to their huge influence, US companies have succeeded to a large degree in making US law the default internationally, paticularly in the business sphere. On the one hand, this is a good thing, as commerce becomes standardised. On the other, it is quite a dangerous thing, as US mores are often exported and imposed on foreign societies.

For example, US mores regarding drugs laws are often applied in foreign countires, often when there is no real problem ariseing from that drugs consumption in the country in question. A prime example of this is marijuana. The drug became illegal in the United States, arguably as a result of a moral panic, and the rest of the world followed suit. In recent years, the drugs illegality has been "toned down" and even reversed somewhat in other nations.

It is often the case that where the US goes, others follow. Given the often conservative nature of US society, this trend often worries me, as mores and standards chosen for a different population are frequently hoist upon my own. It is of course, paticularly worrisome given the increasingly reactionary nature of a substantial portion of a growing number US people.

English Law = England, not US (3, Interesting)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494483)

Talk about US Centric. ITMS Europe is based in Luxembourg and its terms of service are governed by English (as in England) law, not US law.

That said, if Norway was part of the EU this would not be a problem for Apple as I think that they would be able to choose any particular EU member states laws (in this case England) to apply, but since Norway is not AND apple got a Norwegian TLD for ITMS Norway AND nicely translated the site into Norwegian a Norwegian using the site would likely assume they are dealing with a Norwegian subsidiary operating under Norwegian law. If on the other hand ITMS Europe used a .uk TLD, even if they translated the site, I think they could justifiably say that the Norwegian person coming to the site would be expected to know that they are dealing with a site operating in the UK, under UK law.(yes I know that TLD use is not strictly tied to geographic location)

Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493965)

The article linked is a little hard to read but Playlist [playlistmag.com] has a decent report on the story. Also note that MacWorld UK [macworld.co.uk] ran this story yesterday.

But this kind of raises an interesting question. When a company operates accross many countries, which country's law do they uphold?

We saw both Google & Yahoo! run into a bit of a jam with their services in China. They pretty much violated what would be considered ethical duties in the United States overseas. Is this wrong? Do they face legal implications in one country or the other?

With iTMS operating in the UK, the US & Norway, what are they to do? Fairplay seems to be violating laws in the UK & Norway while in the United States it seems to be law to have some form of DRM (and with lobbyist Herr RIAA in charge, that's not going to change anytime soon). Do they alter the way their service works in each country? If so, sign me up for some musikk!

Perhaps Apple will license Fairplay so that other devices can play the MP4 music ... though I doubt it. They've got quite a racket going and I'm sure they don't want to hurt iPod sales anywhere. Maybe they'll have to better define a few EULAs in order to avoid this, I'm not a law-talking guy so I'm not sure.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (5, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493989)

Apple should do the same thing Yahoo, Google, MS & Cisco should do - Don't operate in a country unless you're prepared to follow their laws.

In the case of Google, MS & Cisco - they should pull the hell out of China - their laws are unreasonable, and no company with a conscience should operate there.

Norway on the other hand has perfectly reasonable laws - Apple should change their world wide operations to comply with Norwegian law :-)

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15493996)

You can 'should' all you want. But where is it defined whether or not they are legally liable for any of their actions from either side?

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

badmammajamma (171260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494283)

"In the case of Google, MS & Cisco - they should pull the hell out of China - their laws are unreasonable, and no company with a conscience should operate there."

Yeah, and we shouldn't buy any goods from China since nobody with a concience would do that. Have fun buying...just about anything. Holding Google to a standard different than your own is called hypocracy.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494318)

"Holding Google to a standard different than your own is called hypocracy."

Is that a lower form of democracy?

Anyway, it's quite possible to avoid made-in-China products, you just have to try. Not everything comes from there, not even all cheap stuff.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494484)

Holding Google to a standard different than your own is called hypocracy.

I don't operate in China, so am not holding them to a different standard!

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494370)

Who defines reasonable?

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494504)

In the case of Google, MS & Cisco - they should pull the hell out of China - their laws are unreasonable, and no company with a conscience should operate there.

Oh wait....

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494109)

From one of TFAs: Moreover, it is unreasonable that the agreement the consumer must give consent to is regulated by English law.

Every contract I've ever signed stated which jurisdiction's laws applied ("shall be governed by the laws of the state of California"). I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control.

Hell, IANAL, maybe someone can explain this.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494132)

Hell, IANAL, maybe someone can explain this.
I sure can, but I require my $700/hour fee up front.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

winwar (114053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494163)

"I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control."

Because they make the law in their country? I'm sure Apple can say the US law applies but it doesn't mean that Norway has to honor it....

This is a problem that has become widespread in part due to the internet.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (4, Informative)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494182)

I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control.

They don't. They say that when a business which has a norwegia branch operates a norwegian-language e-shop explicitly directed at the norwegian market, distributed through a .no site, and in every way strives to come across as a local shop, then it is no longer an import scenario: they are operating in the norwegian market, and are subject to norwegian trade law, and just claiming they're not doesn't make it so.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494291)

No. The contract (that both parties agreed to) states the governing jurisdiction. As an example, here's a quote from Sun's Java license:

13.GOVERNING LAW. Any action related to this
Agreement will be governed by California law and
controlling U.S. federal law. No choice of law
rules of any jurisdiction will apply.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (4, Insightful)

zxSpectrum (129457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494367)

IANAL, but from my understanding, EULAs are not legally binding contracts under Norwegian law.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (3, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494375)

No. The contract (that both parties agreed to) states the governing jurisdiction.

Thus the problem here...

Norway has basically said that a Norwegian company selling to Norwegians can't cherry-pick a jurisdiction outside Norway. Simple as that.

If Sun's Java license instead said "Any action related to this Agreement will be governed by Saudi law and controlling Sharia law", would you still feel inclined to just accept that their words make it so? Even though it would make you, (probably) a US citizen, downloading a product in the US from a US company, subject to execution for using it to denounce Islam?

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (3, Informative)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494404)

You must be talking about some other country. Here in Norway, your corner shop can't claim to operate under the law of some foreign country in order to escape the law, even with the use of a contract, and neither can Apple when they operate as a local business entity.

If the customers were dealing directly with Apple in the US, things would of course be different.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

bri2000 (931484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494306)

Generally speaking in the EU consumer contracts must be governed by the laws of, and jurisdiction in respect of disputes granted to, the jurisdiction in which the consumer resides. This is to prevent forum shopping by companies looking for countries with the weakest consumer protection laws and purporting to take advantage of those in other countries. A huge number of software and tech companies seem unaware of this (assuming that choice of law and jurisdiction in clauses work in the same way in the EU as in the US) and, presumably, don't want the expense of hiring local lawyers to check this sort of thing for them. My personal favourite was the license for the EU edition of the XBOX version of Doom 3, which purported to be governed by the laws of Texas...

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494369)

Thanks, that's interesting. I will still draw the distinction between consumer protection laws and contract law. In other words, a company could/should be held to the local standards for product liability, which is consumer protection, but a contract has the option of stating what it's conditions are and both parties agree to it, else it is not a contract.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494356)

I don't understand how Norway can say that if one of the parties is Norwegian (or in Norway) that only the laws of Norway can control.

Because laws are not a "choose any you like" concept. You have to follow the US speed limit on US highways, even if you are a foreigner driving a japanese car, you know?

Same thing here. Norwegian law applies if you sell to norwegian customers, even if you're an american company.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

arborlaw (978993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494337)

But this kind of raises an interesting question. When a company operates accross many countries, which country's law do they uphold?

Juris (the law) + diction (the power to speak the law).

There is an entire meta-category of legal principles called "conflict of laws" [cornell.edu] that courts consult to determine which location's law to apply. The real answer to this question involves applying conflicts-of-laws principles recursively from several points of view and determining what you can get away with. Some relevant questions:

A. Where are you worried about being subjected to the legal system? ie, where is the court that you are afraid of, located? (IF NO ASSETS IN JDX -> "don't worry")

B. What is it you are worried about, which might be enforced in that location? (location's criminal law, my contract terms)

C. Does the location have conflict-of-laws principles that apply? (consult local law expert about local law)

D. If so, are the location's laws and principles seeking to be applied as "controlling" in a conflict-of-laws context? (a jurisdiction may have extensive regulation in a particular area--in such cases, another jurisdiction's courts will defer to that jurisdiction's power to "speak the law" on that issue)

E. If so, is it likely that a court in Home Jurisdiction will throw you on your tuckus if you ignore Other Location's quirky laws? (generally not, if the court is here in the US--we're a bunch of imperialist Hague-hating lex Americana types).

So there's the process...imagine what it costs to pay a lawyer type to figure all that out, for each contract, for each jurisdiction on the globe.

And...(meta-meta) each jurisdiction has its own conflict-of-laws principles.

B.I. (before Internet) it was a lot easier to figure out which law to apply, because events and transactions all occurred in one place--Joe bought a screwdriver from Bob, at Bob's store in Peoria. Now Joe is buying porno from Svenka in Uzbekistan.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

nso (825449) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494357)

Actually, an EULA has no legal grounds in Norway. There is absolutely no difference on the consumers rights and duties if you add one or not.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

SmashMacFly (946801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494415)

But this kind of raises an interesting question. When a company operates accross many countries, which country's law do they uphold?
The thing here is that it depends on the customer's country laws ! Some country laws will tell you that you're subject to the laws of the country of the company you're buying to; some other country laws will force you to comply to their regulation to be able to sell your products.
As an example I would take the case of a web contest that would be held on a UK web site might be forbidden in France because they do not have the same laws. I saw it with one of my client who had web sites all over Europe: the contest was ok for all countries except for France ... and modifying the rules would have allowed the contest to enter France but would have blocked it in other countries.

That's where the nightmare is: every state will tell you "Obey the Law !" but if you obey to the law in a country you will violate the law in another, or violate the laws of equality of the market in Europe.

This said, I don't think that the main motivation for Apple to keep "their" songs secure is the reduction of iPod sales. I would consider the ITMS as an addition to the iPod accessories and certainly not the opposite. iPod was there long before the ITMS and the success was already huge.

Re:Foriegn Laws For US Companies? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494487)

But this kind of raises an interesting question. When a company operates accross many countries, which country's law do they uphold?

Their own.

It is frequently the case nowadays that Multi-national companies are larger and more powerful than nation states. They act accordingly. Local laws are, by and large, adjusted to meet the needs of the company via lobbying, threats of withdrawal, etc. Fines and repayments are similarly dodged. About the only things multinationals are subject to nowadays are corporation taxes, and they usually campaign to see those reduced as well.

Why is this so complicated? (-1, Redundant)

gasmonso (929871) | more than 8 years ago | (#15493991)

I'm tired of all this crap with respects to music. It's just music... why is it so complicated to just sell people music and compensate artists? All the DRM business, angry countries, law suits, etc. It rediculous damnit! Stop the madness.

Ah that's better.

http://psychicfreaks.com/ [psychicfreaks.com]

Re:Why is this so complicated? (1)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494094)

I'm tired of all this crap with respects to music. It's just music... why is it so complicated to just sell people music and compensate artists? All the DRM business, angry countries, law suits, etc. It rediculous damnit! Stop the madness.

The madness is a result of the amount of money to be made. When money can be increased by control, no matter how evil said control is, control is introduced. In the recent past, it has also become vogue to lobby congress for some laws that help enforce said control.

See: music, movies, tiered internet, cable monopolies, sports blackouts, DRM, DMCA, trusted computing, product activation, HDCP, PATENTS, 120-year copyrights, etc., etc...

"iTunes must accept responsibility... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494000)

...for damage its software may do". Whoa! Does anyone in Scandanavia use Windows??? Talk about damage!!!!!

Fair Play (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494016)

Apple being fair?

Have we all forgotten what put them on the map?

Oh, that couldn't have been the raping of Xeros PARC.

Don't like Apples DRM (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494024)

Don't buy it. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Apple shouldn't be forced to make iTunes file format work on other players, no one forces GM's Corvette engine to work in a Civic.

Apple is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one person to start using iTunes and their DRM. I use them because I don't really feel like searching the net for MP3's, it is all in one place. I would assume 99% of other apple iTune users do the same. Don't like Apples DRM, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't shop there. This forcing everyone to do something because you don't like it is getting out of hand.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494059)

Don't buy it. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Microsoft shouldn't be forced to make Word file format work on other OS's, no one forces GM's Corvette engine to work in a Civic.

MS is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one person to start using Word and their file format. I use them because I don't really feel like converting to PDF before I send to someone. I would assume 99% of other MS Word users do the same. Don't like MS Word, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't shop there. This forcing everyone to do something because you don't like it is getting out of hand.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494293)

As the length of a conversation increases, the chances of someone making a comparison to Microsoft in the hope of getting "+1 Insightful" approaches 1.

- Jackson's Law of Slashdot Karma Trolling

Actually, your MS argument sounded perfectly fair to me. Don't like Word? Use OO.o.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (4, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494066)

Don't buy it. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Apple shouldn't be forced to make iTunes file format work on other players, no one forces GM's Corvette engine to work in a Civic.

But GM don't actively try to prevent you from putting it into a Civic if you want to.

I would thinkA pple need to be a bit careful thoyugh because with the possible imminent demine of their nearets competitor (allofmp3) how far are they from being a monopoly on the sales of online music? And if they do get decalred a monopoly, would they then be forced to open up their format?

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

ezzewezza (84083) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494122)

I would thinkA pple need to be a bit careful thoyugh because with the possible imminent demine of their nearets competitor (allofmp3) how far are they from being a monopoly on the sales of online music? And if they do get decalred a monopoly, would they then be forced to open up their format?
Coffee first. Then try to type.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494180)

And if they do get decalred a monopoly, would they then be forced to open up their format?

No - there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a monopoly, just some restrictions on what you can & can't do.

I suspect Apple is a tad worried about being accused of unfairly using a monopoly in one market (mp3 players) to extend into another market (online music sales).

But thats a little Offtopic for this story - which has little to nothing to do with monopolism & everything to do with fair use & DRM.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

Sheltem The Guardian (940038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494211)

They would it you'll try to do that commercially.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494272)

Do you not know when you go to buy iTunes that they only work on iPods? Is this not a well know fact or is this something that Apple hides from you? The terms are well known before hand, no one is a "victim"

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494075)

It's not a monopoly issue, but a question if iTunes breaks various consumer protection and retail laws in Norway.

If a company wants to do business in a country, it must follow the laws of said country or not do business there, that is the simple issue. Saying "but it's legal where we come from" is not a defence. To put it this way, would you want to allow (say) Chinese cars to be sold in the US without the safety features US law requires, simply because they aren't required in their country of origin?

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494321)

If a company wants to do business in a country, it must follow the laws of said country or not do business there, that is the simple issue. Saying "but it's legal where we come from" is not a defence. To put it this way, would you want to allow (say) Chinese cars to be sold in the US without the safety features US law requires, simply because they aren't required in their country of origin?

I think you need a better example to get through to the average american. How about this:

Would you want to allow some company from the Netherlands to sell drugs to your schoolkids, simply because in the Netherlands they are legal?(*)

(*) don't mention that there are some restrictions and that this applies only to some drugs which are widely considered to be not much worse than tobacco or alcohol. That'd only make things more difficult, and americans don't dig difficult. :)

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494359)

Well... In fact, Chinese cars do cut costs by removing safety features. I know- the local taxis don't have seatbelts for the back row, and don't have airbags for the front row. For that matter, I'm sure that they'd break emissions regulations in the US- when I can SEE the exhaust gases coming out of the car, there must be SOMETHING wrong.

Who is doing business where? (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494519)

Is ITMS Europe doing business in Norway or are Norwegian customers doing business in Luxembourg where ITMS Europe is based?

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494084)

Apple represents a large part of the market, and they fail to provide content to those who dont use their hardware. This practice is bad for consumers, so governments everywhere should make it illegal. The example you give is flawed, nobody forces a GM corvette engine to work in a honda, because it will work in a honda. The problems you encounter trying it are mostly due to the small engine bay, which is something that a consumer can benefit from. Nobody benefits from apples exclusive hardware/content link.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (3, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494092)

No, the only thing that prevents other individuals from starting new companies which provide music is the RIAA. Not apple. Apple isn't the problem, at all. Anyone who thinks apple is the problem is blind to the real issue, the monopolistic practices of the RIAA in not allowing other firms to sell music such as Apple.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

colanut (541823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494138)

Apple represents a large part of the market, and they fail to provide content to those who dont use their hardware. This practice is bad for consumers, so governments everywhere should make it illegal.


When you wrote this, my iTMS tracks on my Dell/Windows computer stopped working. Gee thanks. Fail to provide content? Now it is Apple's civic duty to provide content to consumers everywhere? They said here is our store and here is how it works. People thought it was a good idea and they are the market leader. However, they are no where near saturating the potential market and I don't think they can be considered a monopoly in this respect. Digital music and downloads is still an immature sector and the rules are still being written.

Before you write me off as a fanboy- I have mostly switched to eMusic and Bleep both of which work fine on my iPod or any other device that I can find. But I would caution getting hung up on the Apple-ness of these stories. As stated earlier, this is about DRM and global distribution coming in to conflict with local laws and customs.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494146)

Apple represents a large part of the market, and they fail to provide content to those who dont use their hardware.

Huh? You can use iTMS on Windows without purchasing a single hardware item from Apple. It's not exclusive to Macs, and it's not exclusive to iPods.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494097)

This is NOT a monopoly issue, the issue is that the contract you enter when you purchase via iTunes is in violation of norwegian consumer proctection laws. Unlike the US, Norway doesn't blindly believe in the "every man for himself and the market forces will fix any problem" idea.

Worth noting is that complaints against local music download sites have also been raised and will be investigated for the same reasons.

hsmith meet kettle, he says your black. (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494108)

You are saying that people shouldn't force other people to do stuff because they don't like it. Wich means you are telling people to stop doing something because you don't like it. Ah, the irony. One rule for you and one rule for everyone else right?

The european countries have different rules about consumer protection. They actually think that companies that become to influential should be put under controls to ensure that the consumer doesn't come under the control of a companies whims.

Silly stuff like making sure the countries laws apply and not whatever EULA a company lawyer dreams up next. Making sure that not one company can achieve a de-facto monopoly making it impossible for new companies to innovate.

You seem to favor companies over people because Apples DRM is forcing itself on these countries because Apple does not like their laws.

Europe is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one company to start trading in the EU or use the EURO. Sound familiar?

Re:hsmith meet kettle, he says your black. (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494148)

No, I simply believe the socialist mindset of Europe is bad business practice. Europe will end up keeping Apple's iTunes out entirely, which is WORSE for consumers because they have LESS choices of what they can use to download MP3's. iTunes gives the consumer one more choice in where to purchase their music and their terms of use are clearly printed. Don't like them, shop somewhere else or start your own company to sell MP3's. Oh wait, you can't do that because the real monopoly, the RIAA, doesn't let you do that.

Re:hsmith meet kettle, he says your black. (1, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494301)

No, I simply believe the socialist mindset of Europe is bad business practice.

You are funny. Europe is very much not socialistic. Just because americans like to label everything left of "kill 'em all, let god sort 'em out" as "socialist" doesn't make it so.

Europe still believes in a balance between human rights and corporate rights. The balance swings a little here and there depending on government, mood and whatever lobbyist group is offering the best entertainment program this year, but it is far from socialism. On the contrary, for a couple years now it's been more right-wing than left (some of the "leftist" parties today run on programs that aren't too far from the right-wing programs of a decade past).

Europe will end up keeping Apple's iTunes out entirely,

May I invite you to a reality check?
USA [wikipedia.org] : Population ca. 298 mio.
EU [wikipedia.org] : Population ca. 458 mio.

We're a considerably larger market than you are. Neither Apple nor Microsoft nor any of the other big corporations will withdraw from the european market, no matter what and no matter how often you dudes repeat that ridiculous idea.

Re:hsmith meet kettle, he says your black. (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494402)

By your arguments consumers should just bend over and accept whatever corporations want to shaft them with, because that's what will give us the greatest choice - the more friendly we are to companies, the more interested they will be in selling to us.

The problem with that argument is that selling out to corporations damages our long term choices. If we allow companies to lock us in to their DRM schemes or whatever else they feel like and stitch up the market between them, they will quickly eliminate choice and competition.

If history has shown one thing very clearly, it is that "free markets" don't work without some level of regulation to ensure they stay free.

Sometimes that regulation hurt consumer choice temporarily, but without it there's no incentive for big business to give in. In this case, if the RIAA keeps seeing their ability to reach the European market shrink because of terms that are incompatible with laws of a variety of European countries, they will eventually cave in.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (5, Insightful)

merdaccia (695940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494111)

Although I agree with you, I think you're missing the point. This isn't about a group of consumers saying they want iTunes songs to work on player x. Nor is it about company y, which makes player x, saying Apple should license FairPlay because they want protected AAC to work on their players. This is about Norway saying that to operate in Norway, you have to follow Norwegian law. And that means having licenses that are regulated by Norwegian law, including the inability to disclaim damage liabilities.

The issue of whether Norwegian law requires the songs to be playable on other devices still hasn't been decided. If the ruling goes against Apple, then Apple will have to license FairPlay in order to continue operating iTMS in Norway. The only thing they would be forced to do would be to comply with the law if they choose to operate in Norway. Hardly unreasonable, especially given that every online music retailer would be subject to those same laws.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494187)

While I don't disagree, I just think it is bad law. That is all. Norway will end up forcing apple to not open shop there, which will lead to less choices for the end user. I think that is the bigger problem.

Don't like Norways laws? (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494123)

Don't operate there. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Norway shouldn't be forced to make their legal system work with iTunes.

Norway is an "opt in" legal system, they force not one person to enter the country & operate under their laws. I would assume 99% of other companies that operate from Norway do the same. Don't like Norway's legal system, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't set up shop there. This forcing everyone to do something because you like it is getting out of hand.

Re:Don't like Norways laws? (2, Informative)

TexasDex (709519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494382)

Easier said than done. If Norwegian residents can browse the internet then they can buy from the iTunes store. When two businesses in different nations decide to make a deal the laws of both nations can't both apply at once. If Apple had a server in Norway that served iTunes then perhaps they might have some legal grounds, but it seems to me like Norwegian residents should be free to enter into agreements with parties in other countries. Norway has no jurisdiction in the U.S., only in their own country. If Norway wanted to prevent its citizens from using iTMS then it could make it illegal to be a customer of them, but their goal is to protect the people not confine them. That's where this gets complicated: it's an agreement between parties in different nations. iTMS isn't "operating there" AFAIK, the people there are essentially meeting in international waters to exchange goods/services. So if either party happened to break the contract, and sue over it, which country would you sue in? Apple would probably have to sue in Norway, Norwegian citizens probably in the U.S. That means Norwegians don't have as much recourse as they would if iTMS was stationed in Norway, and the Norwegian government isn't exactly thrilled at the thought. I say: get used to it. Such is the Internet. Disclaimer: IANA international law expert, just somebody who has hung out on Slashdot enough to sound like one.

Re:Don't like Norways laws? (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494424)

Easier said than done. If Norwegian residents can browse the internet then they can buy from the iTunes store.

Incorrect. Apple divides the market up. Try buing from the US itunes with a British Credit Card.

Re:Don't like Norways laws? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494454)

Don't operate there. I fail to see where this gets complicated. Norway shouldn't be forced to make their legal system work with iTunes.

I hope you think the same when it comes to Russia whit the mp3 site.

Re:Don't like Norways laws? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494464)

I hope you think the same when it comes to Russia whit the mp3 site.

Errr, yes I do. I think allofmp3 shouldn't operate in Norway without obeying their laws.

Pavlov FTL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494166)

Don't like Apples DRM, fine. Vote with your pocket book and don't shop there.

That stock response isn't even remotely relevant to TFA under discussion. If Apple (and others, according to TFA) don't like Norwegian law, they should vote with their pocket book and not trade there.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494215)

Apple is an "opt in" monopoly, they force not one person to start using iTunes and their DRM.

Irrelevant. Monopoly is monopoly no matter how nicely you call it.

All you "free market" drones overlook that the antitrust laws are in place to protect the free market, because one thing that the market can not sort out is if it is itself broken - you need a working market to "sort things out" the free market way, so when the market itself is broken, you are lacking the very self-regulation force that could fix it.

Monopolies are the AIDS of capitalism - they attack the immune system, the very "free market forces" that you glorify.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494333)

If you actually knew your history, in the United States big business WERE the ones that lobbied FOR anti-monopoly laws to ensure state protection OF their monopolies [mises.org] .

The gov't doesn't protect you from business, they are bought off by other businesses for state sponsored protectionism.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494449)

I know my history very well, thank you. It just happens to not be US history, you know? There's a world outside your borders, dude. ;)

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494421)

There is a sharp difference between a "market entrepreneur" and a "political entrepreneur" -- See the work of M. DiLorenzo for insight on this point.

Any company that benefits from special rules or protections set up by the government is a political entrepreneur. Most successful businesses in America today are politically entrepreneurial. This is the fault of government for letting companies bind the public with favoritist legislation that locks out competition.

The free market works whenever individuals (and groups of individuals known as "companies") are free to exchange things of value voluntarily. This process works in the natural order of existence.

When markets fail is when governments crowd out free enterprise by initiating special rules, regulations or favoritist legislation, which can come in many subtle forms. Licensing businesses sounds innocuous, and yet it's why taxi cabs cost so much in many cities. Taxi cab companies are therefore political entrepreneurs, seeking safe harbor in government excluding competitors.

Microsoft, Apple, and many other technology companies are by and large at the "market entrepreneur" end of the spectrum (despite the FUD about antitrust.) They innovate and compete freely in the market for your attention. Nobody here is enslaved to Microsoft -- the Linux and Apple users prove it every day. The market enforces a single operating principle on all participants: when you want something, you have to "build it or buy it." The standard MS complaint on Slashdot is, "I want world-class interoperability without having to use MS products!" Well, the product called "world-class interoperability" isn't up to governments or companies -- it's up to individuals and the platforms they choose to use. The complaint is tantamount to saying, "I wish everyone wouldn't choose to use a platform that I don't like."

My response? When you want something, build it or buy it.

Socialist response? When you want something, have the government take it from others on your behalf. This, by definition, is why socialism in any form (including those practiced by the US government) cannot avoid harming individuals.

That's why free markets kick ass.

Re:Don't like Apples DRM (1)

kraney (254251) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494443)

A corvette engine would work fine in a Civic if you just do the work to put it there. I'm guessing you wouldn't be able to get the hood back on afterwards.

These guys would probably be glad to help you: http://www.jagsthatrun.com/ [jagsthatrun.com]

Personally, I think the volvos smoking their tires look the oddest.

Spelling... (0)

reset_button (903303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494030)

Consumer Council told the Reg
s/Reg/Rag

The Cold Market War (3, Funny)

Draracle (977916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494037)

Damn those socialists and their attempts to put competitive markets over monopolies/oligopolies!!! And licensing DRM? Why would we even want DRM if we have to license it? This is totally against the rules of Supply and Command.

So here is what I don't get... (5, Insightful)

tfvdw2at (554616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494050)

...can someone explain why Apple selling music that only works on their devices (unless of course you consider those crappy Motorola ROKR and SLVR phones) is bad, but Sony selling games that only play on the PlayStation or Microsoft selling software that only runs on Windows is OK. Seriously. Why is what Apple is doing any different in the eyes of the Norwegian government?

Re:So here is what I don't get... (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494209)

a better analogy would be sony selling cds and dvds that only play on sony hardware.

Re:So here is what I don't get... (2, Interesting)

tomcres (925786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494231)

There's nothing wrong with it, but eventually Apple is going to find that it is a bad business decision as PlaysForSure devices improve and better and cheaper music stores appear. My wife and I just replaced our iPods with PlaysForSure devices, and I know a couple other people who are switching as well. My wife subscribes to Y! Unlimited and I subscribe to Rhapsody. For what one album costs on iTMS, we get our choice of half a million albums per month that we can take with us. And if there's something that Yahoo! Music or Real does not have, I can always shop at MSN Music, Walmart, or any of over a dozen other online music stores. (And FWIW, Real purchases are 192kbps AAC/WMA and MSN are 160kbps WMA, both discernibly superior to iTMS's 128kbps AAC-plus Real gives a 10% discount on purchases to Rhapsody subscribers. I get tracks for $.89 versus $.99. For ten tracks-or a full album-, that's a whole dollar saved!) Plus, I can play my Rhapsody music (both purchased and subscribed) on my Roku SoundBridge, as can my wife with her Y! Unlimited music. Can't do that with iTunes because Apple won't license Fairplay to Roku.

Apple's monopoly in portable players in large part was due to their superior user interface and the garbage that generally passed for competition. Now, Creative, Toshiba, and the other mfrs. have devices that are well-built and have streamlined their UIs. Plus, they all use USB 2.0 now (whereas initially, iPod used FireWire and most competitors used to use the slow-as-snails USB 1.1). The playing field is leveling in terms of hardware and usability, and I suspect that in the coming year or two, the balance will start to shift to PlaysForSure as people become more aware of the better alternatives out there.

Apple will lose its dominance, but it will be driven by consumers, not by government interference.

Re:So here is what I don't get... (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494278)

The video games thing is bad. The Atari 2600 lasted years beyond its time precisely because third parties were producing game cartridges for it that were better than anything Atari could have done. As soon as some European manufacturer actually starts wanting to make PlayStation or XBox games, the courts will be in session quicker than you can say "anti-competitive behaviour".

Re:So here is what I don't get... (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494296)

The difference is that Apple is intentionally and artifically restricting the ability of consumers to use a product on other companies hardware.

Re:So here is what I don't get... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494315)

You bring up a valid point, but it is about what the consumer expects. I for one expect my music files to work on all mp3 players just as my tapes worked on my tape players. Nobody expects the playstation games to work on anything else than a playstation.
I am from Norway and the two gouverment agencies I am most pleased with is "Forbrukerombudet" and "Datatilsynet" (translates roughly to department of Consumers rights and Dep. of Privacy rights respectivly). They both do a excellent job of defending the mostly clueless masses.

Re:So here is what I don't get... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494388)

...can someone explain why Apple selling music that only works on their devices (unless of course you consider those crappy Motorola ROKR and SLVR phones) is bad, but Sony selling games that only play on the PlayStation or Microsoft selling software that only runs on Windows is OK.

This particular issue is about the terms of use for the software, not the DRM on the music. Basically, the legalese says they won't certify it won't break other things on your computer, which is a violation on the law there. As to why that law has not been applied to the thousands of other programs/software sold (like Windows), I suspect it is because no one was motivated to go after them.

As for the legal difference between DRM and a natural incompatibility, there are two factors. One, Apple intentionally prevents their content from running on other systems. Two, Apple is approaching monopoly status for portable music players, so antitrust law may come into play.

Do they? (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494397)

Do windows games only run on windows? An odd fact is the reak Microsoft games like Flight and train simulator are very light on the DRM. The last versions I bought didn't even seem to have any at all.

Nothing is stopping you from making it possible to run MS games on say Linux or Macs. In fact several projects are doing just that, legally.

Yes this is stretching things but that is because this is a very difficult subject. Laws are ancient and mostly written down before the idea of media containers. With this I mean things like a VHS cassete wich contains media/content wich is married to a specific device.

Think about it for a second. Two hundred years ago you didn't have this problem (I think). Most items you buy and trade do not depend on another device. If you buy wood it will work work with any brand of saw. Nothing says you can only wash your clothes in a Miele washing machine. A book can be read with any pair of glasses.

Since the legal system moves incredibly slowly and has to be changed by people with no real skills like politicians who are controlled by that dumbest of all critters, the voter we still haven't learned to deal with how to regulate media formats.

That leaves the consumers who choose wrongly out in the cold. People often bring up betamax vs VHS in this context. But what about the poor shmucks who choose V2000 eh? For that matter what about those who bought into laserdisc?

V2000 was a really crap choice. If you made the mistake of choosing betamax you at least could still get new players for your old content as Sony kept supporting its standard. Your V2000 tapes were useless once the standard disappeared and the players stopped being made instantly. This is bad for the consumer and the task of an Ombudsman is to protect the consumer.

There is however a problem. With physical media containers like tape cassetes or laserdiscs there is no easy way to set a standard. You can't make VHS accept a laserdisc or vice versa so the consumer just had to pray he choose the right standard.

This ain't just bad for consumers it is also bad for business. Remember the CD? I rememeber a lot of stories about slow mass adoption because people weren't sure this would the future format.

But again there was no way around it. LP couldn't be upgraded so no in between option was possible to make adoption less painfull.

This is not ideal. Compare for instance with the difference in how new book technologies make their way into the market. We have had far more print improvements because the moment a new tech is invented in printing it can be put into place as long as the printer is willing to buy a new press. He then doesn't need to hope people will upgrade their eyes to his new format. Silly? Well not as silly as the movie industry.

They try to fit every new tech onto the old format by inserting it in the weirdest places on the film to make sure old theathers without the latest projector can still use the latest film. Because banking on everyone adopting your new unique format is risque.

So now back to apple. With purely digital containers it is actually silly we still have needs for certain players. We no longer have the physical restrictions so why can't we just play aac on any player out there?

The old format wars were a necessity because of the physical differences but digital formats can play anywhere. Who thinks it is silly you need to Quicktime player for .mov files, the DivX player for .divx files and Windows Media Center for .avi and Realplayer for .rm files?

If you are the least bit computer literate you will probably have setup your machine to play all these different media containers through one player. Yes because it is digital you can player your "laserdisc" on a "lp player". Amazing eh?

So now that this is possible perhaps it is also possible for an Ombudsman to ensure consumers no longer loose out in the format wars? Could we introduce laws that tell format makers to make sure that any player can play their format?

The consumer would no longer have to worry about buying the wrong player or media. He can be sure that those iTunes he got as a present fit in his Windows Media Player.

It might even benefit industry as a whole. How many more people would buy iTunes if it would work with their non-apple player?

The task of an ombudsman is to look out for the consumer, now that the move to all digital formats has taken place perhaps it is time to make sure the consumer is saved from the hassle of formats. No, americans probably won't like it as this reeks of goverment intervention BUT the this story ain't taking place in the US. If Apple don't like the EU way of doing things it can just piss off and stop trading in europe, and japan, and africa and pretty much the entire world.

I think it would be a good idea for consumers of laws are introduced ending the digital format wars. Force format makers to either supply the code needed to play their format on all players or open up their spec enough for player makers to make their own code.

I guess it all depends on who you think is more important. You or Steve Jobs.

Swedish Chef != Norwegian Ombudsman (4, Funny)

yardbird (165009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494063)

Bork bork bork?! I know they are right next to each other and all, but they are two different countries (at the moment).

Other elements of note: the ombudsman's name is Thor!*, and other headlines on the Aftenposten site include: "Women wont [sic] give up laundry" and "angry hare attacked dogsled". I thought Norway was only silly in Monty Python sketches?

* NB: It's actually Thon. Drat.

If its illegal in Norway (1)

1336.5 (901985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494117)

Why the fuck did they allow it in the first place?

Freggin tards.

and if Apple/MS etc cease to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15494145)


so does your music

nice going

unreasonable? (1)

dbc001 (541033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494170)

"it is unreasonable to alter terms and conditions after a song has been sold." Wow - we Americans are so used to unreasonable contracts, bullshit fine print and the like that it is absolutely amazing to see this kind of language used in defense of consumers. If we had laws like this here in the states it would be devastating to the economy - because our entire economy is based on these kinds of unreasonable contracts. Imagine what would happen if our government actually defended us against corporate malfeasance and greed!

Oh nos! (1)

XdevXnull (905214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494381)

Or what if we had laws where we weren't allowed to buy and sell forced laborers for our tomacco fields? Our economy is based heavily on the slave trade, and if we didn't have slaves anymore, the nation would collapse!

Nations (1)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494177)

This is most excellent news. Finally, some politicians wake up to the fact that it is them who should regulate copyright, DRM, licensing, warranty and a ton of other issues. That's what we have them for.

It would be a failure of democracy if some politicians in the US, which I could not vote for or against, could set policies for my country. Or some corporations could decide where to apply which laws.

If you want to do business in X, follow whatever rules/laws apply in X. If you don't like it, don't do business there. It really is simple, isn't it?

Oh yeah, that also applies to countries and laws you don't like, no matter if it's Norway and it's copyright laws, or China and its censorship laws...

The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (0, Troll)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494196)

All of these organizations are pro-control anti-consumer and we all should realize that immediately. No government mandate on companies is ever good for consumers because it decreases the amount of competition in a market and it raises prices. You can't prove otherwise. Higher prices with less competition usually mean lower quality products and even lower quality research for new products.

Thank you Apple for the iPod. My household has 3 (2 we bought new, 1 we won) and The Freaky Blonde has downsized her CD collection to storage and we've recaptured almost 10 square feet of space. She uses them in all our cars and she uses them hen exercizing. I personally don't use one (I'm happy just burning MP3s to CD) but the device is incredible, and would never have been made if Apple was forced to follow mandates that supposedly protect the consumer.

If they had to follow these idiotic laws in the beginning, the consumer would be protected, surely: protected from ever seeing great devices like the iPod and whatever the next competitor will release.

The only thing missing right now would be a revocation of the DMCA so that hackers could legally find ways to allow the iPod to run other software. Don't you see how it is always government that reduces our choices and our freedoms? Apple can't freely say no to running another company's songs, and the consumer can't say yes to modifying his own product that he bought.

Pro-consumer? Right.

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (0, Redundant)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494275)

Um, what's hen exercising? Sounds like you have an interesting wife.

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (2, Insightful)

famebait (450028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494297)

If they had to follow these idiotic laws in the beginning, the consumer would be protected, surely: protected from ever seeing great devices like the iPod and whatever the next competitor will release.

I suggest you check out which laws are being referred to before criticising them so sweepingly. Right now you are, among aother things, arguing that it is essential for a well-functioning market to allow the seller to unilaterally change the contract (e.g. revocinga all your songs) for any or no reason and at any time after the deal is done, signed and paid. And it's making you look really dumb and/or trollish.

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494436)

Their original contract allows for a modification of the terms and conditions. What is the problem there? If you agree that the contract can be changed, accept it. If you disagree, don't accept it. The market works because if people don't want modifiable contracts, they wouldn't exist.

How does that make me look trollish? This has everything to do with contracts instead of regulations and mandates by government. Contracts let EVERY transaction be different (I purposely strike out terms on many contracts that I sign and have done so recently with my cell phone provider and my roofer). Laws force every transaction to be the same.

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (1)

egriebel (177065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494477)

Right now you are, among aother things, arguing that it is essential for a well-functioning market to allow the seller to unilaterally change the contract (e.g. revocinga all your songs) for any or no reason and at any time after the deal is done, signed and paid.
How do you get that out of what he said?? Is this just a thinly veiled use of the Chewbacca Defense?

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (1)

cronius (813431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494413)

First of all you're bashing the DMCA which has absolutely nothing to do with this, that law has nothing to do with Norway.

Second, no one is attacking the IPod, and it's irrelevant if it's a fine product or a pile of manure.

Third, changing a contract after a deal has been made without consent from both parties can only be defended in a commercial dictatorship.

Fourth, the force behind this is the same force that stopped companies making small children work in factories for low wages many years ago in the western world (etc). They're trying to protect us, normal people, from big corporations who only think about profits and wouldn't give a damn about peoples rights if they didn't have to. And you're playing the devils advocate saying "we'd better let them do whatever they want, even if it's totally unreasonable, because I want cheaper/better products." Wake up man.

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494434)

Wow, are you dumb. Go read The Jungle [gutenberg.org] by Upton Sinclair. Try chapter 9, at around halfway through.

Re:The "Consumer Council" is anti-consumer (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494478)

All of these organizations are pro-control anti-consumer and we all should realize that immediately. No government mandate on companies is ever good for consumers because it decreases the amount of competition in a market and it raises prices. You can't prove otherwise.

I see so you think consumer protection laws are all useless. For example, false advertising laws? For example, food safety regulations?

Or is it maybe that some do more good than harm and it is just a scale of where a particular law falls on that scale? There has been a long tradition of laws that prevent a consumer from signing away all their rights and these laws are especially important when a monopoly or emergency is involved. Without them, emergency rooms would force you to sign the next 10 years of your life away to work as a slave before treating you.

Higher prices with less competition usually mean lower quality products and even lower quality research for new products.

Sometimes consumer protection laws increase competition or lower prices, especially when a monopoly is involved. Often they enforce a minimum, safe, level of product quality. Innovative research is rarely driven primarily by money. Usually, people do new, cool things because they can and they then capitalize upon those that seem profitable.

If they had to follow these idiotic laws in the beginning, the consumer would be protected, surely: protected from ever seeing great devices like the iPod and whatever the next competitor will release.

Maybe, but the market does provide. If the government says no beef with more than 10% rat feces, some company will produce beef without as much rat feces, even if it costs more. Companies will produce software and take responsibility for what it does. Half of the provisions in Apple or any other software company's license are unenforceable, even in the US. They just put them in there to give their lawyers more ammo.

The only real question I have, is are the laws being applied equitably or is someone on a vendetta here. I mean have they read the license for Windows?

Apple + Interoperability = Ha ha ha ha ha (0, Flamebait)

cannuck (859025) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494214)

Interoperability doesn't exist in Apple's vocabulary - while MONOPOLY does exist in Apple's vocab in spades. And it's not about money (Apple is now worth $ 60,777,591,440 - that's 60 billion plus!).

It's not about the artists ( who get 3 cents for every tune sold on iTune, while Apple gets 50 cents for every tune sold - lets see Apple makes approximately 16 times what the artist makes - and how many hours did Apple spend writing the songs and then sitting in a studio.....).

It's all about control freaks. Apple is still NOT interoperable even when it comes to MEPG-4 video.

Apple could be turned around in a week - if and when all the "iAddicts" started complaining

Score 15!!.

Re:Apple + Interoperability = Ha ha ha ha ha (3, Informative)

xenolon (469955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494452)

I'm a little curious where you're getting these sales figures?

From this TIME article [time.com] :

...For every 99 Apple gets from your credit card, 65 goes straight to the music label. Another quarter or so gets eaten up by distribution costs. At most, Jobs is left with a dime per track, so even $500 million in annual sales would add up to a paltry $50 million profit...

and this NARIP document [mit.edu] . (Sorry, direct link to a PDF.)

If you insist on making spurious claims about Apple, or any other company for that matter, don't try to disguise them as facts please, that's all we ask. They're certainly not the kings of interoperability, but I can't think of any OS/company that is. no, not even *nix.

Altering terms after sale (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494225)

it is unreasonable to alter terms and conditions after a song has been sold.

I wonder if he is aware of that this is common in other businesses too. IIRC altering terms after the purchase is somewhat common in proprietary software licensens, not to mention web site and ISP terms of service and privacy policies. In those cases it is up to the consumer to stay updated about changes to those agreements.

Supported by others in Scandinavia (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494238)

ITMS Faces Complaint From Norwegian Ombudsman
... and the Swedish, and the Danish, according to a Swedish newspaper.

So I think this is a problem with laws common to a number of Scandinavian countries, and in short they dislike that Apple is writing themselves free of so many things upon signing up; e.g freedom of changing the license agreement without warning and with immediate effect.

Apple also violates European warranty laws (1)

MarkoNo5 (139955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494288)

Apple also violates the European warranty laws, which impose a minimum 2 year warranty on every electronic device. In addition failures in the first 6 months are assumed to be production faults unless the manufacturer can prove otherwise. Try having a MacBook Pro fixed for a known issue when the serial number is not on the list of Apple.

Re:Apple also violates European warranty laws (1)

zidohl (976382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494501)

True, in Norway Apple allready violates the warranty law which holds the manufacturer responsible for 2 years after purchase, while Apple only gives you 1 year, after that it's up to the consumer to prove that this was a manufacturing error, not a problem caused by the consumer. Ofcourse it's impossible for any consumer to provide this information without doing something to the iPod that would make the warranty void anyways. This leaves the store that sells Apple products to provide a replacement or fix the problem, so basicly none (or extremely few) Norwegian stores can sell iPods and make money from it if they provide the warranty that is requiered by law. Since they don't seem to be doing anything about the warranty issue, i don't see why they would do anything about this even if it violates the law.

NOT about DRM (1)

Pliep (880962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15494431)

Many bloggers, newssites and posters-of-comments seem to think this is about DRM. It is not. Norway just wants iTunes to abide Norwegian law, which means that iTunes is repsonsible for security leaks etc. in the software.
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