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Norway Outlaws iTunes

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the run-out-of-town dept.

Media (Apple) 930

haddieman notes that while many people are getting more and more annoyed at DRM, Norway actually did something about it. The PC World article explains: "Good intentions, questionable execution. European legislators have been giving DRM considerable attention for a while, but Norway has actually gone so far as to declare that Apple's iTunes store is illegal under Norwegian law. The crux of the issue is that the Fairplay DRM that is at the heart of the iTunes/iPod universe doesn't work with anything else, meaning that if you want access to the cast iTunes library, you have to buy an iPod."

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930 comments

Good! (5, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762628)

Now, when are they going to outlaw all the other DRM-infested music stores? If "Fairplay" is unfair, then so is "PlaysForSure!"

Re:Good! (5, Insightful)

flawedgeek (833708) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762680)

The difference between fairplay and playsforsure is that fairplay *only* supports ipod, playsforsure is compatible with all sorts of hardware. I get the impression that Norway doesn't have a problem with the DRM itself, it's because it forces you to use specific hardware.

Re:Good! (5, Interesting)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762762)

The difference between fairplay and playsforsure is that fairplay *only* supports ipod, playsforsure is compatible with all sorts of hardware. I get the impression that Norway doesn't have a problem with the DRM itself, it's because it forces you to use specific hardware.
I think this is sorta right, however I think it more or less falls along the lines of apple dominates the MP3 player market and is using that to force out competition in the online music market.

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762780)

So what? It's still DRM, so it's still just as restrictive!

Re:Good! (4, Funny)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762786)

it's because it forces you to use specific hardware.

You can use the Nano, the Shuffle, the Mini, the Photo, the Video, etc. And not just Apple iPod's, but Hp iPod's too. Not to mention bot PC's and Mac's, which Plays4Sure can't. What is specific about that?

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762930)

All of them are made by Apple, so only 1 company profits. That's what's so specific. It's like Shell gas only working in Ford cars. Yeah, you can pick a truck or a car, but it's still unfair.

Re:Good! (1, Troll)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763190)

Then use Chevron. Nobody forces you to use Shell, or buy an iPod. I think it's silly. If the iPod doesn't do what you want it to, then don't buy the damn thing. I didn't. Regulating objects of fashion, that's great. I think I'll sue Gilbert Adrian because the Ruby Slippers only come in red.

Re:Good! (1, Interesting)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762808)

So the problem is that Apple won't let competitors to use the software they developed and paid for and the relationships they fostered with the Norwegian labels, both indie and the RIAA, nor share the revenue from that process and iPods sales with companies that don't have Apple's best interests in mind?

Are you in favour of regulations that forces Sears to haul around merchandise from JC Penney without compensation as well?

There's no law that forces people to use iTunes, nor does iTunes have a monopoly on downloaded music, and Apple hasn't used its market share to squeeze others out of the business (unlike Microsoft). What have they done wrong, except become popular?

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762970)

What have they done wrong, except become popular?
Ahh, the favorite tag line of every monopolist.

Re:Good! (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763106)

yes but in this case the truth. There are plenty of rivals with their own services, just because people would rather use a iPod or iTunes over the dozen others out there doesnt mean they are a monopoly. In order to be a monopoly you must be actively using your marketshare to drive others out of the buisness, that right there was why Microsoft was found to be a monopoly, because they did actively engage in antics to drive linux and unix out of the market... I would love you to find info showing that thats exactly what Apple is doing.

Re:Good! (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763232)

It's really simple to explain.

See, they have this nation over there called Norway, bunch of Democratic Socialists, and the people that live there, they have all sorts of gadgets and music distribution networks and formats and whatnot, and they think that it sucks when all these different companies decide to screw the end user and try to make them pay over and over to listen to the same bunch of songs by the same bunch of retired or dead musicians, or force them to buy their hardware upgrade from the same company so they don't lose their music library.

So they made it illegal to do that to people.

You can talk all you want about the value of these business relationships and the investments and monopolies till you're blue in the face, but it's really kind of irrelevant. The Norwegians decided that these sorts of arrangements amount to unfair business practices, so unless Apple wants to play by their rules, it appears Apple is free to go peddle their shit somewhere else.

Dumbass (1)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762988)

If I buy a song from Sony or Microsoft, it wont work on the ipod. That is textbook anti-competitive behavior.

Re:Dumbass (2, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763102)

And if I buy a song from Sony or Microsoft, it won't work on my Linux computer. That is textbook anti-competitive behavior too, so why aren't "PlaysForSure" and whatever Sony's DRM is called being outlawed as well?

You have a case with microsoft (1)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763182)

I don't see how Sony benefits from shutting Linux users out. As for Microsoft, that is anti-competitive behavior too, and I would like to see it prosecuted. But the EU is already pursuing a case with Microsoft, so Norway probably doesn't doesnt want to spend the money(Anti-trust suits can be very expensive).

Re:Dumbass (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763196)

If I buy a song from Sony or Microsoft, it wont work on the ipod. That is textbook anti-competitive behavior.

On whose behalf, Sony's and Microsofts? After all a song bought on iTunes won't play on a player by someone else. An MP3 player that doesn't support playsforsure and other DRMed tracks will not play ANY of the DRMed formats from any of the stores. Whose fault is that, the store for selling a DRMed song, or the hardware manufacturer for not supporting the DRM format?

A Playstation game will only play on a Playstation machine. Is that classic anti-competitive behavior? A part for a Panasonic projector will only fit into a Panasonic brand projector. Is that anticompetitive?

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763052)

"There's no law that forces people to use iTunes, nor does iTunes have a monopoly on downloaded music, and Apple hasn't used its market share to squeeze others out of the business (unlike Microsoft). What have they done wrong, except become popular?"
Apple Inc. created the iTunes Store, put Fairplay on the trax it sells, and then offered exclusive trax. (Example of an exclusive iTunes track: U2/McCartney "Sgt. Pepper" on Live8.)
Now, whether Apple Inc. is squeezing other corps. out of any markets it's in is hard to pinpoint. (I've heard that there aren't as many large non-iPod portable music players out now as there used to be.) It doesn't matter. Europe is simply angry about there being important songs that can be gotten only on iTunes with iTunes Fairplay on them, which can only be gotten with iTunes manager and only played without (further) compression damage on iPods. Europe wishes to stop this method of distribution, one way or another.

Re:Good! (4, Insightful)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763176)

Norway isn't asking Apple to take extra steps to interoperate with competitors' hardware, they're asking them to take less steps to prevent interoperability. There is a difference between dictating that the music be offered in an arbitrary codec and dictating that the music be offered in a form usable by a player supporting the codec that is used.

Re:Good! (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762924)

playsforsure is compatible with all sorts of hardware.
Except the Zune.

Re:Good! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763086)

The difference between fairplay and playsforsure is that fairplay *only* supports ipod
This is totally untrue!! You can play fairplay music on LOTS of things that aren't the iPod. For example: Macintosh computer, Windows computers, and AppleTV, and Motorola ROKR.

Anyone could make a music player that uses XP Embedde and has iTunes loaded on it. So, your point is false. It is just that no one has done it yet, but that's not Apple's fault. They support win32 which is the widest used platform out there.

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763122)

The difference between fairplay and playsforsure is that fairplay *only* supports ipod, playsforsure is compatible with all sorts of hardware.

not true at all. Playsforsure is only compatible with one kind of hardware - playforsure compatible hardware.

Re:Good! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763204)

Thank you! At least somebody around here other than me understands this! Now, if only we could get Norway to figure it out...

And... (2, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762654)

When will they outlaw razor blades that only fit one razor?

While I despise DRM, this is purest bullshit.

Re:And... (1)

Syde (1047152) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762774)

I was thinking the exact same thing. My first thought was "if the iTunes store just sold all their songs in a closed-spec ".ipod" format that was only designed to play on iPods then they wouldn't be having this problem."

Anyhow while I disagree with many implementations of DRM, it is somewhat nice to see some positive movement.

Re:And... (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763202)

My first thought was "if the iTunes store just sold all their songs in a closed-spec ".ipod" format that was only designed to play on iPods then they wouldn't be having this problem."
Fairplay is the closed-spec ".ipod" format!
Fairplay is not open simply because one can strip it (and metadata) off the file when transferring that file to CD; that's like saying that ".doc" is open because you can print .doc files out onto paper and type the words on the paper into another word processor.
Fairplay is not open simply because of DVD Jon's efforts; the format is still legally closed if efforts to open it came by methods violating the DMCA or the European Union Copyright Directive.
Fairplay is not open.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762862)

no, it's democratic government responding to its citizens.

imho, your perspective is indicative of how far we've fallen

Re:And... (1, Troll)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763000)

no, it's democratic government responding to its citizens.

Nobody is being force to buy iPods or use the iTunes store. When a government forces a company to change how it does business (which folks are free to ignore), regardless of whose behest they do it, it is totalitarianism.
Remember, Stalin and Hitler were both doing it "for the people".

And if I'm not mistaken, I think you've earned the "fucktard" moniker, but I'll need an "Amen".

Re:And... (1)

Thexare Blademoon (1010891) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763124)

And if I'm not mistaken, I think you've earned the "fucktard" moniker, but I'll need an "Amen".

Here's your "amen".

Re:And... (1, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763014)

> no, it's democratic government responding to its citizens.

Which is a perfect example why the US Founding Fathers thought democracy was a a wicked and stupid idea. And why the US has a republican form of government with lots of checks and balances and concepts like Rights that trump the 'will of the People" and being a nation of laws and not men, meaning there are supposed to be a great many things the State should NEVER do; regardless of whether it might be popular at the moment.

Norway on the other hand is a socialist "Worker's Paradise" and lacks any such restraints.

Re:And... Astroturfing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763170)

republican form of government
a socialist "Worker's Paradise"

Re:And... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763230)

If the Founding Fathers saw today's situation regarding so-called "Intellectual Property," they would never have given the government authority to create copyright. All music would be public domain, and we wouldn't have had this problem in the first place!

Re:And... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763216)

It is? Who are these citizens that demanded iTunes be outlawed? I can't imagine it would even be a significant minority of Norwegians who would want that, let alone a majority.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762864)

I agree with you, however...

Analogies don't work. Razorblades to digital downloads has about as much credit as trucks or pipes to the internet do. It's usually easier to just say what you mean.

Re:And... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763142)

Another beautiful analogy. The irony of using analogy to prove your point is delicious.

Re:And... (5, Informative)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762888)

I don't like that comparison. For starters, Gillette don't have much of a choice since there is no standard format for razer blades. In addition, there are replicated blades available on the market for a lower price. iTunes, on the other hand, uses common software but has intentional limitations set to it.

Also, when you are in a dominant position as an online music store, you kind of have advantages over all of the competition, so what they're doing is more related to what Microsoft did with Internet Explorer.

Last but not least, you must remember that newly formed laws on computer software cannot be compared to the laws of items.

Re:And... (2, Insightful)

DVega (211997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762900)

Never, because anyone can make and sell compatible blades and razor blades on Norway. This isn't possible with iTunes

Re:And... (1)

Explodicle (818405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762984)

MOD PARENT UP! He hits the nail on the head.

Re:And... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763184)

While I despise DRM, this is purest bullshit.
I guess Norway feels the exact same way about the whole "just burn your FairPlay tracks to CD and re-rip them"

Apple has a choice (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762656)

haddieman notes that while many people are getting more and more annoyed at DRM, Norway actually did something about it.

It sounds like they've decided it's either Norway or the Highway.

My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (1)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762664)

Richard Stallman recently spoke at my university about the dangers of software patents. After his lecture I went up to him and asked how he felt if a user wants to put DRM on his or her computer under their own free will(such as iTunes). He said that he felt users should have the right to put whatever they want on their computers as long as they have the option to take it off. While iTunes you can pull off your computer if you buy music from it you can not play it after removing iTunes so I'm not sure what his position would be on that. But is Norway violating users rights by not letting them use DRM?

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762816)

But is Norway violating users rights by not letting them use DRM?

"Not letting them use DRM" would be a Hell of a lot better than what Norway's actually doing, which is giving Microsoft's "PlaysForSure" DRM (which is just as proprietary!) preferential treatment.

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (2, Insightful)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762872)

It's not preferential. Other companies can make products that interoperate with PlaysForSure. If other compainies could do that with Fairplay, Norway wouldn't have a problem according to the article. Just because some companies are in compliance with proposed new regulations and some aren't doesn't mean that making new regulations is "unfair".

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762998)

It's not preferential. Other companies can make products that interoperate with PlaysForSure.

Really? Then show me where I can get a software player not made by Microsoft capable of playing PlaysForSure Media! In particular, show me where I can get one that works on operating systems other than Windows!

Just because some companies are in compliance with proposed new regulations and some aren't doesn't mean that making new regulations is "unfair".

The only "fair" regulations would be ones that outlaw DRM entirely. To do what they've actually done -- especially when done in the name of "protecting consumers" -- is a farce!

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (1)

dabraun (626287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763020)

"Not letting them use DRM" would be a Hell of a lot better than what Norway's actually doing, which is giving Microsoft's "PlaysForSure" DRM (which is just as proprietary!) preferential treatment.


That's not true at all - anyone who wants to can make a player that works with Microsoft's DRM model. This isn't just hypothetical, there are hundreds of different devices from dozens of manufacturers that do this today. Norway is not complaining about proprietary DRM, they are complaining about 100% lock-in by the largest player in the market.

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (1, Flamebait)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763084)

That's not true at all - anyone who wants to can make a player...

Oh? So you mean I can go write myself a program to decrypt and play PlaysForSure media on my Linux or Macintosh computer? Without having to bend over and hand all my rights (and license fees) to Microsoft?

Yeah, you're completely wrong. Shut the fuck up.

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762818)

But is Norway violating users rights by not letting them use DRM?

As far as I understand, the legislation is only intended to make Apple untie their music from the iPod. It doesn't matter if anyone is using DRM.

Re:My Talk With Richard Stallman About This (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763132)

And that's the problem, isn't it? If Norway wants to protect the rights of consumers, it should ban DRM entirely instead of being half-assed about it!

Go go gadget emulation (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762672)

Bah! If I want to play Wii games, I have to buy a Wii. Outlaw the Wii.

Re:Go go gadget emulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762748)

Wii doesn't have a monopoly in the games market.

Gratuitous incompatibility (5, Insightful)

Encrypto (1054956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762940)

There's a solid technical reason why Wii games only run on a Wii. Technical incompatibility of DRM-locked music, however, is a purely artificially imposed barrier to interoperability. It's gratuitous incompatibility.

Imagine that every car manufacturer operated a chain of gas stations. All cars could run on the same fuel, but every brand of car had a bizarrely shaped fuel intake that would only accept the corresponding bizarrely shaped nozzle. You could only fill up a Toyota at a Toyota gas station, a Ford and a Ford station, etc.

Further, if you dared to try to create adapter for universal fueling, you'd be thrown in jail and fined tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for violating the laws the big car companies paid politicians all around the world to pass, to protect there little lock-in schemes.

You could either go along with such BS, and happily sing the tune the car companies want you to sing ("If you don't like it, you can don't have to buy a car! No one's forcing you! Just by a bicycle and shut up already!"), or you could cheer along the efforts to end protected for deliberately imposed incompatibility and improve things for consumers instead.

Re:Gratuitous incompatibility (4, Insightful)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763130)

The argument could be made that if Nintendo would just license the right specifications, other companies could build consoles that play Wii games. My computer for instance would probably be capable of emulating the Wii architecture, but if someone created and distributed a Wii emulator, they would certainly get a DMCA takedown notice, and likely face a law suit. While I don't feel your argument of Wii games only running on Wiis is completely valid, I agree with the rest of your analogy.

The thing that irritates me the most about DRM is that it's illegal to circumvent. I have no problem with companies choosing to use DRM, and I have no problem with companies pursuing pirates in court. But when the DRM limits legitimate uses of the media and customers are stripping the DRM solely so they can use it on another platform, I have a problem with legal action being taken against them. Granted, if the DMCA didn't protect DRM there would be commercial investments dedicated to fighting DRM and it wouldn't last long at all, but I still don't feel consumers ought to have to worry about using their media the way they want to.

Oblig (3, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762674)

If iTunes is illegal, only criminals with have iTunes.

Re:Oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763056)

Making a device illegal is only going to make people want it more, partly because of exclusivity. Then the money goes towards criminal elements who profit from high markups. If Norway was smart, they would have created a category to put iPods into and charged an import tax.

where is the fjsio[n fjds ngdjksapf unjdsa;o rhfew (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762682)

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WTF? (2, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762692)

While I don't agree with DRM, and don't support it (financially), why does the government need to regulate a vendor that has lock-in features, when other companies [microsoft.com] do the same thing?

--
Plays For Sure .. unless your MS and can't even get that right!

Re:WTF? (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762870)

Many manufacturers make computers that will run Windows.
Only one manufacturer makes portable devices that directly play iTunes Store purchases. It so happens that that corp. is the same one running the iTunes Store.
The iTunes manager and iPods will work without the iTunes Store. The iTunes Store will not work without the iTunes manager. So if something must be outlawed over Fairplay, the store is the least painful choice for consumers.
And yes, I do think that Europe has it in for Apple Inc.

Re:WTF? (1)

lkypnk (978898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762952)

Yes, but this is Europe. They HAVE gone after Microsoft [slashdot.org] for it's activities before...

Forget Norway!! (5, Funny)

dogbrt (913020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762696)

Kenya Kenya Kenyaaaaa....

Wait a second... (2, Insightful)

lordmatthias215 (919632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762730)

What about all those applications that you can only use on one chipset/operating system? I could've sued game developes years ago for not making a mac version of their games, therefore forcing me to spend my money on PC, because I like to game. And what about those proprietary file formats? I should be able to open whatever file I want with whatever program and have it work! Although I agree that I should have the ability to play my iTunes music on whatever I want, I'm not sure making it illegal to limit proprietary files to a certain proprietary device sets a good precedence.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

spwolfx (1029734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762812)

thats completly different. More obvious would be Microsoft only allowing Windows to be used on HP PC's, and not allowing you to transfer your programs to any other PC maker.

In fact, thats what Apple has done forever now :-).

Actually creating game for Mac requires a lot of resources to be spent. Allowing iTunes music to be playable in other players takes once click.

Apple has the history of being very protective and closed company, from them closing the hardware and destroying their hardware partners, to iTunes, to iPhone with no 3rd party software.

Re:Wait a second... (1)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763140)

Before I start, I will say that I have a dislike of DRM. So this is interesting news.

Actually creating game for Mac requires a lot of resources to be spent. Allowing iTunes music to be playable in other players takes once click.
Resources can mean a lot of things, technical limitations, man power, legal reasons.

That said and clarified. There may be a lot of legal (and big financial) reasons why Apple can't allow third parties to play iTunes Store bought music. Unfortunately, Apple is a corporation out to make money so basically it would take Apple a lot of resources (negotiations, loss in revenue from competing products that play Fairplay encrypted iTunes Music Store music, etc) .

Apple has the history of being very protective and closed company, from them closing the hardware and destroying their hardware partners, to iTunes, to iPhone with no 3rd party software.

Hardly any different than Microsoft.

IANAL but I don't think there is anything out there that prohibits a 3rd Party to develop music software that loads music onto the iPod. However, because of legal and technological restraints no 3rd party software company can make a program that downloads music from the iTunes Music Store and stores it on the iPod or other devices. I've seen plugins for iTunes that let you connect 3rd party music players to iTunes. However, these players can not playback iTunes Music Store bought music, but you can load up MP3s and i bet AAC just fine.

Apple has created a market with a good product (even if you and your ten closest friends personally don't like it, it pleases enough people to be a success) which they control. This is similar to the way the Mac has been for many years. Apple controlled the software and hardware. There are merits to this that I will not go into because they deal with subjects outside of DRM. Similarly there are merits to the way MS does things they provide the software, someone else provides the hardware.

I just hope that Norway can set a big enough ripple through the European Union to discourage DRM usage, and perhaps in turn in the US and around the world. One of my concerns is what happens in 200 years from now when the software we use now is abandoned. I highly doubt that the MPAA and RIAA have plans to make it easy for us to recover all those works created by people from now once they can no longer make money out of it, and the content is in public domain. DRM is only useful to them as long as they can make money out of implementing it and using it. If Norway's actions can create an unprofitable environment for content distributors frenzied up about DRM, maybe they will change their business plan and we can be rid of DRM for good.

Doesn't this apply to DVD-video too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762750)

If you want to play a region #X DVD, you have to buy a region #X DVD player.

Re:Doesn't this apply to DVD-video too? (1)

vik (17857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763134)

Or buy one in New Zealand, where we don't have that crap.

Vik :v)

FUD, FUD, FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762778)

Songs purchased via iTunes can not *only* be played on an iPod, they can also be played on any Mac or PC, and also some Motorola cell phones. Only on an iPod? Right.

What about other DRM? (1)

TheUnknown (90519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762794)

What about DVDs, protected WMV files, etc?

For playing a DVD, you need to buy a licensed DVD player. For protected WMV files, you need Windows Media Player running on Windows.

That's of course forgetting tools like DeCSS, Playfair, ... that goes around those restrictions. If Itunes is targetted, why should they skip other types of DRM?

Re:What about other DRM? (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762880)

Did you forget ? deCSS was developed by a Norwegian, and he *won a prize* from the Norwegian govt. for developing it.

Re:What about other DRM? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762892)

For playing a DVD, you need to buy a licensed DVD player.


There are quite a few competing brands of DVD players.

For protected WMV files, you need Windows Media Player running on Windows.


There are quite a few competing brands of hardware capable of playing WMV and WMA files.

Steve's response (2, Funny)

Skidge (316075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762826)

Here's what Steve has to say [blogspot.com] about it:

Okay, Norway. You want to play hardball? Saddle up the reindeer, strap some body armor over your queer-ass Dale sweaters, wrap your pretentious scarf tight around your chicken neck, and meet us on the field of battle.
;)

Heads exploding (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762836)

Gaaa!

Norway == socialists == doubleplus good

DRM == doubleplus ungood

iTunes == Apple == doubleplus good

Norway outlaws iTunes? What is a good gay socialist Mac user going to do? What is the right side to be on?

Ok, trolling is fun and all, but seriously.

I think it's a load. People have the right to be stupid. Without that as Right 0 no other "Right" can be read as anything other than "You have the Right to ____ unless we, the anointed elite, think decide your exercise of it is dumb." It's why the 1st Amendment is safe so long as -both- Noam Chomsky and StormFront were free to rant and rave but didn't survive John McCain & Russ Feingold.

I'd never buy from the iTunes store because I think the deal offered is one sided, shortsighted and stupid. But I'll defend Steve's Right to try to sell it and your Right to freely enter into a license agreement with him.

Re:Heads exploding (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763178)

My kingdom for a mod point.

Preach brother, preach.

If it were microsoft.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762840)

If it were a Microsoft product being banned most of you would be saying they deserve it and shouting about how its about time someone was doing something about Microsoft.

I agree with Norway's stance 100% here. Not being able to move an open format to other machines is apple forcing people to use their hardware. In their PCs this isn't a problem because they do not have market power. However in MP3's/Players they have market power and they are using it to force people to buy their hardware. This is similar to when Microsoft was forcing companies to sell their OS or when they forced users to use their web browser. The only reason it was illegal was because Microsoft had market power.

And there is a big difference between computer software and MP3's. Other platforms already support playing MP3's with PC software migrating a piece a software between platforms takes a lot of work and is not a feasible restriction to place on companies.

Norway is attempting to make Apple change their stance on this issue and I think other countries should join.

Re:If it were microsoft.... (1)

jimmy_dean (463322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763172)

Why don't you say that while logged in instead of an Anonymous Coward so that we can mod your comment appropriately.

More like Snoreway (2, Funny)

azakem (924479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762848)

Only in Kenya can you see lions.

Who's confused? (1)

FunkeyMonk (1034108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762854)

meaning that if you want access to the cast iTunes library, you have to buy an iPod."

I don't know if the summary is confused, or the article... but you do not need to buy an iPod to use the iTunes store! There's absolutely nothing stopping you from purchasing and downloading music with iTunes for use on your computer.

They've got it all wrong... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762856)

Isn't that a bit like how, if you want access to the music available on Compact Discs, you have to buy a CD player?

Furthermore, music purchased from the iTunes store does not require an iPod - it only requires iTunes which is available for free on both Macs and Windows machines. iTunes allows you to burn your purchased music to a CD so you can listen on myriad other devices. The only thing it limits is the portable devices you can play the purchased music on in its native format.

I think it wouldn't be hard at all for Apple to make a case and sue the Norwegian government for damages and lost revenue (if such a thing is allowed there).

Guess they'll have to ban Nokia phones next... (0, Troll)

cuzco (998069) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762890)

From a quick Google search:
Experience Nokia Nseries multimedia smartphones, featuring exclusive content from cutting-edge designers, artists and generally mobile people.

Not so much that you need an iPod to listen (4, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762928)

It's not so much that you need an iPod to enjoy your itunes purchases, but that you are locked into future hardware purchases from Apple

If you buy many albums from the iTunes sture you can enjoy them and all is rosy. Then two years later the battery on your iPod has died, so you look at what's available. You think there are some nice offerings from creative or sandisk but, trouble is, you can't listen to any of your existing purchases. Your locked to Apple.

It's well boyond time that other players were allowed to license Fairplay, and that other music providers be allowed to sell Fairplay encoded tracks.

Re:Not so much that you need an iPod to listen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763138)

You think there are some nice offerings from creative or sandisk but, trouble is, you can't listen to any of your existing purchases. Your locked to Apple.

No, you're not. You can burn your purchases to audio CD and re-rip into whatever format you want, and play it on whatever player you want. Yes, it's work, but the point is IT CAN BE DONE.

Re:Not so much that you need an iPod to listen (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763164)

It's not so much that you need an iPod to enjoy your itunes purchases, but that you are locked into future hardware purchases from Apple

"It's not so much that you need Windows to enjoy your PlaysForSure purchases, but that you are locked into future hardware purchases from only Microsoft-approved vendors"

I don't see any real difference there. Do you?

Re:Not so much that you need an iPod to listen (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763188)

well what if I want to listen to my playsforsure tracks on my iPod OH WAIT I cant do that either.

Its bogus and you know it. This punished Apple while giving Microsoft free reign to make people spend money to license their version... oh but wait Playsforsure is being phased out too for Microsofts unlicensable Zune only format.

How long before vista's SUPER DRM is banded? (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762934)

How long before windows vista's SUPER DRM is banded?

Confused (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762954)

So they're going to ban people from buying licensed music? It's one thing to question copyright and DRM it's another to not leave people with any option but illegal downloads.

One choice better than no choice? (5, Interesting)

AutumnLeaf (50333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762958)

What I found interesting about this article is that it seems to advocate one choice is better than no choice, and implies Norway is harming its citizens and consumers by depriving them of a monopoly.

This tends to be the self serving argument monopolists use when justifying their actions. "By enhancing the user experience by bundling a product the user experience is enhanced. Depriving them of our monopolistic business model harms them."

In my view, choice is never bad. Competition is good. Apple won their market share by out-innovating the rest of the pack. But history is full of examples of the stagnation occurs once a market is consolidated. So I think other players should be allowed to work with iTunes.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17762990)

What the hell is Norway's problem? This is the same as only being able to fit Swiffer brand pads into the Swiffer mop. If you don't like the idea, don't buy the friggin' product. Has anyone noticed how difficult it is to get WMP to work with an iPod? Where are the country-wide bans for that one? This is the kind of reaction I'd expect from a pre-teen, not from a European country!

Back in the USSR (-1, Troll)

Kreisler (992371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17762992)

That's right, folks, get ready for nTunes! With Apple out of the way, the Communist Republic of Norway can now provide DRM free music to its entire population. A pox on capitalist economic competition, that crap didn't work in the 70's and 80's, and it's...oh wait... (I'm not saying that DRM is good, I hate it. But if the governments of the world would get out of the damn way and consumers would stop being fussy crybabies and vote with the pocketbooks like they should, DRM would go away a LOT faster. Open source doesn't exist because the government made people use it. Open source works because smart people at competitive companies (IBM) found that, with the right model, it actually *is* better.)

Re:Back in the USSR (1)

jimmy_dean (463322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763118)

You're so right on! I second your comment and I say down with stupid fascist nonsense. Let people live as they may, choosing what they may. Communist/fascist/dictator crap is so last century.

haha tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763022)

Where's the "haha" tag for this story?

Well that's a bunch of bull (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763054)

Why didn't they outlaw copyright??

Norway is not a member of the European Union. (1)

xkillkillx (987532) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763062)

Maybe they should be bought by the Pirate Neighbours.

Will Norway sue software manufacturers next? (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763064)

Until they release versions of their software that works with OS X and Linux? If software is written to only work on 90% of the PC's out there(wintel), like iTunes with the iPod, then shouldn't the software manufacturers be forced to release working verions on other operating systems?

There's a big difference (3, Insightful)

Encrypto (1054956) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763126)

There's a big difference between forcing a software company to expend the enormous effort that would be required to make a piece of software run on multiple OSes, and telling a music distributor that they shouldn't gratuitously add artificially imposed incompatibility.

Think before you act! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763072)

This is how we conduct business in the US. If you don't like it, read between the DRM lines.

Oh, F'ing please (-1, Troll)

lax-goalie (730970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763074)

1) Buy song on iTunes
2) Drop it in a playlist
3) Menu: File => Burn Playlist to Disk
4) Import ...
5) Profit!

Or,

1) Buy song on iTunes
2) Menu: Advanced => Convert selection to .mp3

I'm sorry, this is only a problem for morons. Since this is coming from Norway, I'm guessing that living in the dark must make your brain shrink or something.

If you have an iPod, buy from iTunes.
If you have a Zune (all 12 of you) buy from MS.

Or even better, buy the CD, avoid the DRM altogether, rip it at higher quality than you can buy online, and stash the CD in your closet.

Re:Oh, F'ing please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763214)

1) Buy song on iTunes
2) Menu: Advanced => Convert selection to .mp3
Does it actually let you do this? I know you can do this with regular aac files, but can you actually do this with fairplay (m4p) songs?

Re:Oh, F'ing please (2, Informative)

jtotheh (229796) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763218)

I just tried your "menu:advanced" recommendation. iTunes tells me that protected files cannot be converted to other formats.
I also think that if you burn and rip to get it in as mp3, you lose the ID3 tags, but I don't feel like verifying that right now.

QT Fair Use and another program I don't recall converted everything to mp3s quite nicely though, as I just switched from an ancient iPod to a Creative Vision

Lost Songs? (1)

GoldenPhi (1033178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763082)

If the problem is you can't play music you bought on i-tunes without the i-tunes, hasn't norway just made it worse by making it illegal to play the songs you bought off of i-tunes. Think about it, everyone in Norway with an i-pod will now not be legally be allowed to play the music they rightfully bought. Which is worse?

This and that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763112)

On DRM: In the real world, who has been inconvenienced by DRM? Anyone? Here's your chance to step up to plate and bleed your tale of woe. How many CDs couldn't you rip? How many computers were you unable to stream or copy or authorize playback for your purchased DRM'd songs?

On the iPod: The article seems to suggest that if I don't own an iPod, I don't have access to the iTunes store library. Well, I don't own an iPod, and I have access to whatever I wish on the iTunes store. In fact, iTunes is, by a wide margin, the most compatible, interoperable music store on the internet today. For one thing, it works with both Macs and PCs, which account for pretty much the entire consumer-based computer market. The fact is no other online music store can make the same boast. Not Microsoft, not Yahoo, not Napster, Sony...and on and on.

Fix the title - ITMS != iTunes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17763152)

Norway did not "Outlaw iTunes". They outlawed iTunes Music Store. There's a big fucking difference, and on /. of all places the editors should know the difference.

CAPTAIN OBVIOUS ASKS: (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763186)

Now why do you suppose it takes the EU's members to challenge what US companies are doing? Why is it that US government bodies aren't acknowleding the problems with current business practices? Why is it that while both the EU and the US has gone after Microsoft for the same criminal charges, only the EU is willing to back its convictions?

The questions are leading, of course... draw the conclusions I intend.

Just burn to CD? (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17763220)

Ok, if the DRM prevented them from being able to change the media into another format, I guess I could see the point of this. But the fact that you can burn the stuff to a CD as many times as you want, I don't see how anyone is forced to use an iPod for music from ITMS. In fact, I bet there are more people with CD players than iPods. As others have pointed out, razor blade makers, video game consoles, etc are far more "locked down" than music from ITMS. Hell, why not sue microsoft for making IE, outlook, etc only work on windows? Sirius and XM radio music can only be played on stuff made by them. Where do they draw the line?
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