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If It Ain’t Broke….

Apple is ticked off at the French government who created legislation that requires Apple to reveal their secret coding system that converts songs from iTunes to one’s iPod.  By revealing their codes, patrons can download music from any music download-site (legally or illegally) and sync the songs to their iPod.  Lawmakers in the National Assembly (France’s lower house) approved a bill by a vote of 296-193, which is now up for vote in the French Senate. 

Apple needless to say was not pleased with this legislation and likened it to "state-sponsored piracy" implying that the French consumers will backtrack from legal downloads of music back to the illegal market that Apple has worked so hard to diminish.

Apple released in a statement: "If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers.  IPod sales will likely increase as users freely load their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music, which cannot be adequately protected. Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy."

The talk of the town this week predicts that if this legislation is approved, Apple will pull out iTunes out of France altogether.  French lawmakers argue that the law penalizes music piracy with a new range of fines, but realistically how many people would get caught?

This is a very significant story, because it impacts Apple’s highly regarded and successful business plan of a "closed network."  If this legislation is passed and other governments follow, Apple can be in real danger of losing the stronghold it has carved for itself in the industry. 

The Media Backpage will continue to monitor this story.

Wall Street Journal
New York Times
Washington Post

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