3.21.2006

A reason to dislike the French government

As if we needed one. Ha!

I don't normally think of the French in such terms because I don't normally think of the French. But their Ministry of Culture/Legislature's decision to create a law requiring Apple to open up it's proprietary system so that other companies may benefit from iTunes is retarded if only because it will prompt Apple to get out of the digital download biz in France.

However, while I was initially inclined to gripe about the French attempt to become culturally relevant via MP3 players, now I'm slightly curious. CNet says:

Under a draft law expected to be voted on in parliament on Thursday, consumers would be able to legally use software that converts digital content into any format.

It would no longer be illegal to crack digital rights management--the codes that protect music, films and other content--if it is to enable the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France.

"It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up...You have to be able to download content and play it on any device," Vanneste told Reuters in a telephone interview Monday.
It will be interesting to see what becomes of this legal loophole for hacking DRM, will France become another haven for digital pirates?

(Sorry if any of this sounds forced, I'm tired of not posting stuff and this was the first thing that came to mind.)

1 comment:

Andrew said...

No I can't pass up a chance to bash our smelly gallic friends.

Actually France is home of Archos maker of the first mainstream HDD based MP3 player. My dad owned one and it was the size of an old skool walkman. On the strait technical merits of their hardware their current product line compares pretty well to the apple products. However, like Sony their software is terrible. This is nothing more than France attempting to protect another homegrown firm from getting bloodied by the big boys; a modern day Napoleonic Beet farm.

The only really novel thing about this story is that it’s puts the “Think Different” and “Francophile” crowds (lots of overlap in that ven diagram I’m sure) against each other (or themselves?). Oh what a funny mental picture this conjures; an anguished person holding a beret in one hand and an ipod in the other like the scales of justice. Ooh what ever will you do Frenchie?