by CIO Staff

French Legislators Agree to Tone Down iTunes Law

Jun 22, 20062 mins

A handful of French senators and members of the National Assembly on Thursday agreed to tone down some of the provisions within a draft copyright law that left the future of Apple Computer’s iPod music player and iTunes Music Store uncertain in the country, the Associated Press reports via the

The modified law doesn’t include some of the non-iPod-friendly provisions included within an earlier version of the text that was passed by the country’s lower house, according to the AP.

The French National Assembly expressed support for some of the controversial provisions in March that would have required Apple and other producers of digital music players to open up their copy-protection technologies to other companies looking to develop products or services that work in conjunction with iPods or iTunes, the AP reports.

The new text still says that Apple, and companies like it, should share copy-protection technologies to foster “interoperability,” but it also contains a loophole that would enable companies to acquire permission from copyright holders—artists or record labels in Apple’s case—in order to set compatibility restrictions, according to the AP.

The amended text is to be presented to both French houses for a vote before it can become law, the AP reports.

Christian Vanneste, the governing party deputy who introduced the text to the Assembly, told the AP, “It’s perfectly legitimate that the artist should decide the potential limitations on the use of his work.”

As part of the proposed law, a new government body would have the authority to resolve issues related to interoperability by ordering firms to allow rivals to employ their file formats, though their intervention must be “in addition to, or independent of, those [restrictions] explicitly decided by the copyright holders,” according to the AP.

Related Links:

  • EC Regulators Won’t Force Interoperable iTunes

  • Apple’s iTunes to Offer Movies for Download?

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