Norway bans iTunes store, cuts nose, spites face

Socialist paradise keeps users from buying where they want in the name of freedom...

Friday, January 26, 2007 by Frogboy | Discussion: WinCustomize News

This week Norway banned Apple from selling songs via iTunes Music store in Norway. This was done on the grounds that Apple's DRM "Fairplay" forces users to play the music via iTunes which they feel infringes on the rights of users (though forcing users to not be able to choose to buy songs from iTunes apparently is a newly discovered freedom).

Europe's obsession with media playing technologies developed in the United States (as seen with its millions in fines against Microsoft) seems confined to media player.

No word yet on whether Norway plans to invade neighboring Finland to take out Nokia's diabolical plan of forcing people who want to play n-Gage games to buy a Nokia n-Gage. 

Gillette, maker of razor blades that force users to use Gillette razors declined to comment on whether they were concerned that Norway would target them next.

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Frogboy
Reply #21 Saturday, January 27, 2007 12:47 AM

Indeed. Apple doesn't force anyone to use iTunes, but a lot of the music on iTunes isn't available on DRM-free or more relaxed DRM digital music stores. iTunes has special deals with record labels that their music will only be on iTunes, so in essence, you either have to buy a CD, use iTunes, pirate the music, or go with out. None are horrible options, but as 'thecoomester' was saying, if every company created a closed environment (especially for a product they don't actually own), the consumer loses.

Before iTunes, you didn't have a legal non-DRM free way getting music convenient.  Today, you have lots of choices besides iTunes.

aufisch
Reply #22 Saturday, January 27, 2007 1:42 AM
Norways stance on forbidding (or make it impossible?) their citicens to download music from the i-tunes stores is certainly not fair to the consumer as well. After all they should be able to decide by themselves wether they want to be locked into using the i-tunes/iPod combination or not.

But one has to add here that the big companies like Apple and Microsoft tend to just ignore any other means of legal repression (fines...., time ultimates...), or at least did so in the past.
As mentioned above, Apple has absolutely no legal right to "Music" or the "mp3-format", but still they force the use of their products upon it through their monopolised stores.

If the idea behind it was to cause a financial loss for Apple, and therefore force them to rethink their business-ethics, then that might not work, since Norway by itself is problably just too small to hurt their business. But if more countries would follow......

I haven't seen the complete legislation behind it, but I would hope that Norway introduced this new law on the premises that it would be nullified as soon Apple stops its DRM-locking on the music they resell. If so, the whole action would be more of an "enforced strike".

Still, its certainly a risk to do so. At the end, the Norwegian Parlament will have to pay its price at the next election if it didn't work out as intended, or if the outrage over this law is too big.
JMBdev
Reply #23 Saturday, January 27, 2007 3:20 AM
Apple forces me to buy iTunes music They convinced other people who dont know whats going on to buy me an iPod as a present. I could either re-sell it for less than fair value, which would be insulting to those who got it for me, or use the gift cards they got to buy music and then thereafter continue to buy music from iTunes, since I can't buy music from anywhere else now that I have it. Wasn't my choice, it was the choice of others who got suckered by the brand and marketing
Bebi Bulma
Reply #24 Saturday, January 27, 2007 3:44 AM
I'm so glad I don't have an iPod.
HG_Eliminator
Reply #25 Saturday, January 27, 2007 3:50 AM
I agree with Norway in theory .. Apple should not have the right to decide what media player and what Portable media devices I should be able to listen to my music on....Im thinking this is an effort to Force Apple to lift the DRM strangle they have on music sold in Norway...If norway can get it changed, think of what a bigger country can do...

I love my Ipod and wouldnt get rid of it .. but it stinks I cant hook my kids non APPLE Media players up and let them use some of the music...without having to jump through hoops like crazy... I was buying them music from I tunes to listen to now i dont. Now I use Itunes as my Ipod library only.


IMO DRM has gone way to far in the music industry...they have the right to block theft and illegal sale of music (piracy)... they dont have the right to keep me from playing music I payed for on what ever media player I choose.
Life is a Game
Reply #26 Saturday, January 27, 2007 5:05 AM
I agree with Norway. When I buy music I want to be able to play it in any media player I want and not to be limited to iTunes that takes somewhere between 75 and 100 MB of my memory.

It's about time somebody started making trouble for Apple not just Microsoft.
cerendir
Reply #27 Saturday, January 27, 2007 5:59 AM
If there's one thing that will one day make stop visiting this site, it's the constant slandering of Europe and europeans by certain staff members and regulars. While some criticism might be valid, there's no reason to be so damn smug about it. If you need an outlet for your political views, then do it elsewhere.
DeadestEye
Reply #28 Saturday, January 27, 2007 7:37 AM


They should let capitalism sort this out. Enough people purchasing other media players will make it worthwhile for itunes competitors to offer more. Competition might also make the people giving exclusive contracts to itunes to rethink this policy. Competition could also make itunes open up to get to customers that purchase competing media players. Consumers control the market.
thomassen
Reply #29 Saturday, January 27, 2007 7:44 AM
Still, its certainly a risk to do so. At the end, the Norwegian Parlament will have to pay its price at the next election if it didn't work out as intended, or if the outrage over this law is too big.

I very much doubt that this will be of any issue for the next election. And our gouverment the past few years has been consisting of several parties anyways so it wouldn't be easy to point the finger on any one of them. And if you where to blame all of them then you'd be left with a set of parties with very political stance. And I don't think people will start voting completely different just because iTunes store is banned. And this isn't something that will make people think that their rights has been bypassed.
Basicly it's a message to Apple and the rest of the industry that we want to be able to play the music on anything we like without being restricted.
And yes of course, we can buy music elsewhere if we like. So you can say it'd just be up to the consumers to choose not to use iTunes store. But the issue is that the iTunes store violates Norwegian law (and laws in other scandinavian countries as well) so it's not so much as Norway making choices for the consumers, it's a matter of whether it's legal or not.
thomassen
Reply #30 Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:06 AM
f there's one thing that will one day make stop visiting this site, it's the constant slandering of Europe and europeans by certain staff members and regulars. While some criticism might be valid, there's no reason to be so damn smug about it. If you need an outlet for your political views, then do it elsewhere.

They own it, they can do and say what they want.
cerendir
Reply #31 Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:55 AM
They own it, they can do and say what they want.


The question isn't whether they can, it's whether they should. It's their choice of course, but I doubt the anti-european propaganda that keeps sneaking its way into wincustomize is good for business. I sure as hell don't feel like buying any Stardock software when it's painfully clear that the company is run by narrow-minded, holier-than-thou American idiots. But then again, I am european so I guess they don't care if I buy their products anyway.
thomassen
Reply #32 Saturday, January 27, 2007 9:11 AM
The question isn't whether they can, it's whether they should. It's their choice of course, but I doubt the anti-european propaganda that keeps sneaking its way into wincustomize is good for business. I sure as hell don't feel like buying any Stardock software when it's painfully clear that the company is run by narrow-minded, holier-than-thou American idiots. But then again, I am european so I guess they don't care if I buy their products anyway.

And non-stardockians can say what they want?
The way I see it, they can say whatever they want on WC along with any other user here. WC might be run and funded by SD, but it's still a forum. And you can look at it this way: even if they didn't post any of their views here, their views would still be the same. Doesn't change who the company are. At least you get an opportunity to make a counter argument.
Adamness
Reply #33 Saturday, January 27, 2007 11:45 AM
Before iTunes, you didn't have a legal non-DRM free way getting music convenient. Today, you have lots of choices besides iTunes.


Just because Apple essentially created the market, it doesn't mean they have free reign to run the market any way they choose. There are certain rules, both legal and ethical that the company should abide by. Apple doesn't own the music, so they shouldn't have the right to enclose it in an Apple-only environment. As I said, Apple and record labels create a non-competition environment, so if you want a certain song, you have to use iTunes, and you have to use an iPod to play it.

I don't think the best way to deal with this is by the government banning iTunes, but at least it draws attention to the matter.
sucre4
Reply #34 Saturday, January 27, 2007 12:09 PM

What you fail to realize is that Apple has to pay a royalty to the recording companies
for that large downloadable library. The library is a proprietary piece of intellectual property for which Apple charges you, the user, a fee.

Second, Apple shouldn't be forced to allow their proprietary product to be used on any machine. It is an infringement on Apple's commercial, intellectual property rights to be forced to provide a service - downloadable on any format - for which Apple has already used their R&D funds to develop.

Thirdly, the whole matter seems a bit silly, pointless and moot as you can burn any of the Apple formatted music to a CD which can then be converted into any format you want - you could even play it on your Zune, if you are silly enough to buy one.

It always fun to watch the EU constantly go after US firms: Boeing, Apple and Microsoft, for example, for their ability to develop products that become the standard for the world.

The European system of education and government greatly inhibits your ability to
develop products the world really wants. For example, how many TGVs have you exported, or have you noticed that Boeing surpassed Airbus in sales this year and will in 2007 as well. These court and government decisions are example of your unending jealousy of American technological hegemony.
thomassen
Reply #35 Saturday, January 27, 2007 2:24 PM
These court and government decisions are example of your unending jealousy of American technological hegemony.

So you're saying the Norwegian government did this because it was jealous? What would it benefit of that?
The issue lies in that Europe got a different set of rules for doing trade as oppose to the US. So there is doomed to be issues when you got a global business.
cerendir
Reply #36 Saturday, January 27, 2007 2:49 PM
The European system of education and government greatly inhibits your ability to
develop products the world really wants.


I would really, really, really like to hear sucre4 elaborate on this a bit. I hope it doesn't mean what I think it means.
Adamness
Reply #37 Saturday, January 27, 2007 3:03 PM
The library is a proprietary piece of intellectual property for which Apple charges you, the user, a fee.


A collection of songs no other digital music store has, which they pay a royalty fee for, is not proprietary. They're just acting like a middleman between the consumer and the record label, much like a Best Buy or Tower Records is for CDs. CDs are just a mechanism to get music to the audience, much like a digial music file. What if each company that sold a CD would only allow it to be played on one music player?

Apple shouldn't be forced to allow their proprietary product to be used on any machine.


Apple takes music they don't own, wrap it up in a strict DRM file, and claim it's proprietary. If you buy music, you should be able to listen to it on any device you want.

Thirdly, the whole matter seems a bit silly, pointless and moot as you can burn any of the Apple formatted music to a CD which can then be converted into any format you want - you could even play it on your Zune, if you are silly enough to buy one.


Why should someone have to deal with that pain in the ass? Most people have no idea how to do that anyway, nor have the time or energy. Why should people have to buy the music, buy blank CDs, just to listen to a song on a non-iPod mp3 player?


If record labels were willing to release their music on all the music stores, then I wouldn't care what Apple does. I don't want an iPod, and I don't want crappy iTunes on my computer. If I want a certain song and it's only available on iTunes, I guess I'm out of luck. That's anti-consumer. Maybe it's legal, maybe you think it's Apple's right, but that's not the way things should be, and I doubt the artists making the music would approve of this.
Frogboy
Reply #38 Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:09 PM

The question isn't whether they can, it's whether they should. It's their choice of course, but I doubt the anti-european propaganda that keeps sneaking its way into wincustomize is good for business. I sure as hell don't feel like buying any Stardock software when it's painfully clear that the company is run by narrow-minded, holier-than-thou American idiots. But then again, I am european so I guess they don't care if I buy their products anyway.

Perhaps you should get your government to prevent people from visiting this site. After all, we can't let the market decide whether a given behavior is acceptable or not. We need learned elites to tell us what to do instead.

BTW, most Stardock products are made in Europe. 

But it is true, the company is run by a holider-than-thou American idiot who thinks anyone who makes purchasing decisions based on the personality of news posters rather than whether the product or service meets their needs is too dumb to be their customer.

Frogboy
Reply #39 Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:13 PM

Just because Apple essentially created the market, it doesn't mean they have free reign to run the market any way they choose. There are certain rules, both legal and ethical that the company should abide by. Apple doesn't own the music, so they shouldn't have the right to enclose it in an Apple-only environment. As I said, Apple and record labels create a non-competition environment, so if you want a certain song, you have to use iTunes, and you have to use an iPod to play it.

Perhaps a European company should start up their own service and compete with Apple. What exactly is the barrier to entry to selling digital music over the Internet?

Saying Apple has a "monopoly" on digital music stores is like saying someone who gets off his butt and goes jogging has a monopoly on excercise. 

Some enterprising European company should go and start their own on-line music store that makes songs that are more interoperable. If this issue is a big deal, then it shouldn't be that hard to compete. Even iPods run MP3s after all.

Frogboy
Reply #40 Saturday, January 27, 2007 8:18 PM

Why should someone have to deal with that pain in the ass? (burning their purchases to a CD and then ripping them) Most people have no idea how to do that anyway, nor have the time or energy. Why should people have to buy the music, buy blank CDs, just to listen to a song on a non-iPod mp3 player?

So the answer to dumb lazy people is to prevent all people from being able to purchase the music they want?

Norway: "Hello, I would like to play my Xbox 360 game on my Nintendo Wii."

Microsoft: "Sorry, you can only play Xbox 360 games on the Xbox 360."

Norway: "What? That's not fair. Very well, then no one can buy Xbox 360 games."

Microsoft: "So to prevent the frustration of not being able to play Xbox 360 games on the Nintendo Wii you propose to make it that people can't get Xbox 360 games in the first place?"

Norway: "Yes."

Microsoft: "Wouldn't it be easier to just pretend that there are no Xbox 360 games and just buy Nintendo Wii games and let those who don't care to get Xbox 360 games."

Norway: "Isn't that...what's it called..oh yea, capitalism?"

Microsoft: "Yes."

Norway: "E-gads no!"

 

 

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