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For six years, the Internet Nexus served as my technology blog, but I've since started
blogging at the SuperSite Blog instead. If you're looking for the blog, please head there. --Paul
Sunday, March 11, 2007
European consumer chief takes aim at iTunes
European Union consumer chief Meglena Kuneva has hit out at Apple Inc.'s bundling of its popular iPod music players and its iTunes online music store, according to German weekly magazine Focus.Whether you care to look at this from a competitive or consumer advocacy standpoint--either is valid, I'd say--this is an issue that's coming to a head. Apple is reaching that ugly monopoly point, where the rules change. Just ask Microsoft. Of course, there's also an argument to be made that Microsoft is now a shadow of its former self, afraid of competing aggressively. Like most things in life, there's no black and white. But I agree, things have to change.
"Do you think it's fine that a CD plays in all CD players but that an iTunes song only plays in an iPod? I don't. Something has to change," EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Kuneva was quoted as saying in a preview of an interview to be published on Monday.
Norway, a European country that is not in the EU, is battling Apple for the same reason. In January, it said the computer and software giant must liberalise its music download system by Oct. 1 or face legal action.
Pressure on Apple has been building, with consumer rights organisations from Germany, France, Finland and Norway recently agreeing a joint position in their battles against iTunes.
They argue that Apple uses digital rights technology to limit consumers' free use of songs bought on iTunes, including the ability to copy and transfer songs to other users and other MP3 devices besides the Apple iPod.
Labels: Apple, iPod, iTunes
[ Posted at 1:57 PM | Permalink ]