Updated: Now the Fun Begins (Or Not!) [1:55 pm]
French lawmakers gave final approval Friday to legislation that could force Apple Computer Inc. to make its iPod and iTunes Music Store compatible with rivals’ music players and online services.
Both the Senate and the National Assembly, France’s lower house, voted in favor of the copyright bill, which some analysts said could cause Apple Computer Inc. and others to pull their music players and online download stores from France.
The vote was the final legislative step before the bill becomes law â€” barring the success of a last-ditch constitutional challenge filed last week by the opposition Socialists.
[T]he final version of the law allows online distributors to retain significant control over so-called Digital Rights Management (DRM), the technical measures that control access to digital data including songs, films or software.
[...] [A]fter amendments introduced in the upper house of France’s parliament, the Senate, the law allows companies to restrict the compatibility of songs or films sold online if they have the agreement of the copyright holders.