August 4, 2006

First Looks at France, Post-Legislative Mandate [10:48 am]

French law on iPod, iTunes takes effect - pdf

A closely watched French law that lets regulators force Apple Computer Inc. to make its iPod player and iTunes online store compatible with rival offerings went into effect Thursday.

The Internet copyright law passed France’s parliament June 30 after fierce debate and a gradual weakening of its initial punch. Apple had called an early draft “state-sponsored piracy,” and some analysts have said the law could force Apple to close iTunes France and pull its market-leading player from the country’s shelves.

But the law was expected to have little immediate effect. A new government regulatory authority assigned to monitor the law is not expected to be in place until this fall. Much will depend on the law’s interpretation by the French courts, as well as the stance taken by recording companies.

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Keeping Up The Pressure [8:15 am]

Apple, like rust, never seems to sleep: Apple and 3 Automakers Plan Alliances on iPod Use

Apple Computer said on Thursday that it was teaming with General Motors, Ford and Mazda to integrate the iPod into car audio systems.

The alliances mean that the iPod will be compatible with more than 70 percent of the new 2007 model vehicles sold in the United States, Apple said.

ZDNet’s David Berlind points out that this suggests the ascendancy of FairPlay DRM: GM, Ford, Mazda to drive acceptance of Apple’s C.R.A.P. 

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End of an Era? [8:08 am]

Firms Said to Stop Supplying Tower Records - pdf

At least three major music companies cut off CD shipments to Tower Records on Thursday after record executives said that the iconic music retailer had stopped paying its bills.

Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group sources confirmed privately that each of the companies had stopped sending albums to the Sacramento-based chain, which has struggled with declining sales as digital technologies have changed the way consumers buy music.

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