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France and Germany join anti-iTunes crusade

September deadline to get house in order

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France and Germany are joining the Scandinavian campaign to make content from iTunes work with players from companies other than Apple. In a statement released yesterday by the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman, France and Germany joined Finland in calling for changes to iTunes.

The consumer protection groups want buyers to be able to choose what device they can play iTunes content on.

The statement says: "We believe consumers have a right to play material purchased online on a portable device of their own choice. As of now, the organisations suggest that iTunes allow their consumers to make the songs playable on other devices through re-ripping burnt CDs containing songs downloaded from iTunes."

But the groups make clear that this is not a long-term solution. They urge Apple to make progress towards proper interoperability, and give a deadline of September 2007.

The statement is also critical of the way Apple applies contract law to people buying content from its iTunes stores. They make the not unreasonable suggestion that: "Consumers entering into a contract with iTunes should be able to rely on the consumer protection rules according to the law of the country in which they live."

The Norwegian statement is here. ®

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