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Norwegian regulator gives Steve Jobs cool response

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The Norwegian Consumer Council, which complains Apple and its iTunes music store acts illegally under Norwegian law, has reacted cautiously to Steve Jobs' letter calling for an end to Digital Rights Management.

The Norwegian Ombudsman ruled in favour of the consumer council complaint last month. Germany and France both support the Norwegian action.

Yesterday, Jobs said Apple would switch to selling DRM-free music "in a heartbeat", if the music labels allowed it.

But while his comments are generally welcomed by the Ombudsman, although the regulator points out that he cannot just blame the record companies.

But Forbrukerradet, the Norwegian Consumer Council, said: "It's quite clear that the record companies carry their share of the responsibility for the situation that the consumers are stuck in. However, no matter what agreements iTunes Music Store have entered into, they're still the company that's selling music to the consumers and are responsible for offering the consumer a fair deal according to Norwegian law."

A spokesman for Forbrukerradet told The Reg: "Firstly we're very happy he's come out and made a statement, it shows they're taking this issue seriously. But secondly we see it as a strategic move to shift the issue to the record labels. iTunes is the record store which sells music to Norwegian consumers as such they have to follow Norwegian law. It's not good enough to say they have problems with suppliers and their hands are tied."

Apple has until 1 March to come up with a solution to concerns about its terms and conditions and DRM. It then has until 1 October to show it is implementing that solution or it will be brought before the Marketing Council.

Jobs' letter is here and there's more on Forbrukerradet's complaint here. ®

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