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Apple faces iTunes case in Norway

Negotiations with Apple prove fruitless

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The Norwegian consumer watchdog is still not happy with how Apple licenses music on its iTunes service and is taking the company to court. The main complaint is that much of the iTunes catalogue is only playable on Apple iPods.

Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon is going to court in Norway after two years of fruitless negotiations with Apple.

Thon wants music bought via iTunes to be playable on any music player. He called on other countries to join the legal action which will be heard by the Norwegian Market Council.

He said: "It’s a consumer’s right to transfer and play digital content bought and downloaded from the internet to the music device he himself chooses to use. iTunes makes this impossible or at least difficult, and hence they act in breach of Norwegian law."

Thon said there had been some movement from Apple on contract terms to allow music to be played on non-iPod devices, but not enough. He said the company had had enough time to remove ties between iTunes and iPods and no progress had been made since their last meeting in February 2008.

Apple has until 3 November to submit comments before the case is heard.

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