France backs down on DRM bill

The French Senate has made changes to a controversial new digital-rights bill to appease companies like Apple Computer, which said an earlier version amounted to "state-sponsored piracy."


The earlier bill would have required Apple to enable music purchased via its iTunes Music Store to be played on portable music players other than its iPods. The revised bill requires companies that release their software code to be granted licensing fees, along with copyright protection guarantees.

The new bill would also establish a state-run agency that would review requests for transfer of information related to digital rights management.

Blog community response:

"The French minister of culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, was against the scheme; he wants interoperability, and he wants it without loopholes. That doesn't appear to be a likely outcome now."

"So it appears the threat of "state-sponsored piracy" has been averted. I am totally relieved. Man, can you imagine the ability to play the music you've legitimately bought on any device you own? Anarchy."

"The current lack of interoperability doesn't serve consumers and only allows device manufacturers to lock in their customers. Walled gardens might be nice for copyright holders, but (they) spell doom for end users."
--Silicon Valley Sleuth

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