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Norway drops iTunes gripes after Apple drops DRM

Apple's decision to remove DRM technology from iTunes music by the end of April appears to have satisfied at least one of its European critics.

Apple's Phil Schiller discusses DRM-free iTunes music at Macworld 2009, a move that has ended Norwegian opposition to the iTunes Store. James Martin/CNET News

One of Apple's most persistent European critics regarding the use of digital-rights management technology on the iTunes Store has dropped its complaint following the company announcement that iTunes music would soon be DRM-free.

Norway's consumer ombudsman, Bjoern Erik Thon, said Wednesday that he would drop his complaint against iTunes before Norway's Market Council, telling Agence France Presse "we have no reason to pursue them anymore." Norway has been particularly vocal among European critics regarding the way Apple had used DRM technologies on the iTunes store to limit the use of purchased iTunes songs to iPods.

But at Macworld 2009, Apple announced plans to sell all of its music catalog on the iTunes Store without DRM technology by the end of April. That means songs purchased from the iTunes store will play on any music player that supports AAC files, rather than just iPods.

That move will likely end the various movements against the iTunes Store in other European countries, such as France and Sweden. A few years ago, France had attempted to force companies like Apple to share the secrets of their DRM technology with rivals to force interoperability, but later backed down.