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Report: Norway says 'nei' to iTunes DRM, again

Two years after initially making a stink about the extensive copy protection in Apple's media marketplace, Norwegian authorities re-raise threats of legal action against the company.

There's more rumbling in Europe about Apple's iTunes Store, and this time, it comes from Norway, where, according to Reuters, a consumer agency has announced plans for legal action against Apple and what it says is unfair copyright restriction.

"I want (Apple) to make their services interoperable so that you can play music bought on iTunes on other devices, including mobile phones," Norwegian consumer ombudsman Bjørn Erik Thon told Reuters on Tuesday. Consumer agencies in Norway have been making this complaint for at least two years.

Songs purchased from the iTunes Store, except for a limited "iTunes Plus" selection, can be played only on handheld devices from Apple, in addition to Macs and PCs. Other music-enabled cell phones and music players, like Microsoft's Zune, are incompatible.

Early last year, the Norwegian government declared iTunes illegal for the same reason, and provided an October 1, 2007 deadline--a year to the day later, the threatened shutdown hasn't taken place.

Numerous other European government groups have taken action against iTunes, a phenomenon that has been virtually invisible in the United States until this point--though that's changing, as this week, there has been a stateside showdown between Apple and the Copyright Royalty Board.

A French attempt to behead iTunes' digital rights management, or DRM, failed in 2006. Similar efforts from countries such as Sweden and Denmark also made little headway.