The French Connection

So after the initial news regarding the French law that would require vendors of DRM’d music to open up their protection to other vendors for use in their online music stores, I was initially pretty positive about it. Apple does in fact too tightly control the FairPlay DRM and even outside of this law they are at a point where they would do well to begin licensing it to other vendors. This would allow them to a) short-circuit monopoly charges, b) establish a royalty-based de facto standard that would benefit them financially and c) give consumers their choice of music stores and players.

However, I have a hunch- and I have absolutely nothing to back this up, that Apple licenses Fairplay technology from another patent holder. Just a hunch.

While I was going over these copyright articles, something else hit me: Would this law place the burden on Microsoft, Sony, Napster, Real, Walmart and the many other online music vendors to begin releasing software for Apple computers? To my knowledge iTunes is the only music store that allows you to download and burn DRM’d music that works on both Windows and OSX. If this law becomes reality, perhaps the other vendors will balk at it as well, or perhaps Apple will use their non-compliance as leverage. I can’t find the text of the law anywhere, but I wouldn’t be suprised if it was vague enough to include this possibility.

Update: Turns out Apple has patented some kind of DRM Solution, though someone is looking to cash in.

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