Apple has been given two weeks to fix iTunes after the Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman ruled that the MP3 download service breaks consumer protection law. In fact, at least three Nordic nations, want iTunes downloaded songs to be playable on all digital music players — not just iPods. If Apple does not make its songs playable on all music devices by June 21, the company will first face heavy fines which would then be followed by court action.
The formal complaint is online as a PDF file and claims the following:
The Consumer Council of Norway hereby wishes to lodge a complaint against iTunes Music Store with the Consumer Ombudsman. The complaint is based on iTunes’ standard terms and conditions as specified at http://www.apple.com/no/support/itunes/legal/terms.html (Terms of Service) and http://www.apple.com/no/support/itunes/legal/policies.html Terms of Sale). It is the view of the Consumer Council that several aspects of these terms are in breach of the Marketing Control Act (Markedsføringsloven) and other legislation.
In addition, iTunes uses DRM (Digital Rights Management), a type of technical standard terms and conditions, which determine how the service can be used. The Consumer Council of Norway also believes that certain aspects of the technical terms and conditions are in breach of the Marketing Control Act.
The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) recently stated that iTunes music downloads should be allowed on non-Apple MP3 players. European regulators have given Apple enough time to eradicate the problem, with reportedly little interest from Apple.
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