RealTime IT News

FairPlay Score For Apple in France

Apple scored a FairPlay victory in France last night.

The French Senate amended, then passed a bill allowing Apple to continue using its FairPlay format, which ensures iTunes songs can only be played on the purchaser's iPod.

Before the Senate passed the bill with a 164 to 128 vote, it deleted the paragraphs referring to interoperability, Mike Wendy of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) told internetnews.com.

The Senate deleted the articles stating, "technical measures should not effectively be an obstacle to interoperability" and that companies like Apple must "provide essential information to ensure interoperability."

Instead, the Senate voted to create an independent authority to regulate interoperability. Any firm that would like to "improve interoperability" could send a request to this authority, which would "seek to favour conciliation."

In March, the lower house of the French parliament voted 296 to 193 in support of the bill, which would have guaranteed what proponents call "the Net surfer's basic right to free choice," was by the lower house of the French parliament.

Apple said the original bill amounted to "state-sponsored Piracy," adding that, if the French Senate passed the bill, "Legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers."

Apple declined to comment on its apparent victory. But the issue is still open.

Next the bill will be sent to a "Conciliation Committee," composed of seven senators and seven members of the lower house, in hopes of reaching a compromise by next week's end.

Any compromised version of the bill would still need to go before President Chirac for signing.