RealTime IT News

French Senate Passes Apple FairPlay Law

The French Senate passed a law today that could force Apple to open its FairPlay format, according to a spokesperson with the Computing Technology Industry Association.

Apple uses its FairPlay technology to encrypt songs downloaded from its iTunes music catalog to prevent users from playing them on unauthorized computers.

French parliamentarians Richard Cazenave and Bernard Carayon have called the bill an effort to "prevent a monopolistic supply of online culture."

When the law was passed by the French Parliament's lower house in March, Apple called it akin to "state sponsored piracy."

Apple warned that after Senate passage of the bill, "Legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers."

At that time analysts wrote that because the French market accounts for fewer than 2 percent of Apple's iPod and iTunes business, "Apple is more likely to drop out of the French market," rather than comply with any new law.