French, German Consumer Groups Join Scandinavia in iTunes Battle

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The Federation of German Consumer organizations (vzbv) and the French UFC Que Choisir have joined several Scandinavian countries in their pursuits against Apple’s iTunes limitations. In 2006, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden made accusations that Apple violated contract and copyright laws because users were unable to purchase, download, and play tracks from iTunes on their non-Apple portable players. Today, France and German consumer groups have also followed suit and will hope to pressure Apple into making purchased iTunes songs transferable and playable on a variety of devices.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Norwegian Consumer Ombudsman Bjoern Erik Thon confirmed that French consumer lobby UFC-Que Choisir and its German counterpart, Verbraucher, joined the movement late last year. Other European countries may also join the effort.

Thon said, “This is important because Germany and France are European giants. Germany, in particular, is a big market for digital music.”

As for Apple, a spokeswoman countered yesterday, “Apple is aware of the concerns we’ve heard from several agencies in Europe and we’re looking forward to resolving these issues as quickly as possible.”

The groups are asking for three things to be addressed and they are: a “fair and available” license to all interested parties that would be monitored by consumer groups, a collaborative effort in developing an open-source DRM standard, or removing the DRM technology altogether.

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