Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Metoo, Jun 30, 2006.
Check this out: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2138493
I feel that this legislation is based on an invalid assumption
"Currently, songs bought on iTunes can be played only on iPods, and an iPod can't play downloads from other stores..."
I don't own an iPod and have purchased many songs off iTunes. I just burn them to CD and then make CD compilations, transfer to my MiniDisc player...etc. Apple's DRM is so weak that it's preserves almost full fair use rights and at the same time gives the music industry the (false) comfort to allow their music to be offered for download. If they hadn't used some kind of DRM I doubt the music industry would have licensed them anything of value.
I think Apple took advantage of the DRM situation by making iTunes product specific to their line of goods. Like every other American company out there, they'll use whatever means necessary to push themselves towards a monopoly position in the market. It may not be good for the consumer, but it sure helps their bottom line.
I applaud the French Government for considering the interests of their citizens to be more important then the interests of international corporations. Maybe America could learn a thing or two from their example.
The definitive law has been watered down considerably in this respect, compared to the various proposals. The consumer does not have an enforcable right to interoperability. Only corporations within the music business can file a complaint if they think a competitor uses his data format to exclude certain hardware manufacturers.
Apple implemented an end-to-end user experience chain which is fairly simple and flexible. They deserve to profit from it. They were the first to actually get major labels on a wide scale to open their vaults: again, they deserve to profit. Forcing them to open their system will lead to compatibility problems and probably an end to the ability to fix problems BECAUSE they control everything end to end.
I would say Apple/iPod/iTunes has been VERY GOOD to consumers. We can now carry tons of music around, and even buy it with a mouse click. If not for Steve Jobs, most people would NOT be doing this. Normal people would never have bought a "Creative Zen Muvo Whatever." Apple delivered critical mass and broke the dam-HOORAY!
Plus, there is no "monopoly" at all to protect consumers from-just a lack of competitors. As I've noted elsewhere, I can' fathom why Real/Rhapsody haven't come out with a player. Or Microsoft, or Yahoo, or the Chinese. That would solve the problem, eh?
And, why not pick on Yahoo or Rhapsody for the same reason? Just because the French hate anything non-French which is successful? Sheesh!
P.S. "Should Apple be forced to open iTunes" would be a better thread title, perhaps?
P.P.S. I do have 2 iMacs, but still don't think their OS is so great, so I am not at all a total Machead.
Are you being serious?
Apple did not invent portable MP3 players and music download stores. There have been MP3 players on the market long before the iPod arrived and took the biggest market share, because of the more stylish looks and the iTunes integration. Music downloading has taken place (mainly illegally) long before the big companies entered the business.
There is no economic or technical justification for an exclusivity link between a download store and a brand of players. It's not good for the consumers. That's why politicians and competition authorities push for more interoperability. I'm sure that, as the music download market increases, the US governement will want to handle the issue as well, just like they dealt with other US companies who tend to abuse their dominant position (Microsoft).
Imagine you had the same situation with CDs or TV, a CD player that is limited to discs bought at a certain shop and a TV set that can only receive channels by the same media company that sells the sets.
@ I didn't say they did. My point was that it was all an inelegant mess. Apple made it simple, which I believe created the category as a real mass category, elevating it a niche for technophiles
@ Of COURSE there is, it's called profit, and improvement (see below)
@ And also, Apple has drastically LOWERED the price of these devices. I don't just mean the Shuffle and 1GB Nano, I mean also the price on a per-GB basis. Without Apple expanding the market drastically, we'd probably still be at $400-500 for players.
@ Well, downloaded music sure the heck wasn't very good for consumers before Apple made it simple, eh?
@ The parallel to Microsoft is facile but incorrect.
@ I don't see any "abuse" similar to MS incorporating features into the operating system for free in order to undermine competitors, or locking up the startup desktop icons.
@ Apple just offers a system. Napster, Real/Rhapsody, etc also offer systems-which like iTunes/iPod are also CLOSED systems by the way. There is no monopoly on Apple's part.
@ I can easily imagine that, it's called VHS & Beta, or HD-DVD and Blu-ray.
@ But your previous paragraph suggests you would be in favor of the government declaring Blu-ray winner and HD-DVD the loser (or vice versa). Is that really your position?
@ I was annoyed when the government didn't pick an AM Stereo winner, and the whole thing failed, so I guess come to think of it I'm not completely antithetical to that position. I also believe that the government picking a digital TV standard was a great move.
@ But I work a lot with iPods, and what I see is that total control over the chain means we get improvements, new features, and bug fixes. If you break the total control, I believe it will hurt that.
@ I believe if you force Apple (or others) to open their stuff to everyone, it says "hey, you developed this system from nothing and made it successful, and now we're going to take it away from you." In other places and times, it's called "nationalization" but it's just plain theft.
@ Why not force Microsoft to entirely divulge all their source code for Windows while we're at it? Or rescind all drug company patents? C'mon, if you develop something useful, you deserve to profit.
@ And why pick on Apple only? What about Sony or Real, whose stuff is just as proprietary? Why not force EVERYONE to unlock, so I could have iTunes, Sirius/XM, Rhapsody-to-go and Yahoo-to-go all on one player?
@ Hmmpf, I still think if Apple was a French company, the French government wouldn't be making a peep. Maybe that's also a big part of what galls me (pun intended ) about the whole issue.
In my view, it's the esthetic design that makes the iPod successful, not the ease of use. Other players are just as easy to use. Remember that Apple computers were mainly used by geeks and professionals until Apple changed the looks (the iMac). It's not that Macs are easier to use than Windows PCs
iPods are still the most expensive portable players in their capacity range. Apple can ask higher prices because the iPod sells well. No problem with that. It's fair competition. But it's not fair competition if people are forced to choose an iPod because they want to listen to iTunes downloads.
Sorry I don't understand that sentense. You suggested that Apple invented portable MP3 players and music downloads, which is not true. They only made them much more popular, but that's not an innovation that deserves a temporary exclusivity.
The abuse of dominant posibition is not on the hardware side, but on the download store side. iTunes downloads don't play on other MP3 players. That's why some want to enforce interoperability.
Monopoly is not the criterium. Microsoft and iTunes do not have a monopoly. There is the Linux operating system, and there are other smaller download stores. But Microsoft and iTunes have a dominant position. Companies who enjoy such a market position have to respect tighter rules than smaller players, because competition alone is not enough to enforce a consumer-friendly behaviour.
I don't understand the analogy. After some time, VHS became the market standard, and every hardware marker could use the VHS technology. With iTunes, only Apple can make compatible portable players. If Apple licensed out the iTunes DRM technology, the problem would be solved. They don't do that, because they want to force iTunes customers to buy iPods.
No. Interoperability means that hardware makers can sell players which play all sorts of formats. There is no need to have a unique format.
That's your belief. I think open competition is a much better incentive. Even if Ipods were junk, people would still be forced to buy them to listen to their iTunes downloads.
We're not speaking about taking the technology away, but to open it up parts of it.
Microsoft is already giving access to the Windows source code to national authorities and some large customers. In the future they may be forced to open it up also to other companies, for interoperability reasons. Where's the problem? That doesn't mean those companies will copy the operating system. They will be able to better integrate their own software.
I fully agree. But we are taking about abuse of a dominant position here. Even patent protection stops where there is abuse. And interoperability will be an issue to be solved on many other situations as well. Intellectual property laws were designed to be beneficial to society, not just the rightholders. That's why there are so many exceptions to IP rights.
Sorry if a need to repeat myself, but the difference is dominant market position. On a competitive market with many equal players, the problem would not exist. If there were other stores which could offer the same downloads as iTunes but without the restriction to iPods, most people would turn to those more flexible alternatives. And BTW, what was proposed in the french law did not apply to Apple alone. It was Apple that made a loud protest about it.
Please do not get into politics....
We will have to close the thread if that's the case....
Apple faces the music over iTunes
Europe is squaring up for a fight with the digital music service that locks consumers into using an iPod to play their tunes
I may point out that this warning concerned two other posts (now deleted) about french politics in general, not the discussion between head_unit and me
Separate names with a comma.