Wednesday, March 29, 2006

JupiterResearch:The French and DRM - What's This Really About?

I haven't been tracking the proposed French law regarding DRM and Apple too closely, because frankly I'm not sure what it's all about. I guess I'm not the only one. Michael Gartenberg posts at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs that he has been avoiding the issue because he's not sure he "totally understands the law, what it's trying to acheive or what the law really says." Gartenberg writes:

If it's interoperability, all music whether bought from Apple or Napster or anyone is interoperable. All that content can easily be burned to disc and then imported as MP3 to any device

If the issue is all digital content needs to be interoperable, does that mean that my PC can't be sold in France since it won't run Linux or Mac OS software or my PS2 illegal since it won't play Nintendo games?

Is it about not selling DRM protected content in France? If that's so, no record company will allow their content sold in that country.

Or is it just about trying to force Apple to give the French government access to their DRM technology to allow the government to level the playing field? If so, it's likely Apple would pull out of the French market.
Gartenberg concludes that "What's really scary is this law is something that could be adopted by the entire EU. David Card and I chatted about that this morning and we both believe that saner heads would prevail. On the other hand, given the EUs treatment of Microsoft, maybe not.