Apple faces legal action in Norway


— 5:06 PM on January 25, 2007

The Norwegian government has threatened to take legal action against Apple if the iPod maker doesn't break its iPod/iTunes lock-in, eWeek reports. Norway's consumer ombudsman says the iTunes music store violates Norwegian law by forcing customers to use iPods to play legally purchased music.

"[Apple] must make iTunes music compatible with other players than the iPod by the end of September, or we will take them to court," the ombudsman, Bjoern Erik Thon, told Reuters. . . . "ITunes is imposing unreasonable and unbalanced restrictions that are not in accordance with Norwegian law."
A possible outcome would be Apple simply pulling iTunes from the Norwegian market altogether, since the Scandinavian country has a population roughly the size of Los Angeles. However, Apple is currently under pressure from consumer rights organizations in Germany, France, and Finland over the same issue. The French government also passed a law last summer that could force Apple to open up its digital rights management format to competitors for the purposes of interoperability.
   
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