France approves new DRM law

France's Senate and Lower House have both given final approval to controversial new copyright legislation pertaining to Digital Rights Management (DRM) interoperability. The DADVSI law, or law on copyrights and related rights in the information society, will require companies to license their DRM formats to competitors in order to make encrypted music playable on any device. The law could break Apple's iPod/iTunes tie-in by allowing music purchased on iTunes to work on non-iPod media players, and vice-versa. Apple initially called the initial DADVSI proposal "state-sponsored piracy," but French lawmakers eventually softened the bill by leaving an option for companies to keep music locked if they have permission from copyright holders. The approved bill also leaves it up to a new regulatory authority to decide which companies must license their DRM formats.

The approval of DADVSI legislation in France could inspire similar laws in other European countries. Yahoo News reports that Scandinavian consumer agencies issued a joint letter to Apple this month accusing it of violating local copyright and contract laws. Danish corporations also spoke out in favor of the DADVSI bill back in March.

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