Denmark could join France on DRM law

Two Danish corporations have expressed approval of France's DRM interoperability bill, according to Danish newspaper If voted in by the Senate in May, the French bill could force companies like Apple and Microsoft to open up their DRM formats, allowing users to make encrypted music legally usable on any media player device. TDC, Denmark's largest telecom provider, as well as Dansk Supermarked Gruppen, a corporation that owns several Danish supermarket chains, both spoke out in favor of the bill. Like Apple, the two corporations have online music ventures, but they claim DRM interoperability would increase consumer choice and make it easier to shop for music. Denmark's Minister of Culture, Brian Mikkelsen, also said that legislation to open up DRM formats would be introduced next year.

As one might expect, Apple has voiced strong opposition to France's proposed law, saying it would engender a "state-sponsored culture of piracy." Analysts have also suggested that Apple could withdraw its iTunes Music Store from France if the French bill passes, as the French market only represents a small portion of the store's earnings. This potential strategy could also be applied to Apple's Danish music store, as Denmark's population is only a fraction of France's. However, if enough countries show interest in similar laws, Apple may be forced to bite the bullet and open up its DRM format.

Oddly, the views of French legislators don't seem too far off from those of Steve Jobs himself. In 2002, the Apple CEO stated that users who legally acquire music "need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that [they] own." Jobs seems to have changed his mind some time in the last four years, as this is precisely the point behind the French DRM bill.

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