French Compromise Would Tone Down Interoperability Law

A legislative committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on compromise text that would weaken a French law aimed at establishing interoperability for media players and online music stores. A new regulatory body would handle disputes between manufacturers but everything would hinge on the will of the copyright holder. So if the Beatles’ Apple signed an exclusive agreement with iTunes, the French law would not mandate availability of the music in that file format.
According to AP, the Software Business Alliance — Apple is a member as is HP and Microsoft — claims the emphasis on artists’ approval could make it easier for music labels to push for variable pricing.
If the language is approved, the draft law would have to pass in both houses.

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