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EU Weenies: Paris Division

(sidenote: the NY Times, again, gets the reality of what is standing right in front of them totally wrong when constructing their headline)
Paris Approves Law Aimed at Making iTunes Compatible With Rival Devices

French legislators gave final approval on Friday to a copyright law that could force Apple Computer to make songs purchased from its market-leading iTunes Music Store compatible with music players of its rivals.

The Senate and the National Assembly both voted to approve the law, which will also reduce the penalties for the illegal downloading of music to little more than a parking fine.

This edict is aimed directly at the heart of any company trying to defend their intellectual property rights, whether it’s software or songs.

Stealing your stuff is no more important than parking in front of a fireplug.

Mr. Donnedieu de Vabres, who in December was given the task of aligning national copyright legislation to norms set by the European Union, instead pushed for legislation that could have far-reaching consequences for the software and entertainment industries in the Internet era.

The process was fraught with unexpected twists, including a brief moment when it seemed that peer-to-peer Internet music sharing of the sort considered illegal in most countries would be legalized in France.

But this won’t come down to just iTunes. Any company with proprietary products will now have to wonder whether some Frog apparatchik considers their intellectual rights worthy of being protected, or blown to shit in the name of “interoperabilty.”

If you’re an American company, they’ve pretty much said you’re gonna get it in the neck:

“Since American companies tend to patent everything, I am sure Apple can find a way to stop giving away information about their proprietary format,” said Dominique Menard, a partner at the Lovells law firm who specializes in intellectual property. “The law is also so complex that we really need to see the application.”

Show us your code; we’ll decide whether you should own it.

“This text affirms a new principle, interoperability, which makes France a pioneer country in Europe,” Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French minister of culture, told the National Assembly on Friday.

They can’t build anything worth a shit, so they want to steal it.

(see here and here)

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