Gasp! I thought these words would never escape my fingers to a keyboard, but here they come, France rox!
The French government will vote Thursday on a law that will allow user to hack protected music, such as iTunes Music Store files, to allow for easy conversion to other formats. In a year-long battle France will be the first country to have on the books a law that encourages users to break DRM, digital rights management, on their existing music.
Bravo, France! I have already commented how I no longer purchase iTMS music since it won’t play on my Sonos. Ever since JHymn was killed off by iTunes 6.x, I’ve given up on downloaded music. I just buy it in hard copy form, again, and rip it and do what I want with it. Now France believes soft copy should be the same way and I applaud them for it.
The law does not look the other way, however. Those offering music online illegally will be fined as well those doing the downloading. There are steep fines to be had for those distributing or making software for illegal music downloads as well. All great and fine in my book.
Unfortunately for the French, this probably will mean iTunes France, as well as other online retailers, will close their doors if the bill becomes law. France won’t put a big dent into profits if Apple leaves town; however, the desire to actually do what one wants to do with what they paid for may spread beyond the borders and infect other governments. It may not be long before the EU allows DRM cracking and if that happens, then Hollywood and Apple will have a much bigger problem on its hands. Good!