The law passed a month ago by the National Assembly and the French Senate, which aims, among other measures, to guarantee interoperability between devices and services for selling music online, was reviewed by the Constitutional Council of the same country and declared unconstitutional.
Apple was in the spotlight due to its store online iTunes, whose contents sold were only compatible with iPod due to the inclusion of DRM technologies, which, according to French law, was an anti-competitive practice.
The legal documentation published last week by the Constitutional Council contains passages referring to the 1789 Declaration of Human Rights and concludes that the rule goes against constitutional principles of property protection, so companies should receive compensation for sharing patented technology.
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, French minister of culture, argues that forced interoperability is a way to ensure diverse cultural offerings on the Internet by limiting technical restrictions on digital works.
For his part, Jean-Baptiste Soufron, director of the Association of Audionautes, a group opposed to the restrictions on copies, says that although the Constitutional Council emphasizes the need for compensation, the issue of forced interoperability, which remains in force, neither benefits nor Apple or other companies.
Cited by Cnet, the official says that «it is good news for Apple for the monetary compensation, but it is much worse news if the company is forced to license iTunes».
2006-07-28 – Spanish copyright law has 500,000 opponents
2006-07-27 – Kazaa compensates publishers for $ 100 million under an out-of-court settlement
2006-06-09 – Apple pressed for exclusivity between iPod and iTunes