Apple attack new French law

They claim copyright law could lead to ‘state sponsored piracy’

Apple have criticised a new French law that could stop download services controlling which MP3 players consumers can use.

As previously reported, on March 21, MPs in Paris voted in favour of a new copyright law which will prevent commercial downloaders encoding their MP3s so they only work on specific players.

However Apple, who currently link tracks brought through their iTunes store to their iPods, criticised the move saying it could lead to “state-sponsored piracy”.

“If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers,” said Apple in a statement, though they insisted this was not them trying control consumer behaviour as the new law could lead to increased iPod sales.

iPod sales will likely increase as users freely load their iPods with ‘interoperable’ music which cannot be adequately protected,” they explained. “Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy.”

The law which was passed by 296 to 193 votes must now goes to France’s Senate for approval, BBC News reports.

If this is granted, some music industry watchers suggest it could leave Apple and other download services facing the choice between opening up its Digital Rights Management encoding software to any interested parties or quitting France entirely.

The French government said the law has been drawn up to make sure no one company can dominate the download market.