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Apple, France, and Irony

Apple Computer Inc. should have anticipated that the exclusive union of its iPod music players and online iTunes store would be challenged in France, Trade Minister Christine Lagarde said.

Anyone else find it incredibly ironic that Apple (AAPL), who lobbied tirelessly and endlessly, both domesticly and in Europe against Microsoft’s (MSFT) monopoly power, is now finding the same accusations leveled against themselves?

A copyright bill before the French parliament on downloading music and films could lead the online music store, Apple’s iTunes, to withdraw from France because it would be reluctant to opening up its proprietary system, experts say.

Apple Computer Inc. has always refused to allow its paid-for music files downloaded via iTunes to be converted into another format, which would allow them to be listened to on a music player other than its iPod.

We’re not Apple investors. I don’t own an iPod because I refuse to buy into the ‘roach-motel’ model of iTunes, where any music purchased is locked up in the iTunes universe ad infinitum. But I admire how Steve Jobs cleverly used sexy hardware and ease-of-use to convince millions of consumers to lock themselves into the Apple DRM model.

I love the hardware too, and if they had a subscription model I would jump. I think the only reason Apple has not offered a subscription model is that they want consumers to buy songs on iTunes in order to landlock them as Apple customers, eventually migrating them into other areas like Video and the digital living room. Nice Job Mr. Steve.

Now, having obtained near market share dominance of 80%, his Steveness has now encountered the same antitrust forces he helped unleash years ago in his battles with Microsoft.

(Minister Christine Lagarde) met with Charles Phillips of Oracle Corp., John Chambers of Cisco Systems, and Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems, but not with any Apple Computer Inc. representatives.

McNealy. Oracle. Sound familiar? This was the same wrecking crew that went after Microsoft.

Comme on faict son lict, on le treuve.

Translation: “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”. It is of 16th century French origin.

How appropriate.

Quoted article here. Link Courtesy Engadget.


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