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  • Every Day: The Best of the Verve Years

    • 8 out of 10
    • Joe Williams
    • Joe Williams was Figure Two in my three-man education in singing. A brilliant vocalist, scatter, and interpreter of jazz and blues, Williams produces music that's totally unique, yet sounds so effortl
  • The Life Pursuit

    • 8 out of 10
    • Belle & Sebastian
    • The Life Pursuit is a sort of Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. You get Belle & Sebastian's peanut butter (its wistful, often irresistible pop) dipped in a 'Have A Nice Day!' and glam 70s chocol

  • Hello

    • 8 out of 10
    • Poe
    • Poe rocked my world with "Angry Johnny" (I want to kill you/I want to blow you/Away) and "Trigger Happy Jack" (Trigger Happy Jack/ You're gonna blow/But I'm gonna get off/Before you go), as powe

  • The Stooges

    • 8 out of 10
    • The Stooges
    • Another pillar of my musical foundations, The Stooges' first album is one those records whose influence far outweighed its popularity. Like The Velvet Underground & Nico, hordes of people wh

  • Plans

    • 8 out of 10
    • Death Cab for Cutie
    • With the introduction of Plans, Death Cab for Cutie became a new addition to many user's Artist list after the single "Soul Meets Body" became a hit on iTunes. Offering a fresh alternativ

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Norway to Haul Apple to Market Council Court Over iTunes

Norway has made it official: Bjoern Erik Thon, the country’s Consumer Ombudsman, has announced he will take Apple to court, or to the "Market Council," to be more precise, over Apple’s refusal to open up FairPlay to third party digital media devices.

The announcement follows the passing of a November 3rd deadline that Mr. Thon had given Apple to comply with his country’s demand that Apple open up iTunes downloads to all players.

"It’s a consumer’s right to transfer and play digital content bought and downloaded from the Internet to the music device he himself chooses to use," Mr. Thon said in a statement on September 29th when he issued his deadline to Apple. "iTunes makes this impossible or at least difficult, and hence, they act in breach of Norwegian law."

While Apple has since changed its user conditions, and included detailed instructions on how to burn iTunes downloads to a CD and then convert them to DRM-free MP3s usable on any device, those moves weren’t seen as enough of a solution for Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman.

"iTunes maintains its previous views in its response to the Consumer Ombudsman. The company is in other words unwilling to make changes to make music in the iTunes Store available to all music players,"Mr. Thon said in a statement Thursday. "iTunes has shown a lacking will to comply with our demand and we are now preparing to try this case in the Market Council."

Apple has said in the past that it would love to offer DRM-free tracks to users, something that would effectively satisfy not only consumer desire but the requirements of Norwegian and other European Union countries that require downloadable music be portable to whatever device consumers want.

Heretofore, however, EMI is the only major label to allow Apple to do so, even though those same other major labels have offered DRM-free licensing to several other music retailers including Amazon, Rhapsody, and others.

This, according to an open letter from Steve Jobs published in February 2007, is what is holding Apple back. Their refusal, according to the letter, leaves Apple on the hook if anyone should crack FairPlay after licensing it to any and all comers. The solution, again according to Mr. Jobs, is for critics of DRM restrictions to go after the music labels, and not Apple.

Bjoern Erik Thon has, so far, continued to focus on Apple.

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