I read in the papers today that the French parliment had voted through a bill to force online music stores operating in France to open up their copy protection technologies to allow any player to play the tunes downloaded. An article of a similar nature on the BBC tells the full story.
Its interesting and encouraging to see someone leading the way on this issue. They are fighting DRM from another angle; rather than saying they don’t want it outright they are saying that users desrve the opertuinity to use their purchases on their player of choice, and also, in purchasing a particular player of choice, shouldn’t have to be restricted to the use of just one player.
This is important because thats been half the argument of DRM. Its like codecs; if you don’t have codec, you mind the fact that a system holding media you want uses a different codec. If everything you want to listen to uses the same codec, or everything it’s possible to watch/listen to the media on has all the codecs, its no longer an issue.
Ultimately what consumers want is their fair use rights, and if the new French laws pave the way to meaning regardless of DRM implementation music and movies with DRM must play on all players and not just a restrictive group of them from one company, its certainly a step in the right direction.
It still doesn’t help the open source community of course. Its all very well sharing DRM between companies but then they can just sign contacts of non-disclosure between themselves and keep the net tight, while cutting users of open source systems, such as Linux, and UMS type players out in the cold. Ah well, still work to be done I guess.