Norway Sets iTunes Deadline

Last year, Norway’s consumer ombudsman agreed with complaints from the nation’s Consumer Council that restrictions placed on media purchased from Apple’s iTunes Music Store unfairly infringe on consumer rights; now, the country is threatening to file suit against Apple, Inc., if it doesn’t open up it iTunes store so media can be played on non-iPod devices by October 1, 2007.

The basis of the dispute is Apple’s “closed garden” digital media system represented by the iTunes Store and its popular iPod digital media players. Music or video purchased via the iTunes store can be played back via the iTunes software or on iPod players, but Apple’s FairPlay digital rights management software means the media cannot (easily) be transfered to rival devices or playback engines. Norway’s consumer ombudsman has now stated that Apple’s iTunes store violates Norwegian law by imposing unreasonable and unbalances restrictions on consumers’ use of purchased media: in other words, it’s illegal because it forces consumers to purchase an iPod if they want to use the digital media service.

If Apple fails to meet the deadline, Norway could impose fines on the company until it comes into compliance, or order the shutdown of the iTunes store in Norway. To comply, Apple could elect to sell music in rival DRM formats (most probably Windows Media DRM), sell unprotected music (a move which wouldn’t go over at all with Apple’s major-label partners), or license its FairPlay DRM technology to other companies so other players can handle protected music purchased from the iTunes store, or convert media between DRM formats.

Apple has not publicly commented on Norway’s lawsuit threat or deadline, but has said in the past it would work with countries to resolve disputes regarding its iTunes media distribution system. The tussle with Norway may just be a harbinger of troubles to come from other European nations, whose copyright laws don’t look favorably on closed, proprietary copyright management systems. In 2006, a similar dispute over proposed copyright legislation in France led Apple to describe demands that it open its iTunes music store as tantamount fo “state-sponsored piracy,” arguing that being required to open its store would deal a lethal blow to legitimate digital media sales and fuel piracy.


Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the Final Four online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

Don’t be fooled! Study exposes most popular phishing email subject lines

Phishing emails are on the rise and a new study out by the cybersecurity company Barracuda has exposed some of the most common phishing email subject lines used to exploit businesses. 

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.