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France iTunes copyright legislation takes effect

[JURIST] The new French iTunes copyright legislation [legislative materials, in French] went into effect Thursday, allowing French regulators to force Apple Computer [corporate website] to make its iPod player compatible with songs downloaded from other Internet music stores, and downloads from its iTunes service compatible with other players. The French Senate and National Assembly gave final approval [JURIST report] to the legislation in June, and the Constitutional Council threw out several challenges to the law last week.

In statements [Appleinsider report] released earlier this year, Apple predicted that the bill will cause its music sales to drop, and some industry analysts expect the legislation to cause Apple to abandon the French market for downloadable music. The bill is France's attempt to implement the EU Copyright Directive [materials; JURIST report]. Similar proposals have arisen [Newsfactor report] in Britain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Poland. AP has more.

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