June 30, 2006


French Whine

AFP File Photo

...Over the last few years France has become a country that seems to be either vehemently loved or vehemently hated by certain demographics of Americans for various reasons. A new French law seems to be evidence that perhaps criticism of their government is merited on a few more levels.
...French legislators just approved what has become known as the “iTunes Law,” which will force Apple to make their iPod and iTunes music compatible with their competitors’ music players and online music services.
...Market analysts think that this might cause Apple to pull out of the French online music business altogether, and quite frankly, who could blame them? Apple officials have called the bill “state-sponsored piracy” since the final “compromise” insisted that all companies share their technical data with anyone who wants to compete against them. One reason that it became a “compromise” is because a loophole was left in the bill that might allow companies to bypass the rules on sharing data if they happen to partner with musicians and record labels.
...One of the biggest ways for companies—big or small—to not only survive but also prosper is for them to offer unique products. If those products are desirable, they’ll become popular and ensure that the employees of that business will get a steady paycheck. It also means that other companies will have to compete against that company if they want to survive and prosper in that same field. It’s quite sad to see that the French government is so opposed to competition that they’re willing to pass laws dictating how something as recreational as music buying is done.
...This story reminds me a bit of Yamaha’s instrument division from the mid-1990s. If I can remember correctly, Yamaha Drums designed their kick drum hoops to be compatible with only Yamaha kick drum pedals. If you wanted to use a kick drum pedal from competitors like Tama or Drum Workshop, you were out of luck unless you were willing to carve out a notch on the Yamaha kick drum hoop.
...At the time, some drummers suggested that such a move by Yamaha was “unfair.” If we look at the situation without using emotion we can see that there wasn’t anything either “fair” or “unfair” about it. The consumer was given three simple choices: (1) Use a Yamaha pedal if you want to use a Yamaha kick drum, (2) sand the wood down until it was compatible with your Tama or Drum Workshop pedal, or (3) don’t buy anything from Yamaha whatsoever. The choice was up to the drummer.
...Sadly the French government doesn’t view things that way. They’re more interested in applying anti-competition legislation to a field of technology that might only get better due to competition. In an effort to apply fairness, they’re risking not only technological stagnation, but also the possibility of Apple pulling out of a country with millions of music fans.
...That is, of course, if France doesn’t pass a law making it illegal for Apple to leave.
Source: Yahoo! News


Blogger Legally Insane said...

when will people realize the ipod is an over priced over rated and over hyped technological claptrap?

when will people realize that the french are nothing more than an irrelevant and irrational cultural claptrap?

when will people realize that there was once a book written in 1776 that rivaled the declaration in historical significance that was written by an alcoholic named adam smith and talked about laizze fare economics?

i know i spelled that wrong...

July 02, 2006  
Blogger J.P. said...

D.L., I have yet to hop on board the iPod movement—or any other MP3 player, for that matter. I haven’t purchased a CD in quite awhile (when you see your graduate classes increase in cost by about nine times the rate of inflation every year, you have to make cuts somewhere), but I still like the idea of “albums.” Instead of just a few good songs, if the band/musician is good, give me the whole package.

I have an idea on how to make The Wealth of Nations a popular, up-to-date monograph: Rewrite it and include a muscle-bound hero, a sexy nymphomaniac sidekick, explosions, drug trafficking, gun-running, and a cameo by Paris Hilton.

July 03, 2006  
Blogger Legally Insane said...

you had me until the cameo thinge...

switch out paris hylton with elizabeth hurley and i am back on board...

July 04, 2006  
Blogger a.m. said...

I love my ipod. Really and truly, I do. It's my best friend on my long commute to and from work each day. (JP, it was a graduation gift when I completed library school!)

I do agree with DL's assessment of the French, however.

And no, no, no Paris Hilton. I bet you could get Russell Crowe to star in a period piece about "Wealth of Nations." (Which of course would ensure my presence at the movie's opening.)

July 06, 2006  
Blogger Kristen said...

totally off track--I just saw Paris Hilton's new video and her voice isn't awful. I'm so disappointed.

JP--Derek found a bumper sticker that I thought you would think was funny.

Libertarian-not just another stoned Republican.

July 07, 2006  
Blogger J.P. said...

Russell Crowe is a possibility. I might have my people get in touch with his people. If need be I’ll write a script that includes the main character throwing a telephone at a hotel concierge in a fit of rage. We’ll need to include a catch phrase like, “Take that, peon! Maybe next time I’ll hit you with my beautiful mind.”

Kristen, it’s okay to go off-topic. The drug legalization issue is one thing that has always made some people think odd things about me. I’ve come to wonder if I’m one of the few pro-drug legalization people who have never once used any illicit drugs (my drugs of choice are my morning coffee and an occasional Guinness or glass of red wine). Whenever the drug topic would come up in conversation and I’d offer my two cents on the issue, the first thing that I would hear was usually, “I never knew that you were into drugs.” It became frustrating trying to explain that I’m against using them but in favor of legalizing them, so I basically gave up talking about it. I figured that it would end up leading to a discussion on the broad legalization of prostitution and gambling, which would no doubt lead to questions like, “You gamble and use hookers? I never knew that.” I’ve never used the services of hookers and I hate parting with money, but we live in a climate where if you want something legal, it means that you must partake in it.

The worst time, however, was when a diehard Republican friend from high school somehow figured that if I want drugs legalized that I must want to see children addicted to them. I’m still trying to figure out how he jumped that far.

I haven’t seen him in a few years, so I can’t say if he’s fighting against pumping kids full of Ritalin like candy or not.

July 07, 2006  

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