[LINK] iTunes still not available in some EU countries.

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Thu May 28 23:04:35 AEST 2009

> iTunes still not available in some EU countries. Here's why
> Some EU countries still can't access the iTunes Store—for which  
> consumers can thank a music licensing system that won't allow  
> digital stores to operate across geographic borders. But the  
> European Commission is now pushing record labels and collecting  
> societies into the Internet age and has announced its first successes.
> By Nate Anderson | Last updated May 26, 2009 12:57 PM CT
> Last year, European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes raised  
> questions about the strange state of the European music market. "Why  
> is it possible to buy a CD from an online retailer and have it  
> shipped to anywhere in Europe, but it is not possible to buy the  
> same music, by the same artist, as an electronic download with  
> similar ease?" she asked. "Why do pan-European services find it so  
> difficult to get a pan-European license? Why do new, innovative  
> services find licensing to be such a hurdle?"
> This year, she intends to do something about the problem, which has  
> resulted in low growth rates for digital content sales. Kroes, who  
> has already taken on Microsoft and Intel, wants to move Europe's  
> digital music business toward a common market that crosses country  
> borders. If a company like Apple wants to launch an online music  
> store, it shouldn't need to open dozens of separate shops that can  
> each serve only one country. Instead, a single set of licenses ought  
> to be good enough to provide service across Europe.
> We're a long way from that vision, but Kroes said today that  
> progress was being made. French licensing society SACEM and music  
> label EMI have both agreed in principle to allow their works to be  
> licensed more easily across Europe.


> When the iTunes Store debuted in the US, people from Key West to  
> Seattle could buy music at the first digital storefront to offer an  
> appealing deal. The legal growth of the online music market owes  
> much to iTunes, but the European situation means that some new EU  
> member states like Bulgaria and Slovakia don't have access to  
> Apple's online store, even today.
> That's not great for consumers, who often see piracy as a simpler  
> and more attractive solution, and it's not great for the music  
> business. As the European Commission's new report on the subject  
> (PDF) puts it, "The de facto impossibility to buy IP-protected  
> content from any EU online store is particularly harmful to  
> consumers from the new Member States, who currently have a very  
> limited choice of what music they can legally buy on the Internet,  
> even though the demand for such content is growing."
> Refuse to provide simple ways to access legal movies and music, and  
> after a while, it may be difficult to create real markets in such  
> countries at all.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request

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