[LINK] iTunes still not available in some EU countries.
kim at holburn.net
Thu May 28 23:04:35 EST 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.
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