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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 14, 2006 at 12:41 PM

Freedom tunes

France is pushing through a law that would force Apple Computer to let consumers download songs from iTunes and store them on devices other than the popular iPod player, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Those other devices could include cellphones. If users have bought a substantial amount of their music collection from iTunes, they are limited to two phones to play those songs — the Motorola Rokr and Slvr.

It’s no wonder that music on cellphones have not been too popular to date. Although most mid-market to high-end cellphones come with MP3 players these days, songs from iTunes won’t play on them.

According to the article, under a draft law expected to be voted on in the French parliament Thursday, consumers would be able to legally use software that converts digital content into any format. It would no longer be illegal to crack the codes that protect music, films and other content if it is done to enable the conversion from one format to another, said Christian Vanneste, a senior parliamentarian.

“It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up. … You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,” Vanneste said.

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