Zoo Station

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The iPod in Europe

Posted by Chance on June 12, 2006

Businessweek.com (not sure how long the link will remain active) reports that

The worldwide success of Apple Computer’s digital media platform — the iPod portable music and video player, and the iTunes Music Store — is starting to catch the critical eye of consumer advocates and regulators in several European countries. Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman, acting on a complaint by the country’s Consumer Council, has found that Apple’s practice of selling downloadable songs that can be played on only one portable player — the iPod family of products and not other brands of player — violates Norwegian law.

What’s wrong with this picture? I don’t even know where to begin.

For one, no one has to buy music from Apple. There are plenty of other online music stores in the market. But say that Apple is the only producer of online music. Not even considering the fact that any competitor can rise up, no one has the right to purchase online music in any format they wish. I don’t have an entitlement to online music services. I’ll admit that arguments concerning entitlement to health care and housing are more convincing, although I would ultimately disagree. But digital music? Apple provides a service to consumers. I don’t have the right to set the terms of that service, other than through the free market, in which I determine what to buy or sell.

There is no law saying that Apple even has to provide their services. I think Apple should pull an Atlas Shrugged-type move and simply pull their product from those European markets, then see if they are so keen on regulating their product. Of course, some other company will simply move in and take their business, so maybe that is a bad idea.

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One Response to “The iPod in Europe”

  1. The Prophet said

    Pulling business from Europe would mean less overhead. So I don’t think they’ll do that.

    I agree with you, but that’s Europe for ya. I personally am miles behind when it comes to the Ipod stuff. My wife bought me one 2 Christmases ago, and I’m yet to even use it.

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