Although the subject “Apple Monopoly Attacked” might seem to be the stuff of satire written at The Onion, it’s not. Since today’s not April Fools, I’ll take the PC World blog entry at face value: Norway Outlaws iTunes. I thought the conventional wisdom was that no matter how closed the Apple systems were, they could not be a monopoly… I guess I should resign myself to the Zune Marketplace being next on Norway’s hit list (if anybody in Norway ever buys one).
The part that strikes me as most strange is that the Norwegians involved never seemed to have noticed or complained that you can only run the MacOS on Apple hardware… Is the fact that this is music, not software, what makes the difference to them? Or is it just the rabid music industry lobbyists? If neither, does this mean that the wireless communication device which may or may not be called the Apple iPhone will be illegal in Norway, too, because it won’t run other software? Are DVD players which enforce regional encoding standards illegal in Norway because you can’t play out-of-region DVDs? Are Playstations illegal in Norway because you can’t play PS3 games on any other console?
I’ll admit that I don’t like iTunes and I wish it would go away (or at least have a better, less intrusive user experience on the PC), but I did successfully buy “Finish the Fight” from iTunes (because you can’t get it from our own music service – go figure) and transfer the Halo 3 title track to my Zune for my portable listening pleasure. (No, I do not now own, nor have I ever owned, an iPod. If you buy me one, I promise to leave it in the box and let it gather dust.)
I never thought I’d find myself defending Apple… Pardon me while I look around for the ghost of Rod Sterling.