Apple, Sony In Court Over Copy Protection In France

from the limiting-choice dept

There have been a large number of odd court rulings in France lately. However, it looks like there’s one lawsuit that might be worth following closely. A consumer association there is suing Apple and Sony for using copy protection, claiming that it’s limiting consumers’ choice. Of course, there’s a similar lawsuit in the US that doesn’t seem likely to stand much of a chance. While these lawsuits do show that consumers are fed up with being treated like criminals even on products they’ve already bought, it’s not clear there is (or should be) a legal recourse. The real issue is that people should learn not to buy from providers who limit what they can do, and encourage businesses who actually give customers what they want.


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Comments on “Apple, Sony In Court Over Copy Protection In France”

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7 Comments
lemon obrien says:

viva la france

‘odd court rulings in France’ It seems the french are the only ones who get it. The trademark cases against google are totally correct; anyone who reads trademark laws knows its totally illegal to use some other business’s trademarks to make money…period.

DRMs are totally illegal; think about this way, if someone put usage management on any ‘hard-good/physical product’ then no one would by it; but, b/c most people are dumb, no one understand ‘fair-use’, which means after you buy intellctual property, you have rights owner to use/sel the media as an owner…just as you have rights with nay other product, such as a car, to sell, destroy, use as you see fit.

the french seem to be the only people who get it.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: viva la france

Er. I disagree completely on both those points.

1. The purpose of trademark law is not to outlaw all use of a trademark, but to protect consumers from confusion. That is, to prevent Bob’s Cola from labeling itself as Coca-Cola. In a case where Bob’s Cola simply uses Coca-Cola in it’s advertising and no confusion is there, it should be perfectly legal and does nothing to harm the concept of trademarks.

2. While I believe very much that DRM is a very stupid business move, there’s nothing about it that’s illegal. Comparing tangible and intangible goods and making some conclusion is an argument that goes both ways, unfortunately. However, in this case, it’s clearly something can do, and there’s nothing illegal about blocking what people can do with the content you sell them. It’s just stupid and bound to backfire.

lemon obrien says:

Re: Re: viva la france

so, how does searching for gucci, and coming up with product imitation makers not confuse the average american with an 8th grade education?

If I buy a song why can’t i use it they way i want to? copyright determines the ‘right to copy’ not ‘right of use’. People don’t understand the difference. If you’re going to reproduce it for non personal use, your breaking copyright, otherwise you should be able to use your ipod the way you want too? Its your property after you’ve purchased it, you just don’t have the right to copy it for non personal use.

Basically Apple, Sony, and the Entertainment Industry (which I work in) want to make more money by forcing the ignorant into buying more than one copy of media; so they can use it the way they want…sounds like extortion.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: viva la france

You misunderstand. In the example you gave, a search for gucci that points to counterfeit products that is a violation of trademark… however it’s not Google’s violation, but the counterfeiters.

What is NOT a violation of trademark is if you search for Gucci and seen an ad for Chanel. It’s a competitive ad… not confusing at all.

As for the second situation, again, you’re right, you SHOULD be able to do what you want with your content. If you read this site often enough, you know that… However, there’s nothing stopping these companies from making a bad business decision and limiting what you can do with it. In fact, you’re not “buying” the products. You’re simply licensing it, and with that license comes certain restrictions. That’s perfectly legal… no matter how short sighted it may be from a business standpoint.

lemon obrien says:

Re: Re: Re:2 viva la france

Mike said…”What is NOT a violation of trademark is if you search for Gucci and seen an ad for Chanel. It’s a competitive ad… not confusing at all.”

but google sells the word ‘Gucci’ which is tradmarked, and google is conducting, and allowing other to conduct business using other business’ trademarks; which is illegal.

if i bought ‘Google’ which led to an ad for my new prono site when searched; google would go off the deep end and use the same argument, that ‘google’ is trademarked, to have my site taken down or eliminated in some way.

I wonder if you can buy ‘Google’ through adword? if not…then you know exactly why…what’s good for the goose should be good for google too.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 viva la france

but google sells the word ‘Gucci’ which is tradmarked, and google is conducting, and allowing other to conduct business using other business’ trademarks; which is illegal.

Nope. Not illegal. You can most definitely use trademarks in business. The point of trademark, again, has nothing to do with giving you 100% control over the trademark, but to avoid confusion.

How many ads do you see that compare the product in question to a competitor? According to you, that’s illegal.

It’s not. It’s perfectly legitimate use of trademarked terms, and that’s what Google is doing.

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