SK Telecom Fined For Incompatible MP3 Playing Phone
from the compatibility-as-consumer-protection dept
Over in South Korea, it appears that regulators have fined dominant mobile telco SK Telecom for crippling their music download service to only allow songs downloaded from the company’s own music store to work on their phones. It’s not entirely clear from the article if the songs were really in MP3 format, or if the reporter is simply using “MP3 music files” as shorthand for any kind of digital music file. If it really was MP3 files, then it’s hard to understand exactly what’s happening, as MP3s don’t have DRM technology. The article implies that the phone itself was set up with special DRM that would only play the MP3s from the service, and not other MP3s. However, if these aren’t MP3s and simply a different format, it’s hard to see how SKT can be fined for their lack of compatibility. They simply chose a different format — one that limited the usefulness of their phones for those who want to listen to music in other formats.