Scandinavian Countries to Meet Apple

Apple will meet with representatives of consumer rights groups from Sweden, Norway and Denmark to discuss concerns over the closed nature of iTunes, an executive with Sweden's consumer rights agency told Reuters on Wednesday. The meeting is expected to take place sometime in September, although no solid date has been set.

The Cupertino, Calif. company has responded to concerns voiced by the groups, but has also requested that the sides meet in person. Apple reportedly wants to explain its position, and likely why it intends to keep the iTunes Music Store an iPod-only service.

Lawmakers in France have already taken on Apple, passing a law earlier this summer that required closed digital rights management systems like the company's FairPlay technology to be licensed to other companies. While a Constitutional Council found parts of the law unconstitutional in July, it still required interoperability as long as the company was compensated.

In Norway, two aspects of Apple's position are technically illegal in the country: its unwillingness for interoperability, as well as a refusal to be liable if iTunes damages a computer when the user does not own an iPod. However, Norway's chief concern was the lack of freedom with purchased tracks.

Apple has shown some willingness to change some of its policies, but it was not specified if this meant a loosening of its tight grip on FairPlay. In any case, Apple's moves to discuss the situation would prevent any legal action. Norway had threatened to take the company to court if it did not comply with requests.

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