Steve Jobs won’t be cheering for France at the World Cup. Not after the French government gave final approval to the so-called ‘iTunes Law’ on Friday. The law will force Apple to make both the iPod and iTunes compatible with other online offerings and devices. Companies in the French market will be expected to share technical data with any company who wants to offer compatible services or products. Ultimately, the law could lead to closure for iTunes France and could see iPods pulled from French store shelves.
The law has passed both the Senate and the National Assembly and is almost certain to become law. Only a procedural challenge in constitutional courts by opposition parties blocks implementation, and that is expected to be dispensed of in a few weeks. The final law, though, isn’t quite as extreme as the originally proposed version, which Apple called “state-sponsored piracy”. This law has loopholes which Apple may be able to exploit to avoid sharing their closely guarded secrets.