German and French consumer groups demand Apple removes its DRM

The pressure on Apple to open its DRM in iTunes is mounting in Europe, where German and French consumer groups have lent their support to Scandinavian groups who have long been campaigner for Apple to unlock its system.

UFC-Que Choisir and Ferbraucherzentralen have joined with Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian groups to campaign against Apple. Finland's Kuluttajavirasto is expected also to join.

Björn Erik Thon is reportedly considering suing Apple, as the groups had given the company until September last year to comply with their demands.

Apple's Tom Neumayr told PC Pro, “Apple hopes that European governments will encourage a competitive environment that lets innovation thrive, protects, intellectual property, and allows consumers to decide which products are successful”.

Apple isn't the only one facing pressure to unlock its DRM. At this weeks Midem conference in Cannes, music executives have been pondering offering music downloads as copy protection-free MP3 files, as sales from digital downloads have not offset the drop in music store CD sales.

Currently, the only groups will to offer their music without copy protection are independent music labels.