France is about to pass a law that could mean Apple is forced to allow its customers to transfer songs bought in the store on to devices other than the iPod.
In what could have serious implications to Apple's music dominance around the globe, French parliamentarians will vote on Tuesday to allow consumers to circumvent DRM software that protects copyrighted material.
According to Reuters “The law, which the government says is designed to boost the legal digital music market, is expected to go into effect by the French parliament's summer recess. It is designed to adapt the country's copyright rules to the fast changing market for online content”.
Government officials are claiming that the law is aimed at preventing any one company, be it Apple or Microsoft, from building a dominant position.
"We must not permit piracy nor the emergence of a monopoly", Christian Vanneste, Rapporteur, a senior parliamentarian who helps guide law in France, told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
While other services like Napster, Virgin and HMV's service allows users to download to a number of different players owned by a number of different manufacturers like Samsung and Creative, Apple iTunes users currently can only download music to transfer to an iPod or Motorola iTunes phone.
This has meant that Apple has been able to retain its strong dominance in both the download and hardware markets because you need one to benefit from the other.
Last month the company announced that it had sold over 1 billion iTunes tracks around the globe and a over 23 million iPods.