The French parliament today voted in a copyright bill that would force companies like Apple and Microsoft to make their music downloads playable on all portable media players.
The law, which also included copyright protection and fines for the breach of that protection, was approved by a vote of 296 to 193 in the 577-member lower house in Paris. The bill will now require approval from the Senate.
Apple and rivals including Microsoft wrap digital music files in copy-protection software to avoid piracy. They promote different standards, meaning songs downloaded from iTunes can't be listened to using Microsoft's Windows Media Player, while Apple's iPod won't play songs in Microsoft's media format.
``The technical measures can not be an obstacle to the free use of the oeuvre or the protected item within the limits of the rights foreseen in the current code,'' the law proposal said.
The bill allows the publication of computer code and technical documentation for third-party interoperability software, as long as it's for legitimate uses and included copyright-protection measures. You can read more over at Bloomberg.