Apple Computer Inc. said on Tuesday a proposed French law that would force Apple to make sure that songs bought on its iTunes music store can work on any portable player would result in "state-sponsored piracy."
"The French implementation of the EU Copyright Directive will result in state-sponsored piracy," said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. "If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers."
The National Assembly, France's lower house of parliament, passed the law on Tuesday, which French officials said is aimed at preventing any one company from building a grip on the digital online music retail market.
The new legislation would require that online music retailers provide the digital rights management software that protects copyright material to allow the conversion of music in one format to another.
But Apple said the law, which it opposes, would likely actually increase its sales of iPod music players. "iPod sales will likely increase as users freely upload their iPods with 'interoperable' music which cannot be adequately protected," Kerris said. "Free movies for iPods should not be far behind."