Les Français announced today they were working on a law to open the iTunes music store to non-iPod players. Parliament member Christian Vanneste wants to legalize DRM-defeating measures to enable content conversion between formats.
“It will force some proprietary systems to be opened up … You have to be able to download content and play it on any device,” Vanneste told Reuters in a telephone interview on Monday.
The proposed legislation would limit the number of private copies allowed for any digital material, allow police to monitor music-exchange websites, and add fines and other penalties to illegal file sharing. According to Reuters, digital sales boomed five fold last year.
Contrast this approach, which seems intent on busting Apple’s iPod monopoly, with Germany’s and Warner Bros’ upcoming (and legal) peer-to-peer initiative.
“One of the most effective weapons for defeating online piracy is providing legal, easy-to-use alternatives,” said Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros Home Entertainment Group…New films will be made available to registered users of the service from the day they are released on DVD in the German language.
If the French legislation passes, I’m taking bets on how long it will be until Apple closes down it’s French iTunes Music Store.
 Googling Vanneste seems to indicate that he’s a bit of a nutter, but it’s hard to judge French politics from so many thousands of miles away.