Sony loses DRM case in France

By EDRi · January 17, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Sony UK and Sony France have lost a case against The French
consumer protection association UFC Que Choisir because they did not inform
the consumers about the lack of interoperability of their products and
services to other devices.

The decision taken by the Nanterre Tribunal has found Sony liable for
misleading the consumers by “the fact that Sony did not explicitly and
clearly informed the consumer that the music players sold could read only
the music files downloaded on the only legal site Connect.” The decision
also considered that Sony UK had not explicitly stated in its contract that
the music files downloaded from the Connect website could be read only by
the music players dedicated for the Sony trademark.

The tribunal found as well that Sony was responsible for tied selling
(ventee liée) because the 2 separate contracts were closely inter-related:
downloading of music files from the Connect website is subordinated to
buying a dedicated product.

Sony France was obliged by the court to pay 10 000 Euro damages to UFC Que
Choisir and to show on its homepage the judge decision for 3 months. Until
now the court ruling has not been made public by Sony France, that pays 1000
Euro per day for not complying with this part of the decision. Sony can
appeal the decision, but this will not suspend the application of the
present ruling.

This could be just the first step for the French consumers rights
organization, that has started a similar trial against Apple for its
services iPod and iTunes. A decision could be taken by the court during

The decision is one of the first taken after the DADVSI law entered into
force in August 2006. However, the interoperability of the Sony system was
not taken into consideration by the court since the DADVSI law foresees an
Authority for DRMs that should look into this sort of problems. However, the
Authority has not been created yet, because it is still waiting for the
secondary legislation.

Sony condemned for having linked music files to its player (in
French only, 4.01.2007)

The DRM condemned for cheating and tied selling (in French only, 5.01.2007)

Decision UFC vs Sony ( in French only, 15.12.2006)