The French constitutional council, the country's highest judicial body, has declared major aspects of the so-called iPod law unconstitutional, undermining some controversial aspects of the legislation.
Released late Thursday, the council's 12-page legal finding made frequent reference to the 1789 Declaration on Human Rights and concluded that the law violated the constitutional protections of property.
The decision affects Apple's market-dominant iTunes Music Store by undermining the government's original intention, which was to force Apple and others to sell music online that would be playable on any device. Apple's iPod is the only portable music device that can play music purchased on iTunes, which lead rivals to complain about anticompetitive practices.
Although the ruling could still require companies like Apple to make music sold online to be compatible with other handheld devices, it said that the companies could not be forced to do so without receiving compensation. The council also eliminated reduced fines for file sharing.
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