(via Cedric Manara) A French court has ruled against Sony UK and Sony France over the use of DRM. Manara writes in the Cyberlaw mailing list:
A French court ruled against Sony France and Sony UK, in a case brought by a consumer group. Sony UK operates the website CONNECT Store, where French consumers can download music files in ATRAC 3 format. ATRAC 3 is a proprietary format, that can only be played on SONY players. To the Court, Sony UK did not clearly inform the consumers that these files cannot be played on other players. The Court also found that Sony France did not provide clear information to the consumers when selling its players without disclosing they are not compatible with other files. The Court also ruled that Sony UK's "tying practice" was contrary to the French Consumer code, article L. 122-1. Pursuant to this article, it is illegal to make the purchase of a service subject to the purchase of another product. To the court, the consumers who download a file from Connect are compelled to buy a Sony player if they want to play it.I have not found this reported yet elsewhere, as the techie press seems to be covering exclusively the anti-trust case against Apple. I will be looking for more information when I come back from holidays.