E.U. vs iTunes ------- Cat vs Dog

No, I won't be equating the European Union to a cute but sneaky cat and the iTunes to a lovably manipulative dog. (But I could!) The E.U. versus iTunes part of this post's title is about the E.U. initiating formal legal charges against Apple and the Big Four Music Labels. Acting on behalf of consumers in 30 European countries, the E.U. says Apple and the labels are unlawful in not offering all of the same music over there that's available in the U.S. The E.U.'s Commission also wants iTunes' price variances from one E.U. country to the next looked at by the law.

Just hours prior, Apple and EMI announced an exciting DRM-free venture whereby iTunes buyers now can download music copies without limitation... A great reason for Apple and EMI to celebrate, but a celebration surely cut short when both were collared by the long arm of international law.

The record companies say they can't sell certain music abroad due to legal limitations. But these things are often about money. I imagine the labels can do it, get around the "legal" barriers and make more iTunes downloads available abroad. They just don't want to, we could surmise, as an enormous amount of money likely would be involved (e.g, renegotiating certain contracts with mega-artists).

All of this because European consumers want more than their MTV; they want more iTunes, too.

Meanwhile, I wonder if those E.U. governments -- all 30 of them involved -- will be seeing a nice bump-up in their tax revenues if they win their case against Apple and the four record labels. Because otherwise, this sure seems like one peculiar battle for a European Commission to take on.

Oh, the Cat versus Dog bit in the title? It's about this Joke of The Day. It's the post titled "Cat Scan." It started to feel a bit lengthy, but I'm glad I stayed with it. The punch line is great -- made me laugh out loud!

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