When customers buy from the Apple Online Stores using the new gifting service, they are guaranteed safe, secure payment using credit cards; courier delivery to family and friends across 15 European countries; with returns and refunds are covered by the return policy of the Apple Online Store where the recipient is based enabling easy local returns.
I mean – that’s just basic common sense, isn’t it? The whole story of the “we must protect the young” is simply the same shambolic argument these health and safety bullies use each and every time they want more unwarranted control over our lives. (Sorry, but these control freaks annoy me intensely).
Here’s the full European Union press release as cited on the BBC this morning – seems with everyone linking to the BBC’s version of the press release, people may as well get the chance to read the whole thing, here goes”
European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes today told an audience of industry luminaries, including Apple’s Steve Jobs, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones and a quarry of music and technology chiefs they must do better.
Kroes warned the audience – bought together for a private meeting in Brussels today – that the EU may have to step in unless music and technology chiefs stop fighting and figure out a better way to distribute music in Europe.
“Consumers have complained that copyright rules prevent digital music downloads when the same songs can be bought on CD from an online retailer,” Bloomberg explains.
And unless the sundry chiefs meet the challenge of doing business in a unified common market (as the EU is), then European trade enforcers will step in and force them too, Kroes warned. A report drafted with the help of Jagger is due to be published in October. Continue reading
Apple CEO Steve Jobs, eBay CEO John Donahue, Which? director Peter Vicar and other leading tech industry folks will be flying into Europe to attend a private EU conference on online sales of music and consumer goods.
Led by consumer champions such as Peter Vicar, the summit will look at and review cross-border sales of music and other goods over the internet.
EU competition commissioner, Neelie Kroes, says the meeting aims to resolve problems when purchasing products online from countries outside of your own – particularly in Europe, a federation of states whose citizens are meant to be able to freely shop around for the best available deal under free market regulation.
Peer-to-peer technology based on BitTorrent could power next-generation TV broadcasting in Europe.
A European Union-funded research project is exploring a new system that could replace over-the-air TV broadcasts, Ars Technica explains.
With €19 million in EU funding and a research remit stretching to 2012, Dutch academic Dr. Johan Pouwelse has spent a year studying BitTorrent as part of his research toward the new technology, which is being hatched-up to deliver live streaming video, rather than catalogue shows.
P2P-Next is based on BitTorrent, but adds support for video on demand and live streaming. The technology could ease the pressure on broadcasters, who must pay for huge quantities of bandwidth when they stream live material online.
An EU investigation has identified 80 per cent of 558 sites offering ringtones to be a little shady, and plans to investigate these services.
European Commission consumer champions slate the ringtone sites for offering poor price transparency alongside not revealing the contact details of the seller, and various other shady practises seeming designed to misdirect or rip-off customers.
“Far too many people are falling victim to costly surprises from mysterious charges, fees and ringtone subscriptions they learn about for the first time when they see their mobile-phone bill,” an EU official said. “There will be Europe-wide enforcement action to track down each of these traders.”
The investigation was conducted simultaneously in all 27 European states.
Apple has chosen to renege on an earlier commitment to lower UK iTunes prices to bring them into line with those across Europe.
The company promised to change prices to match those charged across Europe six months ago in order to stave of an EU investigation.
Apple had said: “Within six months it will lower the prices it charges for music on its UK iTunes store to match the already standardised pricing on iTunes across Europe.”
At the time, Apple’s 0.99 Euro per song charge equated to 74p, while the company charged 79p per track in the UK. Fluctuations in the currency market now mean both prices come in at around the same price, meaning no price cut is necessary, at least not according to Apple logic – and the company has made no further commitment to reduce costs once the currency markets change again.
“The announcement was that we would match the UK price to that of other lower priced European countries,” an Apple spokesman said, speaking to the BBC. “This is no longer necessary as exchange rates have effectively done it for us.”
Music fans in Europe still pay much more than those in the US, where each song costs $0.99 (49p or 0.62 euros).