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French legislators approved a bill this week that will force technology companies such as Apple Computer to share proprietary technology with rivals. Such a move is not only a recipe for disaster but completely unnecessary. The digital music market has always been a tumultuous place. For a long time, Hollywood and Silicon Valley battled over how to sell music while avoiding the theft of digital goods.
Interesting story. One clarification--it should be pointed out that the general consensus on Minitel is that it is considered one of the world's most successful pre-World Wide Web online services ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel ).
Another point I'd like to make is that, at least in the U.S. the contsruct of "intellectual property" is merely a legal device intended to spur development of technology. Once it has served that purpose, or if it fails in continuing to serve that purpose, the protections it provides to shield inventors from the marketplace may be disposed of. That the French government recognizes this scenario and is unafraid to act for what they believe best serves the public interest, even in the face of Apple's coercion, should be applauded, not condemned.