Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Apple pulling out of France= The Downfall of Western Civilization
If you haven't heard, it sounds like France is calling Apple on it's onerous DRM (Digital Rights Management) scheme that requires any music that you buy from iTune's only play on Apple's iPod players.
French lawmakers have just given their approval to an interoperability measure, pushing the bill to the upper house, the Senate. The draft law passed 296 to 193, signaling a strong sentiment to simplify the paid digital music landscape in France. A timetable on the Senate vote is unclear at this juncture, though the process could take weeks or more. In the meantime, the spotlight continues to remain on Apple, which may opt to exit the French market rather than be forced to open its closed, FairPlay DRM system.
(excerpt from Digital Music News at www.digitalmusicnews.com)
Now.. tell me DRM isn’t bad idea. Come on, think about it.
Personally, I think this is the start of the balkanization of Europe and has the potential to start WWIII.
(as you read this, remember the words: Sarcasm, Satire and Humor)
As we all know, France is a volatile place. Riots in the streets. A passionate youth that feel completely disenfranchised. An 'immigrant' class that's not treated overly well. A government that tends toward covert and overt control of what it deems 'key' industries. A people that have an overall superior 'we are better than you and know more than you cretins' attitude toward all things non-French. A penchant or nuclear power plants and, of course, nuclear weapons.
A domino effect is in play here folks. It's as bad, maybe worse, than the domino effect our government was so afraid of in the 50's, 60's and 70's around communism taking over the world. The Bush administration should take notice and start thinking about the dangers of an unstable nuclear France if you ask me.
Here's how I see it playing out:
Apple pulls out of France because it doesn't feel it can do business there anymore without maintaining it's iron control of the French youths musical distribution systems (which, we all know deep down, is a way of controlling their minds with Music and the decadent sounds of America. At least that's so in the minds of the French elite).
You can no longer buy an iPod, a Macintosh or access any Apple website address from an IP address based in France.
Microsoft, as always, following Apple's lead, see's that France is the root of all it's trouble in Europe around the opening up of Windows, including the source of the the EU's demands in this area and is likely behind the huge fines the EU is heaping onto Microsoft daily and decides to pull out of France as well by refusing to sell Windows to any PC manufacturer that sells into France. It also blocks all French IP addresses from any Microsoft web site or Microsoft sponsored web site or service. It places a clause into all it's contracts and terms of service agreements barring any of it's partners from doing business with any French company or citizen of France.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, does an interview on MSNBC calling the French 'A bunch of Frogs' and throws a chair across the studio.
In a domino like effect, all major non French software companies pull out of France and brand it 'The Intellectual Property Thieves of the world". CD vendors on the streets of Asian and Eastern European countries everywhere smile broadly.
IBM, Dell, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba follow suite and ban all French IP based traffic to their websites, update directories and support lines.
The buzz in the blogoshere is intense, speculation is rampant. Echolalia ensues and a large percentage of the blog reading population drops all but 3 blogs from their Newsgator RSS aggregators to help block out the (repetitive) noise.
6 months passes.
Black markets pick up in France. A Swedish ring of iPod smugglers is caught bringing a huge shipment of the new 60 GB full face video iPods over the border where a gun battle between French police and smugglers breaks out. All of the smugglers are killed but one who is brought to trial. It becomes a national sensation and symbol of Frances defiance of the 'evils' of the technology coming out of America.
The French smile smugly. The youths of France riot in the streets screaming for anything but Carla Bruni.
A ring of Wi-Max towers springs up around the borders of France selling access to non French IP addresses to French citizens. Frances government passes laws making it illegal to buy internet access from any non French provider.
Sales of 100 and 300 watt low power FM transmitters into France spike as hundreds of illegal pirate radio stations spring up around the country. Most play the latest music from the US and other 'politically incorrect' sources. Some also are more political and read passages from Thomas Friedman’s book "The World Is Flat" between 'subversive' US songs. Mostly rap.
3 months pass.
French Industry begins to slowly collapse.
Updates to existing windows based systems in French businesses, not able to update software from Microsoft, begin to see more virus's in their system and more hacking attacks on increasingly outdated desktop and server software systems. Downtime and outages become the norm.
The French workweek drops from an average of 30 hours a week to 15.
A ring of Russian hackers, exploiting a recently discovered hole hin Windows Server 2003 that France was not able to update and fix due to the IP blockage by Microsoft, infiltrates Frances ministry of defense and makes off with detailed 'alternative' plans created by Frances defense department on how a nuclear attack on England, if it ever were to happen, would be implemented.
They publish it on the internet.
World outrage ensues.
During the uproar, a similar bug is exploited by a group of Romanian hackers that effectively drains 8% of the French Governments Dollar and Euro currency stores to Camen Island banks.
President Bush goes on national US TV and states that any attack on 'our good buddies over there in UK-Land' would be considered an act of 'horridable terrorismness' and we'd 'nuke anyone with the balls to even talk about it'.
Several white house sources quickly follow-up with 'expansions' on the Presidents comments that tone down the message, but underline America's policies on preemptive strikes if we, or our allies, are threatened.
Two weeks pass.
France discovers it's treasuries have been looted (an additional 17% of it's Dollar and Euro store has been drained during the posturing between the UK, France and the US).
With 25% of it's currency stores missing, the French Finance Minister calls an emergency meeting with the President of France.
Sitting in on meeting is a 28 year old assistant to the Finance Minister who still owns a now useless iPod. Although a loyal french citizen, she is personally pissed off that she can no longer get Snoop Dog's latest recordings for her iPod.
After the meeting, this assistant tells her lover, after a particularly passionate evening of mild S&M sex, that France has been robbed and may be on the verge of default. Her lover tells his other girlfriend, after a similar night of passion the next night, the same thing.
She tells her friend who is a DJ on one of the Paris pirate radio stations.
He, in true pirate fashion, tells his 200,000 listeners that Frances treasury has been looted due to holes in the governments computer systems that can no longer be fixed due to all the relevant software companies in the world pulling out of France.
Word spreads like wildfire as other pirate stations pick up the story and spread the word. Internal French bloggers repeat the story.
Within 72 hours, 'word on the street' is 90% of Frances reserves have been stolen by 'foreign hackers'. A run on the banks ensues.
France is forced to close all banks.
French citizens begin to turn on non-indigenousness people in France sparking violent riots country wide.
France is forced to impose martial law and 6pm curfews.
The world watches in horror as French society partially collapses and a police state is put into effect.
Steve Ballmer is quoted on Microsoft Channel9 as saying "serves the frogs right for not obeying their intellectual superiors".
Steve Jobs, when asked to comment, simply smiles and mumbles something about "Zen" and "Karma", but refuses to elaborate.
Worried that the state of society in France, and it's nuclear arsenal, has become so unstable, England, Spain, Germany and the US mass troops outside of Frances borders, on all sides. The US repositions several aircraft carriers from the Gulf to the edge of international waters off the coast of France.
A group of French speaking Swiss Militia, move over the border into a small village in France on the border and claim it as "Swiss Territory". The local French citizens, fed up with their government, hold a town meeting and vote, 97% in favor of becoming part of Switzerland.
Several of the villages citizens are illegal users of the WiMax service (available from Switzerland) and several are bloggers. They blog about the secession of this small village from France.
The international press immediately picks up the story and headlines appear around the world ‘French Citizen’s Abandoning Country, Taking Their Land With Them’.
France’s now militarized government sends troops to the village and forces the Swiss Militia to abandon the village. During the (mostly) peaceful process, the military stations troops, helicopters and light artillery ½ mile over the French border onto Swiss territory (using GPS systems that are outdated and slightly inaccurate).
Switzerland immediately demands that the troops be ‘Removed’ from Swiss territory.
Frances government, refusing to admit it sort of isn’t sure exactly where the border is, effectively tells the Swiss to ‘stick it’.
Germany, Spain and England go on high alert. The US sends warplanes flying over Paris and buzzes the capital building.
……………………to be continued.
And to think: all Steve Jobs had to do was do away with DRM.