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French council strikes down parts of 'iPod law'

The French Constitutional Council has declared major aspects of the so-called iPod law unconstitutional, undermining some controversial aspects of the legislation, the New York Times is reporting.

According to the report, the council has highlighted fundamental protections for intellectual property in such a way that it puts Apple's iTunes music service at less risk to the new law.

In a 12-page legal finding release Thursday, the council "made frequent reference to the 1789 Declaration on Human Rights and concluded that the iPod law violated the constitutional protections of property."

Specifically, the Times said the council eliminated reduced fines for file sharing and said companies could not be forced, without compensation, to make music sold online compatible with competitor's devices.

Although approved by the French Senate and National Assembly last month, the iPod law was reportedly brought for review by the council following the demand of more than 100 members of the National Assembly. The review is said to be one of the final steps before the law is promulgated.

France's government may now decide whether to implement the altered legislation or once again bring it before the French Parliament.

While the council's review emphasizes the need for compensation, it's only a slight win for Apple, as the more critical principle of forced interoperability remains in place, according to the Times.