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Thursday, August 03, 2006, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

French iTunes law goes into effect

The closely watched French law that allows regulators to force Apple Computer Inc. to make its iPod digital music players and iTunes online store compatible with rival offerings went into effect Thursday, reports the Associated Press.

Although the law passed France's parliament June 30, the country's Constitutional Council last week threw out several measures, concluding that they violated constitutional property protections.

According to the AP, French President Jacques Chirac signed the legislation this week with the council's changes. The law was then published in the government's Journal Official on Thursday, formally putting it into effect.

Apple, which had described an earlier draft of the copyright bill as "state-sponsored piracy," did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment, the AP reported.