Apple is getting a boost in its fight against the French government's attempts to force iTunes to open up for interoperability.
U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez expressed his support for the computer company on CNBC, saying intellectual property rights should be protected and applauding the company for speaking out against a proposed law in France.
The lower house of France' federal government voted Tuesday to approve a bill it says would allow downloadable music to be played on any format. Apple, which dominates the market, said that such a law would amount to "state-sponsored piracy." The company sent the response to reporters through e-mail.
Analysts have said that there's a strong tradition of standardization in France and that Apple isn't likely to bow to the demands.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry issued a statement saying it supports interoperability as long as there is a clear deterrent against unauthorized file sharing.