The French iPod interoperability law has now come into effect.

The law lets French regulators force Apple to make its iPod and iTunes work with services and hardware from other manufacturers. Apple has called this "state-sponsored piracy".

However, the full impact of the new legistlation isn't expected to be felt until autumn, when a new authority that monitors the law is expected to be ready to regulate.

Some warn that Apple may choose to abandon the French market if it is forced to break its iTunes/iPod connection.

The company faces similar problems in Scandinavia, where local regulators have said Apple "has not gone far enough" to answer their concerns that the lock between the iPod and iTunes is against the spirit of local consumer protection law.