France may modify its stance on ensuring music download services sell songs which can be played on any device.

The French Senate has introduced some minor amendments to the bill, which Apple calls "state-sponsored piracy". These changes may offer Apple a loophole.

Associated Press reports that under one of the amendments, Apple would be permitted to sell songs in its closed proprietary format if it secures written permission from copyright holders.

However, the amendment may not make it through the Senate debate, as French culture minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres is determined to ensure that music downloads are compatible with all music players.

The intention is to stimulate competition and consumer choice.

Despite Apple's present dominance of the music download market, a French government official told AP: "The government's position is to favour interoperability come what may," the official said. "That is not going to depend on deals with iTunes."

Some analysts predict that if the law demanding that download services sell songs in a format consumers can choose to use on any digital device goes through, Apple will quit the French market.

Apple currently holds 11 per cent of the French download market.