Britain Legalizes iPod Wireless Transmitters

Britain is legalizing the small wireless transmitters commonly used to play music from iPods over car radios.

Devices such as the finger-length iTrip have been banned in Britain because they are considered radio stations under the country's 1949 Wireless Telegraphy Act.

That means a user must have the right to transmit over an FM frequency and pay royalties for any tunes played on the music players, said Steve Hawkins, a managing director at A.M. Micro Distribution Ltd., which sells the iTrips.

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Amendments to the Wireless Telegraphy Act, effective Dec. 8, will allow Britons to use the devices without a broadcast license.

ITrip, made by Griffin Technology for Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) iPod devices, is one of a number of devices meant to allow owners of music players to listen to tunes on their radios.

Legal in the United States, the devices transmit signals over a short range, so they usually don't interfere with high-power commercial broadcasts.

Britain joins Germany and Switzerland in legalizing the devices, but most other European countries still ban them, Hawkins said.