Apple Withdraws Lawsuit Against Wiki Site Owner Over iPhone/iPod Interoperability Hack Discussion

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

Last November, the EFF took Apple to task for threatening the owner of a wiki site. Apple claimed that an ongoing discussion on the site about how to build interoperability between iPods and iPhones and alternative software other than iTunes violated the DMCA — which requires quite a novel interpretation of the DMCA. After Apple refused to back down, EFF sued in April. Somewhere along the way, it looks like Apple’s lawyers started to realize that it had pretty close to no chance whatsoever and has now withdrawn this particular threat. The EFF is dropping the lawsuit, but isn’t pleased that the whole thing had to happen in the first place:

“While we are glad that Apple retracted its baseless legal threats, we are disappointed that it only came after 7 months of censorship and a lawsuit,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. “Because Apple continues to use technical measures to lock iPod Touch and iPhone owners into — and Palm Pre owners out of — using Apple’s iTunes software, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more discussions among frustrated customers about reverse engineering Apple products. We hope Apple has learned its lesson here and will give those online discussions a wide berth in the future.”

Indeed. While the Palm Pre situation is in the other direction (interop between alternative hardware and iTunes software, rather than alternative software with Apple hardware), it shows again that Apple will do whatever possible to stop people from making legal use of products they purchased.

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Companies: apple, eff

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Comments on “Apple Withdraws Lawsuit Against Wiki Site Owner Over iPhone/iPod Interoperability Hack Discussion”

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Yosi says:

Let's be honest - Palm is wrong here

With all crap that Apple’s lawyers can pull out, one need to note that it’s Palm’s own fault that it can’t sync properly with iTunes.

First of all – it violated USB spec (following open standards, anyone?). Next it expected from Apple to violate USB spec too, while opened, documented API exists for iTunes sync. Nokia doing it OK without need to disguise itself to ipod.

Anonymous Coward says:

At first I thought Apple only did pretty computers that only a graphic designer could want. Then they started using Intel and they went to “Sony” category: overpriced, with some style. And then they created that phone and started acting like a total fascist: censoring applications with no reason, threatening competition with patent lawsuits, censoring discussions. I’m glad I never bought anything from them.

Yosi says:

Re: Re:

“Overpriced” part has been debunked times and times, over and over. And FYI, “some style” costs “some money” because it generally mean “pleasant to use”. And many people value that “feel good to use” thing.

And for patent lawsuits – when you create so fucked up legal system don’t be surprised that it’s being abused.
Don’t blame Apple, blame your lawmakers.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“”Overpriced” part has been debunked times and times, over and over. And FYI, “some style” costs “some money” because it generally mean “pleasant to use”. And many people value that “feel good to use” thing.”

Don’t be an apple fan boy. Yes they cost more and yes they do less and yes you can get something that looks pleasant and feels good to use without spending $1800. But that’s all preference (and what you plan to do with it), some like Mac, Some like Linux, some like Windows.

Yosi says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, they cost more, but no, they do not do less. It’s bloody UNIX inside, don’t ya know?
And some people (me included) think that well-working UNIX-based GUI is worth paying for.
You don’t call Porsche/BMW/Mercedes “overpriced”, right?

But, as you say – don’t like it – buy Windows. But please, get over this “overpriced and do less” bullshit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually, I do call Porsche/BMW.Mercedes overpriced.

Especially Porsches and BMWs. They have a lot of glitz, and not much go. It’s all about power to weight ratios you see, and Porsches just don’t have it when compared to much cheaper motorcycles. Even BMW motorcycles don’t have the power to weight ratio when compared to sport bikes (crotch rockets), or most customs (I’m not talking about special custom choppers, I’m talking about home built bikes).

Just remember, if your car has less than 600 hp and you haven’t stripped all the weight possible out of it, you probably shouldn’t be racing that motorcycle on a straightaway. Corners, now that’s a different matter (and let’s not get into it about grips, tire widths, track types, etc…)

Huh…just noticed that if you replace the word Porsche with Mac, BMW with windows, and every reference to motorcycles with Linux you have yourself a handy little analysis there.

Floyd (profile) says:

Motorcycle vs. Porsche

Your motorcycle may be able to beat a Porsche, but it’s nothing compared to an F-22, dumb***! Suck on that!

Seriously though, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but cars and motorcycles are not the same thing.

And I don’t have any Mac computers, but I thouroughly enjoy my iPhone, which does whatever I want, including writing this post. $99 doesn’t seem too overpriced to me. So you can’t say all of their products are overpriced. I do agree that most of their desktops are, though (cept the mini) but it’s still subjective.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Motorcycle vs. Porsche

Cars and motorcycles aren’t both vehicles? Really? And here I was thinking they were both modes of transportation with different markets that the manufacturers have learned to cater to through the inclusion of different features and core capabilities.

I was speaking in terms of transportation. And as far as simple transportation goes, motorcycles tend to do it cheaper than cars (new at least, not speaking of the resell market) with better aspects in some areas (power to weight, speed, gas mileage, ) and worse in others (protection from elements, protection from other drivers, carrying capacity). Much like Macs and PCs serve the same basic purpose (computing) but differ in areas such as modification capabilities, software availability, price, etc…

So I guess what I’m saying is yeah, I’d fly and F-22 if I could.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Crazy Talk

I feel I should preface this with the fact that I am a happy iPhone owner. (Jailbroken, of course!)

I just don’t get what Apple is doing here. They no longer have DRM on their music, so there’s no need to lock buying that music down with a (heavily bloated and nearly useless) application. (That I can’t even run on Linux!)

It seems to me that they’d make more money if anyone with a web browser could open it up and buy music from them. Since they give away iTunes, there’s no real sense in forcing me to use it, except that it’s the only way to buy music from them.

Why intentionally limit their customer base?

pavja2 says:

Hard times ahead for apple

Apple is swiftly andsurely coming to its downfall, jailbreaking will be made legal in a matter of weeks, google is developing apps for jailbreakers, flash still isnt on the iphone, chrome os is on its way and is going to do much harm to the windows apple world, and from the looks of it the SDK is coming to windows this year, but not from apple. I reccomend shorting some shares of aap

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