(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
ban, germany, iphone, voip


German Court Bans VoIP On The iPhone; Says It's Unfair

from the felony-interference-with-a-business-model dept

We've pointed to a bunch of stories that involved Apple somewhat arbitrarily forbidding or banning iPhone apps, but now it appears that the courts are getting in on the game as well. A German court has banned a VoIP iPhone app after T-Mobile, the mobile operator who offers the iPhone in Germany, complained. The court says that this VoIP app "makes use of unfair business practices," though it's difficult to see how. VoIP is a perfectly acceptable application, so why is it unfair? The court's explanation here seems a bit stretched as well. Apparently, the only way to run this particular VoIP app is on a jailbroken iPhone, and T-Mobile's contract forbids jailbreaking the phone. Of course, if that's true, isn't it an issue between T-Mobile and its customers who broke the contract? Why should the app maker be blamed? All it did was build a useful app? This seems like yet another case where a company is arguing that interference with a business model should be illegal.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2008 @ 11:14am

    VoIP where you are

    VOIP is "unfair" to the landline companies who have to maintain all the early 1900s copper that's buried in the ground-- they are unable to collect per-minute revenue for.

    In Gaermany, DT's T-Com, is the monopoly wireline provider, and has the unfortunate task of this. The German wireline business has been hemmoraging money for as long as I started watching it (~8 years?). So it comes as no surprise that it seems easier to fight it in court than try to develop a decade-long migration strategy and compelling customer-focused products which can only be brought to market with a full TCP-IP network.

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