by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 28th 2009 8:44am
Last last year, the EFF publicly blasted Apple for threatening a wiki site, called BluWiki, that had been set up by a firm OdioWorks to reverse engineer interoperability with iPods and iPhones so that those devices could work with other software apps (such as Songbird), rather than being locked into iTunes. Apple had threatened the wiki site with a DMCA violation claim, and the EFF pointed out numerous problems with the DMCA claim. Now things have been kicked up a notch, as the site, along with help from the EFF have sued Apple to have the site declared legal. The EFF argument points out that an open discussion site alone is hardly violating the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, but perhaps the more interesting argument is the fact that the iTunes DB file, which is at the heart of this matter, is created by each user independently and is not encrypted. There are two interesting arguments here. First, since the file is not encrypted, there is no encryption to circumvent, thus no violation of the anti-circumvention clauses. Second, since the file is created by the user and his or her own interaction with the software, Apple has no claim on the copyright of the file. If there's any copyright at all, the argument goes, it belongs to the user, and thus they should have every right to do whatever they want with it. This should be a lawsuit worth watching.
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