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the way, it looks like Apple's lawyers started to realize that it had pretty close to no chance whatsoever and has now withdrawn this particular threat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.