Apple Confuses Speech with a DMCA Violation

Apple Confuses Speech with a DMCA Violation

Summary: Apple recently sent a "cease and desist" email to bluwiki demanding the removal of postings by users who are trying to figure out how to write software that can sync media to the latest versions of the iPhone and iPod touch.According to the EFF: Apple doesn't have a DMCA leg to stand on.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

EFF logoApple recently sent a "cease and desist" email to bluwiki demanding the removal of postings by users who are trying to figure out how to write software that can sync media to the latest versions of the iPhone and iPod touch.

According to the EFF: Apple doesn't have a DMCA leg to stand on.

At the heart of this is the iTunesDB file, the index that the iPod operating system uses to keep track of what playable media is on the device. Unless an application can write new data to this file, it won't be able to "sync" music or other content to an iPod. The iTunesDB file has never been encrypted and is relatively well understood. In iPods released after September 2007, however, Apple introduced a checksum hash to make it difficult for applications other than iTunes to write new data to the iTunesDB file, thereby hindering an iPod owner's ability to use alternative software (like gtkpod, Winamp, or Songbird) to manage the files on her iPod.

Slashdot notes that since the project uses a wiki the old page versions from before the takedown are still there.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware

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  • Apple is much more evil than MS...

    they've just been so much less successful that no one has noticed just how evil Apple is. People are beginning to notice. :)
    • Re: Apple is much more evil than MS...

      Jealousy, such an ugly emotion.

      As outwardly obsessed with Apple as you are, makes me think it's time you just came out of the closet ;-)

      Time for an ALA, (Apple Lovers Anonymous) Meeting the Zealot.
      • Yes, so jealous of a company that sues wiki sites!

        How do you feel about companies who sue wiki sites for talking about technology? Is this something you support? Is this something you would encourage? We are all curious why you feel the need to defend Apple on this one. :)
        • Re: Yes, so jealous of a company that sues wiki sites!

          Not defending Apple. It was just a jab at your unwavering obsession with them.

          Yeah, their new found popularity seems to be going to their head. Hopefully they'll get there ass handed to them on something like this that will get their attention.
      • I'm a mac fanoby

        Sorry, he's right.

        Apple has been screwing up a *LOT* lately.
      • Apple is a Bad Company

        It always been since day one. But when you only have fews brainwashed brainless zombies fellowing you, no one care, But now Apple is starting "convert" a bit too many idiots who have no clue about computers (and music player) so maybe its time for a education campain.
        • Heheheheh

          Wow, you're one to talk about education campaigns and brainwashed zombies...


          Seriously though, how could they be brainwashed if they were brainless?!?

          Hmmmmmm ;)
          Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
    • Apple = fail

      Their monopolistic intentions are so obvious that they will never achieve an actual monopoly. Apple wants to be MS so bad, but half a billion in advertising just isn't going to do it. The world is tired of monopolies and vendor lock in.
    • MS is much more evil or only just as evil as Apple.

      Any corporation given a sufficiency of time will develop into a personality that any competent psychiatrist or psychologist would describe as that of a sociopath*. Apple and MS are both large corporations and have the personalities of such.

      As both corporations are sociopathic, there is no actual way you can determine which is more evil other than by measuring the effects each has had upon others. By that measure, MS is significantly more evil, but only because they have had greater opportunity to perform evil acts.

      *sociopath [(soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-uh-path)]

      Someone whose social behavior is extremely abnormal. Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.
      • By your definition...

        All companies that look out for #1 are sociopaths. Since this encompasses 99.99% of for profit corporations, all the idiots that refuse to buy an Apple product for this reason should logically refuse to buy a Microsoft product. As well as any other product made by a for profit corporation.

        Or it could be that they simply dislike Apple's image, and rationalize this based on evil actions. Many apple fans do this with Microsoft. And Linux fans do so with both.

        The solution here, would be to get people to honestly state their opinions. If they fall under an OS-fanboy category, feed them drugs till every other word they spout is 'dude' or 'sweet'.
        • And then... ;-)

          But seriously, you're right WRT not buying something because the company is evil. Logically, anything larger than that run by an individual (and many of those) would have to be boycotted.

          As for the definition, it's not mine. It came from
      • Sounds like most of the peiple here! :) <NT>

        John Zern
  • RE: Apple Confuses Speech with a DMCA Violation

    I used to use Anapod Explorer for my old iPod Shuffle, but went with a different company for the lager mp3 player, I HATE iTunes. It is just me personally, but I like to be able to drag and drop things and I hate how iTunes always tried to sneak other stuff on you machine. Not to mention that it was a royal pain to keep Apple out of Startup!
  • A most dangerous man.

    That would be Steve Jobs. He represents the biggest threat to our digital freedoms. No Steve, you can't wall me in to your Apple garden.
  • RE: Apple Confuses Speech with a DMCA Violation

    I've decided that the only way to go is buy no Apple products of any sort.
    • Never had malware hit my Windows machine and I never buy Apple...

      Never had malware hit my Windows machine and I never buy Apple products. Coincidence?
      [url=] Maybe not.[/url]
      [url=] Maybe not. [/url]
      [url=] Maybe not. [/url]
      [url=] Maybe not.[/url]

      • "Coincidence?" A resounding YES from the IT industry

        If any IT professional even attempted to post all the times malware has made it onto a computer they administer that doesn't have any apple software on it, or is ever connected to an apple product, the list would be extremely long.
        I for one (though I don't claim the title of an IT professional) have seen it happed dozens of times. You my friend are a VERY lucky exception.
        • User installed

          By clicking the link I tell them not to usually does it for my systems...
          John Zern
  • At least the real issue comes out.

    It is not about DRM, protecting content, or intellectual property, it is about control and how Apple wants to enforce how you, the owner of the hardware, uses what they believe to be their hardware. I got slammed upon by someone named "People" who staunchly defended Apple in this article.

    Wonder where the apologist is now? Without the ability to use hardware in unique ways, I'll say it again, NONE of these would exist.

    The IBM PC Clone and everything derived from it.
    Non Ma Bell sub $299 black ABS phones.
    No portable music players of any variety that cost less than $1200 ($799 being the MP3 license fee).
    New TVs, DVRs, heck VCRs would have become VCPs only.

    Think of anything you use, anything you can look at on your desk, you can probably attribute it's existence to someone, somewhere, using a root product in a unique way.

    I will use a perfect example, if I want to use an iPod as the storage medium for an ultra small all on one surveillance camera, I need to decode the hash. If they prevail (and they won't), and enough of these idiot control freak companies prevail, innovation stagnates. Pretty much as it has up until a couple of years ago. We are finally getting out from under the control (and stagnation) of all things computer related from another company, so why not fight the new control freaks.

    • Idiots amaze me.

      Apple cannot and does not control the way you use their hardware. It can only control the way you use their software(installed on their hardware). You can install whatever you want on your iPod. But if you mess with their intellectual property in a public and provable manner, then they are within their rights under current law to stop you.

      Lets take your example. You want to connect a camera to your iPod and have it store something on it. Doable even now without ever touching the ItunesDB file. Because this DB simply stores information about the MEDIA file stored in hidden folders on the iPod. Basically there are a series of randomly named music files with no MP3 or a4e tags, pictures and videos in them. This iTunesDB file simply tells the iPod software what is what.

      You can connect your iPod to ANY computer and use it as a Disk Drive. So long as it is formatted in such a way that that system can recognize it. What prevents this from normally happening is the iTunes software that is installed on your computer. It has a helper process which figures out what to do based on if you want it to mount your iPod a as a disk drive after iTunes is done screwing with it.

      Now you could completely format your iPod and install linux on it. On the touch ones, it is completely doable, since linux has been ported to ARM. However, you will erase the Apple software on them to do this.

      The same applies to any Apple computer you buy. You can install linux or windows and erase OSX. Its your right to do so.

      But they sure as hell don't like it when you create software that allows anyone to interact with their intellectual property on the iPod and completely replace iTunes if they so wanted. Which is what they are doing.

      To be honest, Apple should have provided a version of iTunes for linux. But their problem was that iTunes was written in carbon. And that API is very hard to port to other systems. Look at the crappy job they did for windows. Personally, they should have transitioned it to Cocoa years ago. Then the port to linux would have been moderately easy.

      But to say that it the god given right for a person to write a program that could interact with software written by the provider of a piece of hardware when it seems this company does not wish you to? No... its ridiculous. Denying them is not very nice. But within their rights.

      If they wanted to write an iTunes replacement, they should also write an iPod software replacement. Works the same, looks the same but is open source. And it works with all open source players. This is the path they will have to take. It wont be easy with any but iPod touches. but I can see it happening.

      Still that you have such strong opinions, when you know so little about the topic... amazes me. But I guess it really shouldn't.