In its report Apple dumps more countersue-age on Creative, Ars Technica takes a more lighthearted approach to the legal battles between portable multimedia playback vendors Creative and Apple:
If you enjoy legal dramas, it must have been tough the past couple weeks now that sweeps are over and network programming is on hiatus. Lucky for you, Apple has really stepped up to the plate recently to meet your summer legal drama needs.....Apple has filed another copyright lawsuit and trade complaint against Creative Technology. This time Apple claims Creative has infringed on three patents regarding the use of icons, and displaying and editing data. Sounds like Apple is trying to assert their dominance on the whole user interface turf, as well as show Creative that the "litigate into profitability" business model isn't such a good one.
Given the way Apple likes to flex its legal muscle, I'm wondering how many more commercial enterprises have to reverse engineer Apple's digital rights management technology (so as to emulate the iTunes Music Store as a source of iPod-compatible protected content) before it activates the laywers on that front. Today, two companies -- RealNetworks and the recently launched Navio -- have commercial offerings in the market that involve a reverse engineering of Apple's DRM (or should I call it Apple's DNA given how crucial it is to the long term success of the company) to the point that they can serve protected content that's compatible with Apple's iPods and iTunes. The existence of such copycats marginalizes Apple.
Originally, it looked as though Apple's legal eagles were going to lower the boom on Real. Then, instead of following through, it updated its DRM technology in hopes of disabling Real's hack. Real stayed in technical lockstep but has somehow managed to stay out of Apple's legal cross-hairs. Now, Navio is in the game and thinks that it's safe because of the way Apple dropped its case against Real. But does that mean Apple won't try again? How can it not? I see another suit coming. Either that, or more iTunes Music Store knockoffs.