Apple gets shirty about open source podcasting tool

After Hours: The coders behind a handy tool for handling podcasts have been paid a little visit by Apple's legal team

Open source developers have changed the name of an application after pressure from Apple's lawyers.

iPodder Lemon was a free application distributed under the GPL licence that allows users to manage their podcasts — audio and video programmes downloaded from the Internet to their MP3 player.

The product supports more than 15 languages and has a built-in directory with thousands of podcasts feeds, and will automatically download new podcasts when they become available.

Apple's legal team asked the open source group to drop the name of the software as it suggested a connection to its flagship iPod device. The developers have now changed the name of the product to Juice to avoid legal action.

Scott Grayban, a Juice developer who also works on a similar product called CastPodder, rejected Apple's claim that iPodder's name would confuse users.

It's disappointing to see a large company such as Apple go after a small open source project, and just shortly after we had over 1 million downloads," Grayban added.

"In fact, if anything we helped their sales of iPod because that was one of the MP3 players iPodder could sync to," Grayban told ZDNet UK.

In a Web posting, fellow developer Garth T Kidd said the name change was inconvenient but could have been worse.

"Fortunately for us, Apple's lawyers were polite almost to the point of being apologetic — and entirely reasonable. It's not appropriate for me to go into the details of our arrangement but I can say I don't feel hard done by. Sure I wouldn't have minded not having to change our name, but that couldn't really be avoided," he wrote.

Apple declined to comment for this report.