Apple has replaced Microsoft as the chief foe of open source. (Picture from a student assignment sheet at Bodine High School in Pennsylvania.)
This was in part a matter of necessity. Apple had to put DRM on its iPod or it would get nothing to sell. It had to become a big advocate of the DMCA to keep its suppliers.
But now those suppliers have learned the only real beneficiary of DRM technology was Apple. It cemented their monopoly and control over the suppliers. Some are rebelling, in small ways.
Apple has embraced those moves, yet it continues to use the DMCA as a cudgel, aiming to kill open source competitors with claims of copyright violation.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Apple began "protecting" its iTunesDB file (necessary for syncing) with a checksum hash in September 2007. This kept people from using other music programs like Winamp and Songbird, alongside iPod files.
Get it? Apple had a near-monopoly on music players over a year ago, and is now using encryption and the DMCA to make competition a crime.
It does not surprise me that those in the open source movement, or the free Internet movement, would protest Apple's actions.
What surprises me is the silence of the music industry. If this breaks that silence, then we will have a turning point. My guess is they no longer love their Cupertino overlords. Time to show it.