Forwarding Address: OS X

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Meanwhile, in Apple legal news...

FA: OS X is primarily about OS X itself, how people are using it, how people new to the platform can adjust faster, etc... But do not dismiss the legal issues surrounding Apple as something for "the laywers" to worry about, for these issues will have an impact on the very software you are using right now. So lets see what is in the dock (har har) today.

First up, Apple v. Does. EFF starts off with a press release titled "Court Crushes Online Journalists' Rights". Daring Fireball has another analysis and is graciously hosting a cleaner PDF of the case. Having been the webmaster at EFF, I know that you post what you get first, even if you have to scan a crappy fax, and then when you have time to clean things up (which is hardly ever) you repost something nicer. There are many more articles out there, but these were the ones that I was interested in.

Next, iTunes! DVD Jon continue to love his Mac. He loves it so much he wrote his own interface (not a direct link, Jon's site is of course being beaten to a pulp right now) to the iTunes Music Service. For some reason, he left out the part where it wraps the music you buy with DRM. Go figure... Anyone know the Vegas line on when Apple will unleash the legal DMCA hounds?

These issues are helping to define Apple and thus OS X. If you don't like what you see you must let Apple know. Write a letter, drop a phone call, or even try to figure out which feedback webform to use.

1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014


  • The Apple legal vs. Think Secret is really messy. Many take it as a free speech issue. It doesn't seem to be that. Apple is not suing TS for damages, just for the identities of the people who leaked information. California law allows for publication of corporate secrets which are in the public interest. The secrets in this case do not come even close to that standard. Idle curiosity does not rise to the level of public interest. Corporations have the right to keep some information secret if they are not doing something wrong.

    By Anonymous, at 3:17 PM  

  • "If you don't like what you see you must let Apple know".
    Apple is not a democracy -- letting them know that they are doing something you do not like is as effective as when your little sister said "quit it" in the third grade.
    Apple is driven by the same forces as all american businesses: profit, regulatory, competitive.
    Since the user community does not regulate them, nor produce products that threaten them, the only remaining area to apply pressure is with profit.
    However, Apple customers have not once demonstrated they will cease buying Apple's products in response to any policy advanced by Apple. The reverse is true as evidenced by the skyrocketing stock price and quarter after quarter of record profits.
    If the Apple board of directors believed that millions of Apple customers would drop Apple this year in response to their heavy handed legal behavior, press releases would be issued and the behavior would immediately cease.
    Wait and see which happens.

    By ForwardingUser, at 4:15 PM  

  • DVD Jon doesn't love his Mac; he doesn't even use one! All of his DRM-dodging software is written exclusively for Windows (most of it even using .NET). Hymn, for instance, runs nicely on OS X but only through the efforts of others.

    The question is still open what Johansen's motives are and why he is focusing all of his attentions on iTunes/FairPlay rather than WMA. It could be because he sees it as a way of supporting iTunes by making it more desirable to potential users. But personally, I think his actions only serve to steer content providers into the welcome tendrils of Microsoft, which would probably be far worse for the consumer rights he (presumably) wants to protect.

    By Anonymous, at 7:16 PM  

  • The "Think Secret" case is about the right of an individual or company to keep trade secrets- it is not about the 1st amendment. As long as pulic safety or another compelling issue is not involved, Apple's right to secrecy is very clear. The damage that can be inflicted by such rumors on Apple, companies that do business with them, shareholders and others carries huge potential.
    Apple is not the 1976-era company of two guys in a garage- it is a $30 Billion (US) company and it's officers have an obligation to the stockholders and others. To let this kind of stuff continue could make The CEO, Board and others liable to stockholders.
    Apple has every legal right to root out and seek damages from people who violated NDA's with them.
    Mr. "DePlume" has no right to withold information that could be used as evidence in a civil or criminal investigation. The people who have violated NDA's should be sued, after their employment and/or contracts are terminated.

    By Anonymous, at 10:12 PM  

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