11.26.08

Apple Attacks GNU/Linux Users, Lies to the Public, Gets Sued by Patent Troll

Posted in Apple, Deception, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dog and apple
Good Dog, Bad Apple

WE mentioned this very briefly yesterday and the EFF has finally responded formally with an explanation of how and why Apple’s latest legal attack is essentially an attack of Free software users.

Apple’s attempt to quash an effort to help the latest iPods and iPhones work with non-Apple software such as the Linux operating system is out of line, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said Tuesday.

[...]

Because iTunes does not run on Linux, the iPodhash project is important to the Linux community, Odio said.

Founded in 2004, Bluwiki is a side project for Odio, an Internet entrepreneur who said he supports the iPodhash project even though he’s not involved with it.

Apple has already caused damage to the Free (e.g. GNU/Linux) desktop using its patents, so it’s interesting to find Apple being stung using the very same poison at this moment [1-6]. It wanted software patents, it got them.

A lesser-visible item in the news is the banning of Apple ads that are misleading.

Apple’s latest iPhone advert has been condemned by the ASA for giving the impression the phone could download and install applications quickly and easily, forcing the firm to pull the ad.

We wrote about Apple and marketing on Monday. The company relies a lot on perceived value and it is not rare for Apple to become hostile [7-27].

It’s sincerely hoped that this post does not anger readers who are using Mac OS, but let it be understood that Apple is not exactly a friend of Free software (in the GPL sense), which is the main reason for Apple’s rejection of Linux in favour of BSDs.

________
[1] Apple Sued For Patent Infringement

Apple has been named in a patent infringement lawsuit by EMG Technology who alleges that the iPhone infringes on a patent that enables the device to browse the Web.

[...]

An attorney for EMG, Stanley Gibson said U.S. Patent No. 7,441,196 is one of five patents for navigating the Internet on mobile devices and Internet Protocol Television. (IPTV)

[2] Apple Sued Over iPhone Browser

EMG Technology is a company that holds the patents of Elliot Gottfurcht, the real estate developer, as well as Marlo Longstreet and Grant Gottfurcht. The company claims that the iPhone infringes on patent 7, 441, 196- a patent that was approved only last month, after a filing process that began on March 13, 2006.

[3] Apple Slapped With Patent Suit Over iPhone’s Browser

The name of the patent is “Apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content.” It was filed on March 13, 2006.

[4] Apple sued over tech that helps iPhone surf Web (Reuters)

Apple Inc is the target of a lawsuit that claims a technology the iPhone uses to surf the Web infringes on a patent filed by Los Angeles real estate developer Elliot Gottfurcht and two co-inventors.

The lawsuit was filed by EMG Technology LLC on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Tyler, Texas. EMG was founded by Gottfurcht, is based in Los Angeles with an office in Tyler, and has just one employee.

[5] iPhone targeted in patent infringement case

Apple has been involved in similar suits, including one filed by Minerva in January that claimed infringement of a patent that described a “mobile entertainment and communication device in a palm-held size housing.” A Florida company in 2007 claimed that the iPhone used its patented touch-screen technology, in another case that was presented in the Tyler court.

[6] Patent Infringement Lawsuit Targets iPhone and Mobile Web Surfing

A new lawsuit charges Apple with violating certain patents regarding the iPhone’s Safari Mobile web browser, and the way a user can pinch, zoom, rotate and view web pages. As the Supreme Court tightens its patent policy, this one might be a little trickier to defend.

[7] The iPhone Is Now Doomed

I cannot claim to be a developer, but I have been watching the whole iPhone application development issues with interest. As of today’s news, it appears that the iPhone development process is like this:

1. Ask Apple for permission to make an application.
2. Sign a non-disclosure agreement.
3. Invest time and money into an iPhone application.
4. Ask Apple for permission to sell or give away your application.
5. If Apple says YES: start making money and hope Apple does not change their minds. If Apple says NO: shut up and deal with it. If you say anything, Apple can sue you, further raising the wasted investment money.

[8] Podcaster rejeceted because it duplicates iTunes functionality

Today I finally got a reply from Apple about the status of Podcaster.| Apple Rep says: Since Podcaster assists in the distribution of podcasts, it duplicates the functionality of the Podcast section of iTunes.

That’s right folks, it duplicates the functionality of the desktop version of iTunes.

[9] As App Store banning continues, iPhone developers protest

Developers have already voiced their concern over Apple’s unwritten rules of what can and cannot be sold through the App Store, but the situation has become even more dire with this most recent round of rejections. It’s prompted some, such as Fraser Speirs, developer of iPhone Flickr browser Exposure, to say that they’ll cease developing for the platform until Apple clarifies the rules.

[10] Apple DRM illegal in Norway: Ombudsman

Apple’s digital rights management lock on its iPod device and iTunes software is illegal, the Consumer Ombudsman in Norway has ruled. The blow follows the news that Germany and France are joining Norway’s action against Apple.

[11] How Apple orchestrated web attack on researchers

Apple is a mega corporation that nearly smashed the reputation of two individuals with bogus claims of fraud. It didn’t matter that they weren’t the ones pulling the trigger because they were pulling all the strings.

[12] Lily Allen slates Apple’s iTunes tactics

Apple accused of bullying musicians into providing exclusive content for iTunes

[13] Apple Bullies Bloggers, Again

Apple has a history of using lawyers against bloggers. There was the now infamous Think Secret lawsuit, which may have had merit. But they also engage in clearly superfluous, bullying tactics as well.

[...]

The offending download page is here (the software has now been removed). Blogger Paul O?Brien simply linked to this download page and included a screenshot of the user interface and also received a cease & desist letter from Apple’s lawyers.

[14] Apple Takes the “Tris” Out of iPhone Tetris

Now a student named Noah Witherspoon that created an iPhone Tetris knock-off called simply “Tris,” has been threatened with legal action by The Tetris Company. In what he refers to as “petty bullying,” the company had Apple contact Witherspoon and had him pull the game from the iTunes App Store. Apple even told him that they’d take action themselves if he didn’t comply.

[15] Hackintosh maker bites back at Apple

Psystar, the company that sells open systems capable of running Mac OS X, plans to fight back against the copyright infringement lawsuit Apple has filed against it.

The Miami-based firm said during a press conference this afternoon it plans to challenge Apple’s long-standing licensing ban on running the Mac operating system on non-Apple branded devices.

[16] Apple rapped for iPhone ad

Apple stated that though the iPhone supported open standards, Java and Flash were not open-source and required a plug-in to make them work, even using a desktop computer.

[17] OpenClip, she is dead

For those of you who do not remember – or do not care to remember – OpenClip was supposed to be an open framework for implementing the Cocoa NSPasteboard functionality to the iPhone. While I’m thinking that if Apple wanted to implement copy/paste into the iPhone they would have done it already or will do it soon, OpenClip was a noble effort to work around the limitations of OS X on the iPhone.

[18] Why does Apple Always Seem to Get a Break???

Linux. This is the only platform that is not a prison. You are really free with Linux. People are congregating at will, building creative new structures. Yeah – maybe it isn’t as pretty as the luxury hotel prison that is Apple, but at least we are free. In the end it isn’t prison walls that win in technology. CompuServe and AOL were beaten by the internet. Centrally controlled mainframes were killed by the PC. Over time the best technology comes from innovation in unexpected places and while we are occasionally wooed by the pretty sounds of “You’ve Got Mail” or the stunning design of a new iPhone; we have all seen this movie before and know how it ends.

[19] Steve Jobs thinks he is disabled

APPLE MESSIAH Steve Jobs has been a bit sick lately but according to US gossip reports it could be a lot worse than anyone thought.

The sultan of smug has been seen parking his motor in a disabled carparks in Palo-Alto much to the horror of Apple fans who believe him to be capable of healing the sick with his beautiful entertainment toys.

[20] Apple legal silences Hymn

Apple has fired a cease and desist order against the developers behind the open-source Hymn Project.

Hymn develops software that strips Apple’s FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology from user’s iTunes purchases, allowing music fans to play their music on devices other than those from Apple.

[21] Apple goes auntie over slasher comic

the application because it breaches their SDK license, serving up content that “…in Apple’s reasonable judgment may be found objectionable”. The problem is that this restriction only applies to applications. Dodgy movies, episodes of South Park or even The Breakfast Club are perfectly acceptable iTunes content.

[22] A Linux User’s Perspective on the ITunes Store (and DRM in General)

What if tomorrow you went to Best Buy or Walmart or Sam Goody and purchased a CD? What if, before you left the store, the salesman told you that although the CD was in all other respects a standard CD, that you could only play it if you owned a Pioneer or Sony stereo? Would that make any sense? Would it make you a bit hesitant about buying music from that store again?

Well, if you purchase music or videos from the iTunes Store,

[...]

With content from the iTunes Store, however, users may find themselves a bit stuck if they ever want to make the switch to a more open computing platform, such as Linux. Because none of the DRM-restricted content from the iTunes Store will play on Linux. And it’s all because that’s how Apple wants it, to be honest, and not because of any technical limitation.

[23] Apple’s latest trick to enforce digital rights

With this version of iTunes, users were finding that music subjected to the old download-burn-rip would no longer load onto their iPods.

[24] Apple failing to understand open source

There is a cost for not being a good Open Source citizen and that cost is loss of goodwill in the community. That loss is more expensive in the long run than Apple realizes.

[25] Mozilla exec calls Apple’s Safari plan ‘duopolistic’

In the speech predicting how Apple would expand its market share, Jobs showed a slide with Safari dominating almost a quarter of the market–a market shared only with a single other browser, Internet Explorer.

Lilly says he doesn’t believe that this was an omission or simplification, but instead an indication that Jobs is hoping to steal people who use Firefox and other smaller browsers in order to run a “duopoly” with Redmond.

[26] Researcher Blasts Apple for ‘Negligent’ Patching

A researcher who went public last month with the first iPhone vulnerability says Apple’s updating of the open-source components it uses in Mac OS X is inexcusable and negligent.

[27] Wozniak hates Open Sauce

In an interview with eWeek, Woz said that there are always people who want things to be free and the open-source movement starts with those sort of people.

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