EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Apple Exploits Free Software, Then Bans Free Software and Also Bans Competition (and FTC Investigation Launched Against Apple)

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GPL at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scientology Centre

Summary: The Federal Trade Commission is opening a formal investigation into Apple’s practices now that its Hubris-like offences make it akin to a dangerous cult, not just a technology company

THE parasitic nature of Apple is a subject that we last discussed two days ago, having previously provided several concrete examples [1, 2, 3]. Here is another new example of Apple ‘leveraging’ (exploiting) Free software to build its proprietary Web browser, which contains other bits of code that Apple ‘leveraged’ from Free software projects (namely from KDE).

Apple Safari’s new “make web go away” button is based on an open source project distributed under the Apache 2 license.

The Safari Reader – which debuted yesterday with version 5 of the Apple browser — is built using the source code for Readability, an Apache project from Arc90 Labs. In the wake of the browser’s release, Arc90 praised Apple for including a tool that mimics its own — a tool that strips a webpage of its ads and site branding, reducing to text and core images — and only later did the outfit realize that Steve Jobs and cult had actually dipped into its code.

What does Apple give in return? And will the original project accept Apple’s contribution at all?

“Apple would rather remove app than leave open-source license,” says the headline of this new post. That’s how extremely hypocritical Apple can be.

Games, both free and paid, are perennial favorites in mobile app stores. So it was no surprise that GNU Go — the free, GNU-based version of the ancient and popular game of Go — was available as a free download in the Apple iTunes store. Until recently.

It disappeared as a direct result of a complaint from the Free Software Foundation that Apple’s Terms of Service violate the software’s license.

GNU Go is licensed under GPLv2. Section 6 expressly prohibits any “further restrictions” on the license, which allows anyone to copy, distribute or modify the software. But the App Store’s Terms of Service do just that, restricting where the downloads can be installed.

Apple is sort of banning the GPL rather than simply complying. What does that say about Apple? There are many horror stories coming from Apple’s “app” stores, where Apple is essentially abusing its power and removing anything it does not like (the customers are not involved in these decisions).

“Apple bans competing ads from the iPhone” says the headline of another new article:

Apple has tweaked its developer terms and conditions to explicitly lock out in-application advertising services that might compete with its own iAd service.

The new terms, picked up by All Things Digital, spell out the rules. Applications may not collect statistical information for advertising, or any other reason, without Apple’s written permission – and you can be clear that Google, Microsoft and/or Opera need not apply.

There are other examples like that. Many examples. Apple blocks software for competitive reasons. Apple’s bad attitude when it comes to HTML5 is also worth a mention. Apple is working against Theora and against WebM, instead promoting a patent troll and a cartel while pretending that HTML5 is Apple’s own turf. The vanity is astounding.

According to other breaking news, the FTC will investigate Apple for this type of behaviour, which includes a frivolous lawsuit against Linux (Android).

The Federal Trade Commission will open an investigation into whether Apple is illegally using its position in the mobile software market to harm competitors, according to several published reports.

On Friday afternoon, both Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal reported that the FTC had opened a formal probe.

A few days ago Apple got a black eye when details of its customers were leaked. Ryan Farmer writes about wide-ranging implications of this:

With the recent spillage of 114,000+ subscribers personal information, the FBI has opened an investigation:

The problem is that the scope of the investigation is into who took the information and responsibly disclosed it, not into the circumstances which AT&T and Apple provided, making the theft easy, obvious, and repeatable. (Luckily the people that took it were not out to do damage, or it would have been done already.)

In a rush to get a product to market, a typical proprietary software company puts little or no thought into security. After all, it’s not their personal information at stake, it’s the personal information of the persons crazy enough to trust the software that’s impossible to audit. And in DMCAT&T’s case, the network it travels across which is monitored by government spooks as well as criminals.

Here are some other reactions [1, 2], including the involvement of the FBI. Rather than raid the houses of journalists and crackers, the FBI ought to consider raiding Apple’s headquarters and AT&T too. Just because Apple is a big company doesn’t mean that it’s on the right side of the law.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  2. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  3. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  4. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  5. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  6. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  7. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  8. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  9. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  10. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  11. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  12. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  13. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  14. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  15. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  16. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  17. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  18. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  19. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  20. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  21. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  22. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  23. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  24. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  25. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  26. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  27. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  28. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  29. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  30. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts