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

06.12.10

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. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  2. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  3. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  4. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  5. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  6. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  7. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  8. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  9. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  10. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  12. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  13. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  14. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  15. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  16. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  17. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  18. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  19. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  20. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  21. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  22. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  23. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  24. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  25. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  26. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  27. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  28. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  29. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  30. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts