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11.05.10

Apple is Kicking Out Free Software and Getting Sued

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL at 4:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Apple keeps developers on a leash, blocking those who are seen as a competitive threats, and the company finally gets sued again, this time over hypePhone

APPLE IS not a victim of its own success. It is possible that “success” (as in profit, assuming the profit motive defines success) gave Apple a Hubris-like status and a big ego that now spins out of control and lets Apple mistreat a lot of people. It’s this type of Hubris which nearly brought Apple to bankruptcy over a decade ago. Apple — like Microsoft — has launched patent lawsuits against Linux and it harms Java too. Apple is therefore very much relevant to us and Free Software Magazine has this new Apple cartoon and an Apple rant from Mauro Bieg. As a reminder, Apple is suing to prevent Linux-based phones from incorporating some simply ideas like multi-touch. From the conclusions of the article:

So let’s hope that at least one of the three free software platforms I have identified for post-PC touchscreen devices is going to catch up with Apple and provide a compelling user interface and platform before it’s too late and we have another Microsoft.

Apple goes even further to actively suppress software freedom. The company is GPL hostile while violating the GPL and it has just blocked VLC from its App Store (which is a route it monopolises):

It had to happen eventually. Open source software is all about letting anyone have access to the source code, and Apple is all about restricting any software access on its platforms. So when questions began to be raised about whether VideoLAN’s popular VLC Media Player, which is licensed under the GPLv2, could legally be sold on the Apple’s App Store, you knew something had to give. Well, it just did.

There’s more in our daily link summaries. A lot of articles covered it and mobbyists from Apple attacked the FSF for it.

Apple’s bad behaviour (justified or driven by arrogance) has already led to a backlash against the company. Yesterday we saw someone passing around an image of Apple’s CEO as Hitler, but on the softer side there’s this new bit of humour about him and there are even lawsuits now:

We all saw this one coming a mile away: Apple is finally being taken to task over iOS 4 performance on the iPhone 3G. In a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California for San Diego, plaintiff Biana Wofford alleges that Apple purposely crippled the iPhone 3G with its introduction of iOS 4 in order to boost iPhone 4 sales, and hopes to get her lawsuit elevated to class action status.

Apple originally marketed iOS 4 as a major upgrade for iPhone 3G and 3GS users. That operating system came out just days before Apple started selling the iPhone 4 to the public, but iPhone 3G users quickly learned that it wasn’t what they had been hoping for. There were soon widespread reports of extremely slow and buggy performance of iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G, not to mention the fact that the iPhone 3G didn’t get all of the features that came with iOS 4 in the first place.

People who understand the value of freedom not only avoid Microsoft; they avoid proprietary software, including the products of Apple.

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