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back to article EFF accuses Apple of muzzling iPhone hobbyists

The operator of a wiki website has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Apple of trying to squelch protected speech after it demanded the removal of posts discussing ways hobbyists can make iPods and iPhones work with software other than iTunes. OdioWorks claims Apple's demands that the posts be removed from BluWiki violate its …

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Jobs Horns

and if MS did this

they'd be slapped with an antitrust lawsuit - but it's ok for apple to do it...

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another mcirosoft twit

Since Apple is being sued just as Microsoft would be how is Apple being treated differently? Simple answer they are not

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Silver badge

Freedom of speech is overrated

Try to shout any of the following and claiming free speech:

1. "Fire, Fire" in a movie house.

2. "I've got a bomb." in an airport.

3. "Heil Hilter" in a holocaust memorial.

You need a bit more than freedom of speech to claim that you have the right to do something.

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Flame

RE: and if MS did this

@Sampler. Microsoft have much nastier lawyers than Apple. Everything about MS is nasty.

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Flame

/me dons an asbestos suit

thar be a flamewar a-brewin', Ah can feels it in mah waters.

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@ mommycalled

Dear apple fan boi, get a clue.

What Sampler was saying is that the goverment would be the ones bringing an antitrust lawsuit.

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Gates Horns

@ Sampler

Maybe for your sake they should switch to HTC Touches and MS Zunes and then display their handy work for all the world to see and then see how far they get.

I know; the Postman comes to your place, rips the letter box out, opens and reads all your mail, then chucks it on the ground in front of your place and tells all his Postie mates what he can do; why, because it's not that difficult and he sort-of has a right.

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Jobs Horns

Simple

Get a real MP3 player with decent quality rather than the piece of tin crap that is an iPod.

Evil jobs - cos he is a wanker.

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Boffin

@Player_16

"I know; the Postman comes to your place, rips the letter box out, opens and reads all your mail, then chucks it on the ground in front of your place and tells all his Postie mates what he can do;"

It is more like the postman insisting you must open your letters with a paper knife supplied by the post office. Moreover, even discussing the construction of alternative paper knifes constitutes copyright infringement and they will sue you.

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@Charles Manning

The Right of Freedom of Expression comes with the attendant *responsbility* to use that right, well, responsibly.

All of the examples you give are not, of course, responsible uses of that right, but I really don't see how that equates with someone saying that you do not have the right to do whatever you wish with something you have bought and paid for.

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Jobs Horns

Will it blend?

Let me think: itunes on windows - one of the the slowest, most laggard piece of borderline malware ever promulgated. Tell me again how that improves the joy of ipod ownership, the ease of use and interaction.

Apple - the monopolist control freak, with a big advertisement budget. Yeah, so hip.

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Anonymous Coward

Got what they deserved...

Buy Apple, get what you deserve. Don't come crying you can't do what you want with your equipment. I've no sympathy for fools.

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Should be an easy one

This ought to be an easy one. The Law of the Land is quite clear that if you have bought and paid for something, whatever you do with it afterward is none of the seller's business (unless e.g. you throw it through their window).

However, common sense seems to break down whenever computers are involved.

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Jobs Horns

@Charles Manning

Freedom of speech is, most assuredly, *not* overrated I would contend. So far as the matter at hand goes: The anti-circumvention portions of the DMCA are a particularly egregious part of a (mostly) misbegotten law. In addition to every other argument which can be brought to bear against anti-circumvention, there is the fact that enacting laws that a substantial number of people do not accept as legitimate breeds contempt for the rule of law in general, a loss all the way around.

Then there is the fact that reverse engineering can be a fair-use exception to anti-circumvention under US law, the bone of contention being whether this applies in this specific case. Even if this were found not to be the case, it would still be a huge (and, IMO, unwarranted) assumption, to suggest that this allows muzzling of a discussion of potential methodologies that might be used for circumvention.

Although IANAL, my layman's view of US Constitutional jurisprudence is that the Supreme Court strictly scrutinizes when free speech may be curtailed. The upshot of this is to tend to limit permissible cases of free speech abridgment to when speech becomes action (or at least quasi action). For this reason, your first 2 examples would likely pass muster, by trying to induce panic or by making a threat of violence, it seems clear to me that you are acting as much or more than you are speaking, and acting in a criminal fashion to boot.

I would take exception to your third example. Mouthing pro-nazi slogans at a Holocaust memorial is beyond insulting and distasteful, evil would work as a characterization for me. That said, it is not likely to be something for which one can arrest the speaker (nor should it be, IMO). It might get the nazi ejected from the memorial if shouted loud enough to be a disturbance (or merely if heard, if the memorial is a private one, where the 1st Amendment doesn't constrain the owners of the memorial to suffer an overt nazi on their property).

This isn't just my opinion, BTW, there is a fairly famous Supreme Court case which comes very close to this: National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie. To summarize, the Nazis wanted to be able to hold a march through the (predominantly Jewish, including Holocaust Survivors) neighborhood of Skokie. The Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forbidden to do so (they never did actually hold the march, although they did hold 3 rallies nearby, at their initial venue of choice).

Perhaps things are different in the UK, but here in the US, where the litigation is taking place, abridging free speech is not something the courts sign on to readily. It is my hope that this will continue to be the case.

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Jobs Horns

Hmm

The iPhone registered developer programme sucks.

It sucks about as much as buying a tape recorder and then finding out you have to spend a fortune buying the special microphone that goes with it, if you want to make any recordings of your own.

You have three options, besides claiming a cash refund because the goods were not as described: Pay under protest for the special mic; try and borrow a special mic off someone else (but they are being discouraged against lending them out); or attempt to bodge a standard mic into the weirdy socket (note the dire warnings on the danger of electric shock and/or damaging the machine, some of which may be exaggerated in a deliberate attempt to discourage you from doing this).

UK and EU consumer law means Apple aren't allowed to use the courts to prevent you from doing things with stuff you own; but it doesn't mean they have to make it easy for you, either.

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