Apple Wants to Muzzle Tinkerers - EFF filing suit

Apr 29, 2009

Apple has warned operators of a wiki about airing discussion about circumventing Apple's coupling of its iPod and iPhone hardware with iTunes. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation is filing suit against Apple.

Claiming copyright infringement and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Apple's lawyers demanded removal of the Ipodhash discussion on the BluWiki site. The noncommercial, public wiki site promptly removed the Ipodhash discussion about how tinkerers could decouple iPods and iPhones from iTunes to make them run other software, in consideration of Apple's claim of violating their FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology. Apple had targeted OdioWorks LLC, which runs the BluWiki website, and their running the Ipodhash thread.

Sam Odio, who manages the forum, subsequently appealed for help to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), whose mission is to preserve legal rights for Internet usage. EFF's lawyers followed up with their own claim against Apple and argued that it violated the right to free speech. Their argument was that in light of reverse engineering being considered legal, Apple's takedown request simply amounted to censorship.

Apple still hasn't come out with an official reaction to the claim. The documents related to EFF's complaint are on their website.

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