Apple and Real

Okay, bear with me here for a moment. I just want to make sure I have this right; Real has reversed engineered the iPod to make their own propriety music format files (the songs they sell) work on the iPod. Well, I don’t know that they actually reversed engineered the iPod, I am just assuming that is what they did. The iPod is a closed architecture, meaning Apple does not release specs on how it work, or at least they don’t share it with everyone.

So Real gets its protected music files to work with the iPod, right? Meaning people have more choice on where they purchase their music. And now, Apple is all pissed off, calling Real actually, this is what they had to say:

“We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”

Gotcha, thanks.

Why is Apple all upset? I don’t have any love for Real by any means, I think their software is buggy as hell, and they have pretty much treated the Mac platform as crap for years. But really, Real did come to Apple a while back, asking to work with Apple on this. Apple, meanwhile, did not even bother to reply to them. Complete snub. “Talk to the hand, Real” was, I think, the official position.

Real then did it without Apple. And Apple basically had a hissy-fit.

Why is Apple upset? Because they want to control and sell you all the legally purchased content that can work with the iPod. In other words, unless you bootleg your music, or already own a CD of said music, you have to buy it from Apple.

Apple talks about investigating their acts under the DMCA. Yeah, good idea. Perhaps the creators of Watson should do the same. Or Konfabulator for that matter after you outright stole their software design, concept, and idea. (For those not in the know, Apple’s forthcoming dashboard, part of Mac OS 10.4, is a direct rip-off of Konfabulator. There is no debate here, even from Apple apologists, that Apple stole this idea. Same with Watson and Sherlock. They STOLE it.)

Back to the point. Apple is going update the iPod in such a way that will make what Real did void. In other words, Apple is closing whatever door Real found to get their music to work on the iPod.

Apple, Champions of Choice! Harbinger of original ideas! What a great company.

Look, I know what the argument here will be. (After ten years of writing about Apple and the Mac, I kinda have the readers figured out at this point, at least in what I can expect from reactions to my lame posts.) “Apple owns the iPod, they have to protect their intellectual property rights!”

Yeah, right. Tell that to Arlo Rose

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