Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 24th Jul 2009 22:52 UTC
Editorial Every few years we geeks have our own kind of popcorn show to watch: tech companies showing teeth to one another. This time around, it's Palm vs Apple. In all seriousness though, how ethical is the battle around iTunes?
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RE[3]: iTunes is not...
by galvanash on Sat 25th Jul 2009 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: iTunes is not..."
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Are you going to argue that Apple must, because now they have a huge portion of the downloadable music market, violate all their contracts, and also spend money to support their competitors at an equal level of functionality as their own devices

A lot of people have posted similar lines of reason on this thread - they are ALL bunk... No one, repeat NO ONE, is saying that Apple should support interoperability. The issue is that Apple is intentionally blocking interoperability.

A competitor has (legally) reverse engineered a method of interoperability, and Apple has changed their software in order to block that competitor. The change has no other purpose - it does not improve their product in any way. IF Apple is a monopoly - that is an abuse of monopoly position.

Sure, that way doesn't give 100% optimal third party seamless operation for all their devices, but why should Apple be required at all to provide that?

Again, just to stress the point - Apple is NOT required to provide that - what they are required to do is not abuse their monopoly power to block competition.

I realize there's a problem with your ability to comprehend that there's a valid reason that the USB standard maintainers would insist on such a clause, that they not lie about which vendor ID they are: it would never occur to your limited comprehension, clearly, that allowing that makes it far easier for IP infringement of one type or another, such as creating unlicensed knock-offs of someone's products, thereby causing the maker of the real, authorized device problems.

These are completely separate issues. Palm falsifying their vendor ID is clearly a violation of USB compliance - I don't think anyone is arguing that it isn't. But that issue is between Palm and the ISB-IF, not Apple - Apple has nothing to do with it.

Arguing that Apple's actions are "good" simply because you interpret Palm's actions as "bad" is silly. The two things are not even related.

it's entirely another thing to do what Palm has done, which is fraud and forgery in the name of interoperability at the expense of Apple, by claiming to be a product manufactured by Apple when queried, regardless of what the outside label says.

That may be true. I would say it is a LONG stretch, but it is arguably possible that this could be considered a forgery case... But again that doesn't in any way redeem Apple's behavior - and Palm's argument will of course be that they would not have to "forge" anything if Apple had not blocked interoperability with their product.

There's a reason that car parts licensed by GM as being official are advertised as being "genuine GM parts" because it means you know what you're going to get: while other parts made by third parties may work, they may not be made to the same standards, and if someone is mislead into thinking they're officially recognized by GM as being authorized as being the same quality or better, then they'll quite possibly assign blame where it isn't due, smearing GM's image, and possibly coming back on GM for when using some unauthorized part may cause further damage, which may happen under warranty: using unauthorized parts for repairs has a whole slew of problems.

And yet there is a THRIVING market for 3rd party parts for GM products. GM dealers will generally use on GM parts - which is their prerogative. But if you put a non-GM part into a GM product guess what - it has absolutely no effect on warranty coverage unless GM can demonstrate that the part contributed to the damage being repaired under warranty... Obviously the part itself is not warrantied by GM, but its use does NOT affect the warranty of the vehicle itself.

The same basic reasoning applies to Apple. Unless it can be demonstrated that Palm's device causes issues with iTunes Apple has no grounds to argue on.

Btw, Apple is perfectly within their rights to add a clause to their iTunes software license (if they dont already have one like this) stating that they offer no support for syncing with non-Apple hardware. To stress the point again, Apple is NOT required to support their competitors.

What if Apple decides they've found a superior way to update their iPods, or a faster way to do the actual synching of music/data stored by users to their iPods/iPhones? What, do they have to get permission of all the third parties to modify their own system for Mac/PC-side software (iTunes) and their iPod/iPhone firmware, keep them in the loop, and wait for them to catch up and change their stuff?

Not at all. That would arguably be considered a product improvement - nothing at all wrong with them doing that. At that point it would be Palm's responsibility to maintain interoperability if they so chose to - and Apple does not have to support their efforts in any way.

Making a change that is NOT a product improvement which has no other purpose than to block interoperability is the problem...

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