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: Ethics
by ralish on Sun 26th Jul 2009 08:51 UTC in reply to "Ethics"
ralish
Member since:
2009-05-13

No, there IS a device claiming it is something else, as it replies with USB Vendor IDs that are assigned to Apple for use with THEIR devices. Palm does not have the ethical right to use these IDs, and quite possibly, not the legal right. This isn't a matter of simply replying with the required code, it admittedly is that, but it's also doing so in order to interoperate with a product, despite the fact that the author of said product quite clearly does not wish to interoperate.

Now, you can disagree with this mentality of trying to break interoperability, and personally, I do disagree with it strongly, I think it's completely wrong. However, I also need to recognise that this is Apple's software, Apple's devices, and Apple's IP (however ill-gained), and I fail to see why they are legally compelled (if not ethically compelled) to make their software interoperable. It'd be nice if they did, but they don't have to, and frankly, from a business sense, I can see why. iTunes is clearly meant to be seen as part of the advantage of owning an Apple PMP (I view it as the opposite), and allowing it to work with competitors products is essentially giving them a free and possibly highly compelling advantage.

Further, your comparison of running a Windows product under WINE is invalid and a fallacy, as the Windows product has likely made no attempt to attempt to ensure that the product does not run under WINE, and likely, neither does the author have any objections. Both are not the case in this instance.

This notion that if a company doesn't make their products interoperable they should be taken to court with an "I'll sue you " mentality is ultimately just childish in my view; it reeks of you not being able to use a product you'd like to use on the terms you desire, so instead, I'll just make a monopolistic legal threat and be done with it. I deeply want a greater proliferation of standards and interoperability, and I think that the computing industry is likely to, even if slowly, gravitate towards this as it makes logical sense. But legal threats and psuedo-ethical rationalising are not the way forward, and only serve to alienate the very people and companies who you want to get onside.

Option #2, contributing to Songbird, on the other hand, seems like a very wise move that could be beneficial for many people.

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