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 Eugenia on Fri 24th Jul 2009 23:40 UTC in reply to "Ethics"
Eugenia
Member since:
2005-06-28

I disagree.

"Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited."

This is what the signed contracts say, for any manufacturer that uses USB. Palm did overstep boundaries. And to me, that's both a legal and an ethical problem.

Edited 2009-07-24 23:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ethics
by Macrat on Sat 25th Jul 2009 03:11 in reply to "RE: Ethics"
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

Note that Blackberry ships a syncing app that can parse the iTunes library without having to pretend to be an iPod.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Ethics
by David on Sat 25th Jul 2009 05:14 in reply to "RE: Ethics"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I do believe that for violation of the terms of the USB contract, the only thing at stake is being able to claim that your device is USB compliant, and to be able to use the USB logo. So as long as Palm doesn't care that it's officially USB compliant, they could unilaterally withdraw from its obligations under that contract, which I believe they would be able to do in a completely ethical way.

I might be misunderstanding the complete terms of the agreement with the USB consortium, but I that's my contribution to the debate.

As for making a device that "pretends" to be another device, I don't think that's unethical at all. Have you ever used a universal remote? Is there anything wrong with that? How much do you want to be that Sony wishes it could force you to buy new remotes from them only?

But I do agree with you 100% that Apple has reached the point where their iTunes and iPod market share have qualified them as a bona fide monopoly, and that therefore their competitors qualify for some consideration and protection under anti-trust law. I agree with the main thrust of your thesis that Palm should have pressed its case in the courts instead of with a tit for tat game.

Edited 2009-07-25 05:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Ethics
by Hakime on Sat 25th Jul 2009 05:21 in reply to "RE[2]: Ethics"
Hakime Member since:
2005-11-16

"So as long as Palm doesn't care that it's officially USB compliant, they could unilaterally withdraw from its obligations under that contract, which I believe they would be able to do in a completely ethical way. "

Palm has itself a vendor ID, so it has to agree with this (from the vendor ID form):

The company set forth above hereby applies for a USB Vendor ID Number and agrees to the following: The USB Implementers Forum is the authority which assigns and maintains all USB Vendor ID Numbers. Each Vendor ID Number is assigned to one company for its sole and exclusive use, along with associated Product ID Numbers. They may not be sold, transferred, or used by others, directly or indirectly, except in special circumstances and then only upon prior written approval by USB-IF. Unauthorized use of assigned or unassigned USB Vendor ID Numbers and associated Product ID Numbers are strictly prohibited.

"But I do agree with you 100% that Apple has reached the point where their iTunes and iPod market share have qualified them as a bona fide monopoly, and that therefore their competitors qualify for some consideration and protection under anti-trust law."

You don't understand what you are talking about, do you understand what anti-trust means, i don't think so,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-trust_law

Find me one only time when Apple has tried to restrict competition against iTunes, it simply does not exists.... Apple monopoly exists because no competitor could come up with a credible alternative, period. Again, i call it natural monopoly.

Edited 2009-07-25 05:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Ethics
by rdean400 on Sun 26th Jul 2009 15:46 in reply to "RE: Ethics"
rdean400 Member since:
2006-10-18

I don't think it's a question that Palm violated that clause, but I think it's a fair argument that Apple did, too.

Reply Parent Score: 1