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I don't know what the laws say, nor do I are to look into them, but I've always had the opinion that companies such as Apple can do what they want with the software that *they* created. If they want OS X to run only on their hardware, then that is their decision. If they want iTunes to only interface with the iPod/iPhone, then so be it.
In this situation, why should Palm be allowed to "illegally" tie into iTunes, a piece of software which Apple has put countless resources into and numerous years developing? If I didn't like that, I'd use another multimedia software. If Palm really wants a media app like iTunes, they should invest their own (limited) resources developing one.
Tell that to Microsoft who had to ENDURE all these years of court-dragging about IE! If Apple (which already has a monopoly with iPods/iTunes in the US btw) is to be allowed to do "whatever they please" with their products, then Microsoft should have NEVER be tried about IE neither in the US or in Europe.
But as you can see, people wouldn't let MS to do whatever it pleased. Why should we let Apple?
I find it very worrying that people who write about these issues either never bother to read on the court action that was instigated against Microsoft nor actually inform themselves what anti-trust law is actually about.
Firstly some people think that Apple is a monopoly in certain markets, which is not at all the case. A monopoly only exists if there are no other sellers in a market and that is patently not true for Apple in either the phone, even smart phone sector, the mp3 player sector, or the computing sector.
So people say instead that Apple is dominant in the mp3 player sector. Then the misapprehension is made that market dominance alone would constitute a breach of anti-trust regulation. If you look at the guidance for example of the EU (http://ec.europa.eu/competition/antitrust/art82/guidance_en.pdf) you will find that dominance itself is not at all regarded as a misdemeanour, in fact, market dominance that is based on innovation and quality is regarded as a boon for the market.
What you are not allowed to do is to abuse your power in the market. Apple surely allow competing software to use the iTunes xml files to supply sync services, playlist import etc. The iTunes shop is open to all customer who can then move their purchases to whatever device they wish to move it to.
What worries me most thou is that writers in the tech sector simply forget what the Microsoft court judgement was all about.
The findings of fact of the court, which were never overturned despite an appeal, were that "Microsoft had taken actions to crush threats to their monopoly, including Apple, Java, Netscape, Lotus Notes, Real Networks, Linux, and others." During the case it was revealed that "Microsoft had threatened PC manufacturers with revoking their license to distribute Windows if they removed the Internet Explorer icon from the initial desktop". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft)
Apple is allowing third parties access to iTunes, but it would be a travesty if competitors were allowed to leech by faking to be iPods. That in fact, would diminish innovation in the market because it would no longer be worth it to invest in R&D, all you needed to do was to produce fake product IDs.
Palm had enough time while they were dominating the smart phone and PDA markets to develop their own media integration. They chose not to do so and now they are trying to play the underdog card to get gullible blog writers on their side... and their own customers are suffering from it.
I have to agree here. While Apple is not exactly playing nice by locking down their player, it's their decision.
You can't just leech off other people's hard work without their permission.
Anyhow, Palm has it all backwards. It's not like everyone used iTunes and loved it so much that they bought an apple device. They loved the device so much that they put up with iTunes.
"Anyhow, Palm has it all backwards. It's not like everyone used iTunes and loved it so much that they bought an apple device. They loved the device so much that they put up with iTunes."
Er...that's exactly the problem, and Palm doesn't have it backwards. Precisely because lots of people have iPods, they've already invested time and money getting a database of content in iTunes, and it's therefore a significant problem for the Pre if it can't sync with that. That would be a big reason for people to buy an iPhone instead of a Pre.
"I've always had the opinion that companies such as Apple can do what they want with the software that *they* created."
It's surprising to me how successful Disney and their ilk have been at convincing ordinary citizens that the expression of ideas - literature, computer codes, multimedia - is somehow naturally a "property" to be owned indefinitely and controlled exclusively by an "owner".
In the USA, however, this is a fairly recent (bad) idea. The constitution is explicit - society has chosen to strike a bargain with those authors who choose to accept it: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries". (http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html, Section 8)
Note "limited Times". Note "to promote ... Progress". This was to be a TEMPORARY extension of PRIVILEGE (not a right), solely for the benefit of SOCIETY.
What privilege society grants, society can revoke.
Please reconsider your misconception that the expression of ideas can be owned by any one person or (God forbid) corporation.
At least the iPod/iTunes limitation is done through technological blocks. The block against osX running only on Apple hardware amounts to "uh.. please, just don't do it even though we know it works just fine."
I can support security imposed through mechanism. It's the security imposed by requests that holds less water. Security in this case being the mechanism that validates the client hardware (iPod) to the server deamon (iTunes).
I don't really think the limitation is right but at least it's not done with fluff EULA clauses.