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  • 1 Post By MudShark22
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  • 1 Post By Preemptive
  • 1 Post By Remy X
  1.    #1  
    So the trial has begun, where Apple is accused of crippling rival mp3 players from playing the music they purchased on the Apple App store....

    As an Apple customer (iPods, iMac, iTunes, etc.), who also owns other devices (cough, cough, Palm), I'm not happy with their behavior (and bravo for Palm, for refusing to agree to Job's threat to not compete for employees).

    I'm no lawyer, but as far as I can tell:
    1. When Apple bought the parent company/product for iTunes, several legacy devices could play music purchased from the store.
    2. having a monopoly is not illegal
    3. but using a monopoly (iTunes music store/App Store?) to encroach on another business (mp3 music players/smart phones/iPads) is potentially illegal
    4. Apple, to protect their mp3 music player business, forced ALL iPod users to upgrade just to break Palm/other music players

    I just want the truth out there. And frankly, there were only a few million of us Palm users, so Apple's actions only had a minor impact on us, but it actually had a bigger impact on millions of non-Palm users, who were forced to update/reboot, just to lock out a competitor. I think there were 3 patches, times all the 2004 itunes users. times all the patch/reboot time... it adds up.

    Any legal folks out there? Is this a real issue?
    KA1
    Visor Deluxe->Visor Prism/Digital Link->Treo 650->Treo 700p->Pre->GSM Unlocked Pre 2 (wifi only)->FrankenPre + Touchpad 32 ->+ Touchpad 4G ATT + ATT Pre3 + 64 White Touchpad... bliss.
  2. #2  
    Not really, I think Apple has a right to DRM any music they sell so that people would just buy an iPhone or iPod. Apple should be able to sell whatever they want to whoever they want, and they can make it work with whatever devices they want. They want people ONLY using their things, not competitors devices
    HP Think Beyond event link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnjwG...dwMIQ&index=31
    If You Have A WindsorNot Hit Me Up
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by ka1 View Post
    So the trial has begun, where Apple is accused of crippling rival mp3 players from playing the music they purchased on the Apple App store....

    As an Apple customer (iPods, iMac, iTunes, etc.), who also owns other devices (cough, cough, Palm), I'm not happy with their behavior (and bravo for Palm, for refusing to agree to Job's threat to not compete for employees).

    [...]
    Get some rest, man... your writing ability is starting to fall apart a little...

    Firstly, it's the owners (of MP3 players) that purchased music... and then a misplaced apostrophe made this sound like you're talking about the biblical Job. But oh well. I have my own share of posts i haven't had the time to proofread.

    But back to the case... If Apple puts something in its EULA and the user clicks through and "agrees" to it, well, that's the user's responsibility. If one of the EULA clauses is too draconian, it's the user's responsibility to read all the way through to that point and go to the press, it needed. To gather support, pursue and shame the company.

    If the perfect world, companies should care, but do they really? It varies. But complaining after the fact just shows that the user wasn't paying attention when they first bought and started using the product, a reminder for us to be a little more vigilant the next time. Because any agreement that's not contrary to the local law, is binding, and saying that you didn't read the fine print is not an excuse. Whether or not Apple overstepped the EULA it had at the time, remains to be seen. I wouldn't know. But a lawsuit can only win if Apple either a) breached its own contract, or b) broke the law in the jurisdiction where the lawsuit has been filed. And even then, there's no guarantee of the plaintiffs winning, because a judge often has a mind of his own.
    Last edited by Remy X; 12/02/2014 at 11:11 PM.
    ...
  4. #4  
    While I have read a lot on this case, it is a technical nuanced reading of anti-trust laws, monopolies and trying to determine the true underlying reasons for certain ipod updates.

    IMO, if you buy a standardized product type, like an MP3, you should be able to play it on any mp3 device.
    If I buy a DVD from Columbia Pictures I should be allowed to play it on the DVD player brand of my choice. If it only played on Sony DVD players (who owns Columbia pictures) then its not a DVD but something else.

    And that is fine, but you cannot call it an mp3 or DVD. Its a proprietary format and should be clearly labeled as such.

    There are just surface level thoughts and the case really hinges on the purpose of the ipod updates in question.
    This space for rent or lease. Inquire within.
    HelloNNNewman likes this.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
    While I have read a lot on this case, it is a technical nuanced reading of anti-trust laws, monopolies and trying to determine the true underlying reasons for certain ipod updates.

    IMO, if you buy a standardized product type, like an MP3, you should be able to play it on any mp3 device.
    If I buy a DVD from Columbia Pictures I should be allowed to play it on the DVD player brand of my choice. If it only played on Sony DVD players (who owns Columbia pictures) then its not a DVD but something else.

    And that is fine, but you cannot call it an mp3 or DVD. Its a proprietary format and should be clearly labeled as such.

    There are just surface level thoughts and the case really hinges on the purpose of the ipod updates in question.
    I like your analysis

    If the media format is tweaked to the point that the media in question becomes unplayable on all devices but Apple's own, that sounds like a violation of the anti-trust laws... but, if it's just an update to the iTunes client and iPods/iPhones to lock out and prevent syncing of any MP3 player or phone impersonating an iPhone (Palm's case), that, comes down to whatever Apple had in its EULA at the time. There's most likely an overly broad clause that would cover those types of updates, but if Apple went out to play "whack a mole" with the intention of locking out the Palm Pre and didn't have any provision for saying that it had the right to do this, it could lose. If the EULA says that iTunes is for syncing with Apple devices only, and that competitors' devices are off limits, no amount of complaining will change the fact that Apple has dominion over the "walled garden" it's created. We can only demand interoperability when there's a public, well-established spec/standard for the manufacturers to follow, and yet they can still get away with jacking a set of features and breaking inter-op without violating the standards, if the technology is still relatively new
    Last edited by Remy X; 12/02/2014 at 09:00 PM.
    ...
  6. #6  
    Well in my experience the only songs that don't work on other devices that I've bought on iTunes are just the "iTunes Exclusive" ones, or the remastered for iTunes versions, and even then you just need to change it from m4p to m4a or MP3 and it works fine. Videos and movies are another story however, as i cannot figure out how to get them on my TPs, or any non Apple device
    HP Think Beyond event link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnjwG...dwMIQ&index=31
    If You Have A WindsorNot Hit Me Up
  7. #7  
    I hadn't heard about this. Can someone supply or point ot some context?

    My impression:
    A lawsuit has started regarding Apple updates to the ipod/itunes system which locked out other players including Palm's webOS phones. (I'm aware of Palm's attempts to mimic the iphone id to add iTunes use as a feature and the cat & mouse manner of the conflict)

    Is this specifically about Palm or a general case? Who is making the complaint? I'd be surprised if it was HP... unless there's potentially a big payout - the market benefit has long passed...
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Remy X View Post
    I like your analysis If the EULA says that iTunes is for syncing with Apple devices only, and that competitors' devices are off limits, no amount of complaining will change the fact that Apple has dominion over the "walled garden" it's created.
    Quote Originally Posted by Remy X View Post
    But back to the case... If Apple puts something in its EULA and the user clicks through and "agrees" to it, well, that's the user's responsibility. If one of the EULA clauses is too draconian, it's the user's responsibility to read all the way through to that point and go to the press, it needed. To gather support, pursue and shame the company.
    ...
    Whether or not Apple overstepped the EULA it had at the time, remains to be seen. I wouldn't know. But a lawsuit can only win if Apple either a) breached its own contract, or b) broke the law in the jurisdiction where the lawsuit has been filed. And even then, there's no guarantee of the plaintiffs winning, because a judge often has a mind of his own.
    This is actually not entirely true. The EULA does - of course - not go above the law. So if there's something in there, even if you agreed with it, that's against the law, then you are a. not bound to it, and b. the company is on a legal slippery-slope (because forcing people to break the law is - in most countries - also breaking the law).

    But it goes even further than that: even if it's legal but unreasonable then it can still be ruled as invalid; even when the user agreed with it. If you provide a piece of software and put in the EULA that everyone using it should call the first-born (boy or girl) Remy, then that's considered unreasonable and cannot be enforced through said EULA.

    If I remember correctly from the newspapers there was a case a few years back (don't remember against whom, or whether it of in the EU or the US) where the judge declared that if a user used a device for logical purposes (that one would normally expect to use such a device for), the company cannot enforce the EULA and claim that by agreeing with it, the user knows this. Because the company cannot expect anyone to have read the entire EULA.

    Also, I read a story a few years back on the internet (couldn't find it back that quickly). In Finland the law states that you have to declare the VAT on every invoice (both to a company as well as to an individual). Apple didn't do this, and as a result the person who told the story couldn't declare these apps as business purchases to the tax. When complaining to Apple the response was, that in the EULA it was stated that iPhones were not allowed to be used for business. so they weren't going to declare the VAT. The apps that he bought (though the app store) were, however, clearly business apps that no private user would have any real use for (I believe there was an app to write invoices or something, don't remember that part exactly). In this case Apple's behavior was both illegal in Finland (because VAT had to be declared to individuals as well) and the EULA is probably invalid because one can expect to be allowed to use the phone for business (especially since business tools were provided though Apple's store). Remember, this story could be about any company, it just happened to be Apple.

    So in short: it doesn't necessarily matter what the EULA says. It might (and lawyers will certainly claim that if needed), but it depends largely on what a judge feels is reasonable.



    ps. my apologies for using not using referenced stories. For that reason I will add the following two references: Debyte Blog: App Store earnings VAT in EU and Apple caves in over VAT receipts for iPhone apps. The latter at least showed that Apple stated (in 201) that it was Apple iTunes' policy to sell only to customers 'as end users for personal, non-commercial use' so he could not have a VAT receipt. So anyone using an iPhone at that time for business purposes was actually doing that illegally (at least according to Apple).
    Remy X likes this.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Misj' View Post
    But it goes even further than that: even if it's legal but unreasonable then it can still be ruled as invalid; even when the user agreed with it. If you provide a piece of software and put in the EULA that everyone using it should call the first-born (boy or girl) Remy, then that's considered unreasonable and cannot be enforced through said EULA.
    I thought we'd agreed never to discuss this. Bad enough that they paid good money for the first versions of Windows, what if Remy's parents read this and realise that EULA wasn't enforceable?

    (my real name is Larry and I DO NOT want to talk about it!)
    Last edited by Preemptive; 12/03/2014 at 05:22 AM.
    Remy X likes this.
  10. #10  
    @Misj',

    You're definitely right in that sense, and European courts are a whole lot more reasonable in taking into account "real world" usage and various situations. US courts would have most likely sided with Apple on the VAT case, especially if Apple's "excuse" was clearly stated somewhere. But there's definitely a line between "applicable" draconian EULA clauses, and overreaching stuff that would be ruled invalid.

    For example, (to support your argument), AT&T's online, phonebook-sized EULAs that come (or came?) with its mobile subscriptions could be seen as unreasonable towards the user. Haven't seen that in person but heard on a number of occasions.


    But when i wrote my reply, i was thinking more in the narrow scope of software and its technicalities, that, for example, one can't simply say that they haven't read the GPL license, and as such they don't have to release code or contribute upstream... Similarly, if a user buys an iPod and it had a "walled garden" clause, that using it with another sync client would void Apple's warranty, and that Apple has the right to enforce and restrict such usage to prevent hardware failure... then, that's more or less a solid case on Apple's part, even if a little draconian. If the iTunes client had a similar, interlocking EULA, and the user agreed on both the iPod and iTunes, Apple would be within its rights to say that the user should take the music he owns and use a third party client on a third party device, no iTunes. That would probably even skate by the anti-trust law without triggering an investigation. But when a company corrals the paying customer into a) using its services in a company-prescribed way, or otherwise b) doing something uncomfortable, illegal or resulting in harm or hardship to the user.... well, that's a situation where the courts will clearly favor common sense and customers' rights



    Edit:
    And to add a bit more to the discussion... remember how Apple stated that you own the hardware it sells to you, but license the software, and that it has the right to pull the license and leave you with a brick, if you're making unauthorized modifications? The US courts are quite comfortable with the idea. ..so here, IP law seems to have precedent over user convenience, and that's the starting point of my thoughts in this thread...

    Edit 2:

    And this is with a locked bootloader, so you own the hardware, but Apple has the right to lock you out of running any other software, and has the right to pull the license and lock you out of running Apple software, unless you once more agree with the EULA and don't violate it again... that's keeping a customer on a pretty short leash
    Last edited by Remy X; 12/03/2014 at 01:40 PM.
    ...
    Misj' likes this.

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