Apple Drops Bluwiki Lawsuit


(I wrote this brief, but my editor, John Neal, got the byline)

Apple recently dropped its lawsuit against a set of anonymous user-created wiki pages offered by Bluwiki.

The AppleInsider reported that Apple claimed in November 2008 that the existence of the wiki pages, titled iTunesDB, violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in turn, sued Apple for its “baseless legal threats.”

The pages, which Bluwiki took down in response to Apple’s threats, contained discussions on how to sync media to iPods and iPhones with other media software instead of iTunes. The EFF, Bluwiki’s legal representation, said that the media that users were to sync was legitimately purchased and that the wiki pages were to give users the choice to use their own media software. The author(s), however, had not successfully determined how to do this.

Fred von Lohmann, EFF Senior Staff Attorney, said that they were “disappointed that it (the retraction) only came after 7 months of censorship and a lawsuit…. Because Apple continues to use technical measures to lock iPod Touch and iPhone owners into — and Palm Pre owners out of — using Apple’s iTunes software, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more discussions among frustrated customers about reverse engineering Apple products. We hope Apple has learned its lesson here and will give those online discussions a wide berth in the future.”

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