crypto and public policy

Apple Angry at Real for Helping Them Sell iPods

Filed under: General July 29, 2004 @ 2:58 pm

Apple is angry at Real over their upcoming Harmony service. Real “hacked” the iPod, according to Apple.

So, is Real breaking Apple’s protection on music sold via Apple’s iTunes? Are they allowing you to share your Apple tunes farther than Apple’s license permits? Are they allowing you to file-share your Apple tunes, Kazaa-style? No, No, and No. Real doesn’t let you do anything with your Apple music that you couldn’t do before.

Real is simply translating their digital rights scheme to make it iPod-compatible. So, if you buy a song on the Real store, you can play it on the iPod.

Who thinks there’s anything wrong with that? Real wants you to buy whatever portable player you like and retain the ability to play their songs. Other songs, bought on other services, can still be played in the same way. The iPod becomes even more versatile and useful. And since the money-maker for Apple is the iPod and not the Apple Music Store, Apple wins, too!

I’m a huge Apple fan, but on this one I couldn’t disagree more with their lawsuit threats and BS PR. I paid $400 for my iPod, and if someone comes up with an add-on that makes my iPod more useful, that’s none of Apple’s business. It’s time we stopped granting so much control to companies that deal in copyright-related products. It’s *my* iPod, dammit.

UPDATE: beating me by a solid 6 minutes, Ed Felten has a similar and interesting post.

1 Comment

  1. Aaron Swartz:

    They may sell more iPods but they’ll sell less music.

    On the other hand, I don’t think Apple’s really thought this one thru very well, since they also say the music store is a break-even venture aimed at selling iPods.

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