May 28, 2024
Wiki Operator Sues Apple Over Legal Threats

Wiki Operator Sues Apple Over Legal Threats

Posted April 27, 2009 at 6:22pm by iClarified
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit against Apple Inc. today to defend the First Amendment rights of an operator of a noncommercial, public Internet "wiki" site known as BluWiki.

EFF and the San Francisco law firm of Keker & Van Nest represent OdioWorks LLC, which runs the BluWiki website. Like many "wiki" platforms, such as Wikipedia, it is open to the public for collaborative authoring and editing on any topic. The site is entirely noncommercial, operated by OdioWorks as a public service.

Late last year, after BluWiki users began a discussion about making some Apple iPods and iPhones interoperate with software other than Apple's own iTunes, Apple lawyers demanded removal of the content. In a letter to OdioWorks, the attorneys alleged that the discussions constituted copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's (DMCA's) prohibition on circumventing copy protection measures. Fearing legal action by Apple, OdioWorks took down the discussions from the BluWiki site.

OdioWorks filed the lawsuit today in order to vindicate its right to restore those discussions. Filed in federal court in San Francisco, the suit seeks a declaratory judgment that the discussions do not violate any of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions, and do not infringe any copyrights owned by Apple.

"I take the free speech rights of BluWiki users seriously," said Sam Odio, owner of OdioWorks. "Companies like Apple should not be able to censor online discussions by making baseless legal threats against services like BluWiki that host the discussions."

The discussions on the BluWiki site focused on how hobbyists might enable iPods and iPhones to work with desktop media management software other than Apple's own iTunes software. The discussions were apparently spurred by Apple's efforts prevent the iPod Touch and iPhone from working with competing media management software such as WinAmp and Songbird.

"Apple's legal threats against BluWiki are about censorship, not about protecting their legitimate copyright interests," said Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "Wikis and other community sites are home to many vibrant discussions among hobbyists and tinkerers. It's legal to engage in reverse engineering in order to create a competing product, it's legal to talk about reverse engineering, and it's legal for a public wiki to host those discussions."

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Wiki Operator Sues Apple Over Legal Threats
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Simon - April 27, 2009 at 8:36pm
Hell yeah! I'm behind OdioWorks 100% I love apple, their products are great but they don't have a leg to stand on here, it's everyone's right to voice ideas and thoughts and you can't stop people from doing that without shutting down the Internet, this will never hold up in court. Furthermore, does people suggesting ways in which to use the already purchased iPod/iPhone in anyway significantly damage Apple's profit share or gross margins? Hmmm I think not!
Maverick - April 28, 2009 at 1:44am
I'm afraid that Apple like is becoming as - or even more - arrogant as Microsoft. at least Microsoft product can be use on many other platforms, unlike Apple. I hope BlueWiki get their revenge: good for them!
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