updated 10:20 pm EST, Tue November 25, 2008
Bluwiki Apple conflict
Apple has allegedly sent a cease-and-desist order to the public Wiki site Bluwiki.com, demanding the removal of postings from users that were trying to figure out how to write software that could sync media, from sources other than iTunes, onto iPhones and iPod touch devices running the latest software, according to MacBlogz. The order reportedly claims that the threads violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) which prohibits the writing of code or spreading of information that could be used to bypass copyright protection technology.
Objecting to Apple's choice of action, Fred von Lohman, Senior Staff Attorney for Bluewiki, countered the allegations by explaining that none of the work he saw on the public Wiki pages appeared to constitute a "technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof," as described in the DMCA laws, and was simply text with some illustrative code.
Lohman also pointed out an exception in the DMCA regulations that allows the circumvention of the technology for "the purpose of enabling interoperability of an independently created computer program with other programs, if such means are necessary to achieve such interoperability, to the extent that doing so does not constitute [copyright] infringement."
The users responsible for posting the info appeared to have merely been in the discussion stages of understanding Apple's coding techniques, and had not yet been successful at reverse engineering the protection system. Despite the intention of Bluwiki to allow users to publish without censorship, the cease-and-desist order was obeyed and the relevant threads removed.