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Apple's Antwort auf Real's Harmony [Update_3]

Zwei Tage für zwei Sätze, erwartet unharmonisch fiel das heutige Apple Statement aus: "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real's Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods." Interessant dabei die Formulierung des 'break into the iPod', was so nicht richtig ist, schließlich wird Reals DRM einfach in Fairplay umgewurschtelt und gaukelt dem iPod selbiges vor; keine direkte Klage, einstweilige Verfügung o.ä., lediglich eine Androhung; und Apple macht klar: wir haben die Kontrolle über Harmony's 'Kompatibilität' mit dem iPod.
Ich glaube der Schlüssel um Apple's Reaktion nachzuvollziehen liegt in der iTunes+QuickTime Kombination. Die paar Lieder, die potenzielle iTMS Kunden nun bei Real kaufen können dürfte Apple nicht groß wurmen und der iPod Absatz schwindet durch Harmony beim besten Willen nicht. Aber es fehlt die QT-Infusion. Sowohl die HP, wie die Motorola Allianz haben iTunes mit QT als Grundkonzeption. Würde Real jedoch seine Harmony Lösung lizensieren, fällt eben der Zwang zur iTunes Nutzung weg, ebenso bei einer reinen Fairplay Lizenzierung durch Apple an andere Stores, die ihre jeweils eigene Software einsetzen. QT wurde erst durch iTunes und den Erfolg des iPod erheblich konkurrenzfähiger und schließt inzwischen fast komplett zu WMA auf, was nicht von ungefähr als Format auf dem iPod gezielt unbenutzbar ist.

Update: Real antwortet mit der 'choice'-Tränendrüse. "...consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod. We remain fully committed to Harmony and to giving millions of consumers who own portable music devices, including the Apple iPod, choice and compatibility."

Update_2: Weitere Lektüre zum Thema
bei Tim Pritlove: "Shame on you, Apple! What's wrong with hacker's ethics? What's wrong with hackers in general? This is the good old game the media plays with hackers for a long time and now Apple hums their song."
Bei Stephen Withers: "If Apple became a publisher (presumably via a subsidiary company called iTunes or something to avoid yet another round of litigation with Apple Corp), its supply of exclusive content would increase. Such a plan would take a while to put into effect. Meanwhile, Apple needs to keep all those iPod owners' eyes on iTMS, as that will be the publicity conduit as well as the delivery channel for Apple-published content."
bei Dan Gillmor: "It baffles me, reading the comments below, why people are defending Apple. I'm no fan of Real's sometimes slippery ways, but if you don't like Real you don't have to use its service. To deny people who want more choices in how they use their iPod, however, strikes me as illogical."
bei Derek Slater: "Along with piracy rhetoric, we now get evil hacker rhetoric. Since when is reverse engineering unethical? Oh right - since the DMCA, which Apple is predictably waving around. Let me remind you that Real was one of the first companies to sue the creator of an interoperating product under the DMCA, so it's not as if they're the innocent defenders of innovation here."
und von Siva Vaidhyanathan: "What Apple doesn’t get is that the success of the iPod depends necessarily on the least tetherable music format: the MP3. If iPod users could not play home-brewed MP3s, they would have far too little music to justify those huge hard drives. The iPod is an MP3 player first, a portable hard drive second, and an iTunes player a distant third. Its flexibility and adaptability are essential traits."

Update_3: Noch mehr zu lesen
in den BBC News: "He loves watching Godzilla batting his old enemies, like King Gidorah and Mothra, but I always get confused and have to ask which is the good monster and which is the bad one. I had the same reaction when I heard about the arguments between Apple Computers and RealNetworks over Real's new Harmony service."
bei CNET: "Some attorneys have said Apple might have a better case under traditional contract or copyright law. The iPod comes with a license agreement that bars reverse engineering, and if Apple can argue that RealNetworks violated that agreement, the company might have a stronger case."
in den O'Reilly Dev Weblogs: "Real is pursuing what I consider a very legitimate and (they hope) effective approach in standards game; they approach the 3 major different DRM systems as defacto DRM standards and simply convert their tracks to the appropriate DRM standard, preserving the licensing limitations put on the media files they distribute, using the local DRM language of the device."

Posted by Leo at 19:37 | Permalink


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