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Apple Not Too Harmonious with Real

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the no-surprise-there dept.

Media (Apple) 940

An anonymous reader writes "As if in answer to the question previously asked on Slashdot, CNN Money is reporting that Apple isn't all that happy that Real pried open the door to the iPod for its RealMedia files. "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod." It should be interesting to see how this pans out in court, and if the DeCSS case serves as some sort of precedent."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833040)


Enough already (3, Insightful)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833043)

This is just blatant disrespect of all sorts... Real already tried [] to setup an "alliance" with Apple once and was denied, and now it just goes around it in it's own world and bypasses Apple. Not cool.

Jobs needs to lay some smack down on these people or something.

Financial Buffering (3, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833094)

> Not cool.
Not cool by any stretch of the imagination.

"We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod."

I was stunned too! 0%... 5%... BUFFERING 6%... etc.

Apple is going to get some financial buffering from RealNetworks, after this is done.

Re:Financial Buffering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833133)

to be fair, at least Real plays after finishing buffering. I recently tried Windows Media Player, it buffered, and buffered, and finished buffering but didn't let me see anything.

Re:Enough already (3, Informative)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833214)

Oh ya... another article over at DesignTechnica [] with the full Apple statement and other stuff.

Re:Enough already (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833222)

A serious question for you:

Why shouldn't people be able to play music files that they have purchased, on a piece of hardware that they've purchased? The files are Real, the hardware is Apple. Why isn't that "cool"?

Re:Enough already (5, Insightful)

mliu (85608) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833243)

I just can't escape the feeling that if the name of the company involved was anything besides Apple, 99% of the community here would be decrying their anticompetitive behavior. Would you be the saying the same thing if it was Apple adding iTunes compatibility to Sony's ATRAC only proprietary Netwalkman?

Someone's the bad guy here but it sure doesn't feel like Real for giving consumers more choice on their legally purchased hardware. Or did I miss the part where restricting how we could use our own hardware became "cool". That'd certainly be thinking differently.

Re:Enough already (2, Insightful)

ardent (147548) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833260)

Apple has been doing this for years. How long has it been since you could open a window's file in Mac OS? Don't see the difference here...

Re: Fuck Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833274)

They talk about choice, but they don't want me to have the choice to play a certain class of songs on an iPod that I own? Bunch of assholes.

Re:Enough already (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833294)

Jobs needs to lay some smack down on these people or something.

For what? Selling music to people in a way they can use? What right does Apple have to stop Real selling music to iPod users? The users are the ones that own their iPods, not Apple. It's up to the users whether they want to allow Real content onto their iPods.

Re:Enough already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833297)

Not cool? VERY COOL! If you won't play with us then we're going to get what we want, either way. Sorry, pal.

How will this pan out on Slashdot? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833044)

With the constant Apple lovefests, the hatred of the DMCA and DRM, the dislike of Real Player, and the love of hacking.

A few thoughts (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833045)

First, the full Apple statement, since it's not referenced in the summary:

"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 (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) 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."

- Regarding the DMCA: you can't fault Apple for using a law on the books - passed by Congress (unanimously [] by the Senate), and signed into law by President Clinton - to protect its own business interests. If you don't like the DMCA, or aspects of copyright law in general, work to change the law(s), but don't fault companies or individuals for conducting themselves within the bounds of those laws while they are in force.

- What Apple says regarding breakage is true. Some might argue that any breakage would be intentional; however, you can certainly also agree that otherwise benign changes to the iPod or its firmware may indeed break Real's reverse engineering. Intentional or no, this would still leave customers who have purchased songs via Real out in the cold, which ultimately, to the average customer, reflects poorly on Apple and the iPod (moreso than on Real). Does Apple, or its customers, really want an environment where any changes to the iPod to add functionality or features can break customers' music that they've ostensibly legitimately purchased?

- The word "hackers" was successfully co-opted long [] , long [] , long [] ago ("a person who illegally gains access to and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system"), so don't fault Apple's (currently correct and appropriate) use of the word, and save us the tiresome lectures.

That said, yes, Apple could sublicense Fairplay [] , as they have done with Motorola [] . But still, it means both parties must agree, and doesn't excuse Real.

Others remember the continued arrogance and mistakes regarding OS licensing long ago. "Apple could potentially become the Microsoft of online music," they say. But this could only potentially happen by cannibalizing iPod sales. The iPod would be akin to the "PC"; the iTunes Music Store would be "Windows". (Remember: Microsoft never made computers). But for Apple, the iTunes Music Store is a break even proposition: its sole purpose from a business perspective is to drive iPod sales and adoption, and, to a lesser extent, adoption of other Apple products. Apple's iPod and hardware margins are to-die-for in the computer industry, while the iTunes Music Store, even after having sold 100 million songs, only recently made a "small profit". Additionally, Apple maintaining control over the whole process from end to end is one of the things that makes the iTunes/iPod experience so friendly and pleasing. This may no longer be true with other manufacturer's products.

I'm not arguing against for or against licensing here, only pointing out that it's more of a difficult situation than people make it out to be. The iTunes Music Store and the iPod, for Apple, are inextricably connected, at least currently. Allowing the iPod to work with other online music stores can be argued to hurt Apple's iTunes/iPod strategy, while allowing the iTunes Music Store to work with other players definitely hurts iPod sales. Sure, you can make all sorts of contrary arguments, but there are valid arguments just as contrary to those. All that said, Apple is indeed licensing [] ; why should Apple be forced to license to entities to whom it doesn't wish?

And if your beef is with copyright and the DMCA and the like, well, it would seem your beef is not with Apple...

Don't fault Apple? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833079)

If they CHOOSE to use the DMCA, then that's a choice they've made and one we can fault them for. There are laws that say my neighbors can't make loud noise at 5am. I have a choice whether I can go talk to them and get them to be quiet, or whether I can just call the police.

Re:A few thoughts (5, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833117)

First, they don't have to use the DMCA, it is a choice. And second, a bad law is a bad law. Most of the thinks that oppresive goverments have done in human history has been done within the framework of the laws of said countries but that doesn't make what they did or those laws right.

Re:A few thoughts (5, Insightful)

malfunct (120790) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833182)

This is funny because its really a repeat of the DeCSS case where the DVD cartel sued an outsider for breaking thier code to use DVD's in an unauthorized player. Now real is the outsider and Apple is playing the DVD cartel. Now I am not at all for apple as far as this goes, I figure why should Apple even care if someone else sells music for the ipod when apple isn't making any money on the computer and more choice will make more reason for people to buy ipods.

Real Quote of the Week! (4, Funny)

pegr (46683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833263)

RealNetworks Chief Strategy Officer Richard Wolpert: "We think consumer choice is going to win out over proprietary formats."

And this is coming from Real! Gotta love it! ;)

Apple isn't government (2, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833218)

I didn't say I liked the DMCA, nor Apple using it.

But Apple isn't a government, and the DMCA isn't on par with the the types of oppressive acts I assume you are referring to. Let's keep things in perspective...

Re:A few thoughts (1, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833235)

If you don't use the law on the books the law will become irrelevant, whether you agree with it or not doesn't matter. Congress agrees with it, as do most lawyers, they WILL use the law on the books. Get over it.

Re:A few thoughts (4, Insightful)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833195)

Right... because it's Apple doing it, it's not wrong...

Here's an idea: Think different? No. Just start thinking for yourself.

Re:A few thoughts (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833240)

"you can't fault Apple for using a law on the books ... to protect its own business interests"

You certainly CAN fault them--just because someone hands you the One Ring doesn't mean that you have to use it for evil.

Well I hope all the Apple zealots are choking on this, since it exposes Apple's desire to become an abusive monopoly.

Re:A few thoughts (2, Insightful)

tlpalmer (800391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833253)

Whilst Apple may be considering the DCMA, I doubt Real would have done this without first consulting their lawyers about it.

Re:A few thoughts (5, Interesting)

Denyer (717613) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833265)

you can't fault Apple for using a law on the books - passed by Congress (unanimously by the Senate), and signed into law by President Clinton - to protect its own business interests. If you don't like the DMCA, or aspects of copyright law in general, work to change the law(s), but don't fault companies or individuals for conducting themselves within the bounds of those laws while they are in force.

One simple question: why?

There's a UK law which permits the killing of Welsh people in Chester, provided you use a bow. Many US states have similar legal skeletons lurking in the closet. So... why exactly should people who use dumb legislation get a free pass? Are their actions any more moral or justifiable?

Re:A few thoughts (2, Interesting)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833291)

What Real has done here is a Good Thing! Now let me first say that I consider Real's software to be a plague on the internet. And if I made a cool device like the iPod I would sure as hell be pissed off if Real tried to ruin its perfectness by getting their abominable ad-ridden crap to play on it.

But...Here is the good news. If Apple wants to get Reals crap off their players then it will have to upgrade their firmware. Now you might ask yourself, well who would be stupid enough to update their iPod if all it does is remove functionality and make it harder to interoperate with? Well thats an excellent point, which is why if Apple wants us users to upgrade then they'll have to give us something in return.

Feeling royally screwed because you bought an iPod capable of having a 12 hour battery life that only lasts 8 hours? Well now that Apple needs a way to get us to upgrade to their new software to break Real, guess what is probably going to happen.

What is Apple Griping About? (3, Insightful)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833048)

Apple has seen sales of iPod boost its bottom line over

The article talks about Previously, iPod would only play digitally protected songs that carry restrictions and were purchased from Apple's own iTunes music store.
And Apple is complainig that sales have soared? Apple should see that more means more - more sales due to more formats being played. Now maybe apple should go back to the chain of command and figure out who stuffed in the DMCA trying to get more sales and question that person mangament ability.

The artcile continues by saying Apple has a variety of legal steps. Does this mean that once you own a piece of hardware you can't update the software? Hmm Sounds like they would like to go after the FOSS community if somoeone released an updated iPod OS. RealNetwork would put the legal team on ends if it released the updated source to the community.

Re:What is Apple Griping About? (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833119)

The only thing that would make me consider an iPod would be if it worked with all the major music download services. Not through hacks or bullshit, not to be broken by iPod firmware 2.0, etc..

Their desire to lock me in to iTunes doesn't excite me anymore than the idea of a DVD player or game console that only plays stuff I bought at Wal-Mart.

I don't understand the Apple fanaticism here. It truly puzzles me. Time and time again they act like every bit the dickhead corporation that every corporation is. Apples goal is the same as MSFTs or Reals, to suck money out of my pockets.

Music is dying, iPod is helping kill it. No more standards, and I just can't wait for the future where you can only play music or video that you bought from the people that sold you the device on which you plan to play it.

There is another iPod OS (3, Interesting)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833233)

Hmm Sounds like they would like to go after the FOSS community if somoeone released an updated iPod OS.

Try iPodLinux, at []

The Envelope, Please (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833053)

And Apple's response to Real cracking their iPod and exploiting it to their own ends receives the 2004 'This Comes As A Complete Surprise To Noone' Trophy.

It's like Real have lived under some kind of rock for the past six years. I'm sure they've employed this [] a few times themselves. Is there a different captain at the helm, oe with a Napoleon hat perhaps?

Of course, it could be argued that Apple is approaching a monopoly status with the iPod and should open it up. Given the dislike others have expressed with Real Networks, they must be truly wrestling with their sentiments on this one.

Re:The Envelope, Please (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833204)

"Of course, it could be argued that Apple is approaching a monopoly status with the iPod and should open it up."

No, it can't. There's a billion other portable digital players on the market with a whole pile of services to legally download from.

Re:The Envelope, Please (3, Insightful)

Nurseman (161297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833209)

...Apple is approaching a monopoly status with the iPod

I think that is a stretch. Popular ? Hell yeah. Inovative ? Hell yeah. Monopoly ? I think not. I just bought my kid a CD based player from Sony, it has AM/FM radio, and plays MP3"s on CD. It was a 1/3 of the price of an Ipod and more than enough for him. Would I have sprung for the IPod if I had the cash, not sure. But, there are LOTS of other choices out there.

Re:The Envelope, Please (1)

metallicagoaltender (187235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833217)

Of course, it could be argued that Apple is approaching a monopoly status with the iPod and should open it up.

Why? The iPod is Apple's product and they can do with it as they see fit (within the law of course). There are plenty of other portable music players on the market, and for people that want to be able to play certain music formats, they can buy a different player. I chose to buy an iRiver iHP-140 because it fit my needs/wants best. If I'd bought an iPod, should I have been able to turn around and complain that it can't play a certain format?

I'd really tend to disagree that Apple is anywhere near monopoly status with the iPod...with a lot of other quality music players, not to mention PDAs, cellphones, and other devices that can play music, I don't see a problem. I'm by no means a fan of Apple, but saying they're anywhere near a monopoly is just an exaggeration.

I liked my title better :p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833056)

"Apple Bitchslaps Real"

So apple is evil now? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833057)

I thought they were the good guys?

Re:So apple is evil now? (1)

thirteenVA (759860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833303)

If evil is protecting your products from companies who wish to reverse engineer them for their own personal gain, then yes i guess apple is guilty as charged.

Re:So apple is evil now? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833304)

No... Real Networks are the evil ones.

But I suppose it depends on how you look at it. Apple could be the evil one if you're somone who really wants Fairplay to be licensed.

But I think Real is the evil on here because they went behind Apple to do this after being previously denied an "alliance."

Apple has never been the good guy (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833060)

Apple and Innovation only hold hands when they're the only one at the dance.

If anyone else tries to join their love-fest, the lawyers deploy in ultra-attack formation.

this stealing, not hacking (3, Insightful)

squarefish (561836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833062)

just two weeks ago at the 2600 hope conference [] in NY, Steve Wozniak [] was using the proper form of the word hacker and highly suggested that people should hack often and use it as a tool for learning.
what real did was to try and bypass something to profit off of it because apple wouldn't let them in on a market that apple is basically controlling right now. real is trying to steal something they don't have any rights to. this is not hacking!

Re:this stealing, not hacking (1, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833095)

We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod.
So, are they saying that what Real was doing was trying to learn how the iPod insides work in a search for knowledge?

Good job, Apple. Way to push the Hacker term even deeper into people's minds as a person who does bad things. You'd think a fairly savy computer company would know to use the word cracker, not hacker. Here's the headline that thousands and thousands of CNN readers will see:
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Apple Computer accused RealNetworks Thursday of adopting the tactics of a hacker and breaking into the technology behind its popular music player iPod device.

Hacker = good

Cracker = bad

Bad apple! Stupid twats. It's not that tough to understand. Now go back to making pretty shiny things.

Origin of the Term Hacking... (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833156)

Old argument, I'm sure, but I was understanding that the 'Hacking' originated among physicists -- something along the lines of hacking away (with a metaphorical instrument, such as a hatchet or machete) at something until the facts were revealed. My father, who worked at on the Oakridge project, back in the early 40's refered to those who considered themselves 'hackers.'

Re:this stealing, not hacking (5, Insightful)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833187)

What stealing?? You can only steal something that is someone else's property. What did Real steal, even if you include intellectual property as things that can be stolen? Did they infringe a patent? Did they infringe copyright? They they abused a trademark from Apple?

No, they simply reverse engineered FairPlay to create a product that can interoperate with the iPod. Is that also stealing nowadays? It's like saying that those companies making clone cartridges for inkjets are stealing from the printer manufacturers... Nobody has a right to a particular amount of profit, and depriving someone of profit by offering an alternative is *not* stealing, it's called competition in a free market.

Re:this stealing, not hacking (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833230)

This is no more stealing than copying an MP3 is. Show me what was taken in quantifiable terms, and I'll believe you.

No, this is the reverse engineering of a product - for profit. It was legal until recently, as such things are - now get this - conductive for business competition. However, what with the DMCA, such things are made illigal to protect big-business interests.

How quickly the collective mind forgets. Not long ago there'd be not one person on slashdot which would support Apple's tactics, and now mostly everyone is falling in, "Real is evil!" What nonsense. Sure, it's criminal what they did, thanks to the DMCA, but it's no different than making an after-market part for a vehicle (steering wheel, seat, stereo, etc.) without getting explicit permission from the vehicle manufacturer - which, last I checked, is fully legal.

Re:this stealing, not hacking (1)

1000101 (584896) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833277)

It seems that the only people who use hacker = good are actual hackers. Since the public at large has never heard of a "cracker" (not the crunchy biscuit or the ghetto term for caucasians) perhaps good hackers should start calling themselves crackers, and bad hackers can stick with the word hackers. That way, when the general public hears "cracker" they won't be familiar and you can teach them that it means good hacker. Yeah, that might confuse everyone... Why not just call good hackers "backers" and bad hackers "crackers" or "whackers" or "snackers" since they obviously like crackers (the crunchy biscuits).

I wonder what Woz thinks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833063)

I wonder what Woz thinks of Apple's PR use of the term "hacker"?

Bear this in mind. (3, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833068)

They want you to think different. They even make you an operating system that seems ideal for hackers.

The point Apple is trying to make is that they admire and appreciate innovation, so long as it is their own. But don't try to do anything too crazy with their hardware or software.

Re:Bear this in mind. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833272)

You can do whatever you want with their hardware. Just don't take their patents and fuck with them.

AAC is an openspecification. If Real wanted their products on the iPod, they could have just made them DRM-less. I'm sure they have a master license for MP3 as well. If they want high quality, they could have put their products in WAV or AIFF. No one charges fees for media in those formats.

You can do whatever crazy thing you want with their software as long as its not to subvert it to break their patents. If Apple had included a DRM Encoding package with iTunes, it would be a nonissue. One of my software packages I wrote years ago for content analysis used a spell checker from a major office software company -- they tried to come down on us for this, but we simply accessed their DLL that had all these functions in it -- and told the folks buying our software, if they needed the good spell checker (as opposed to our free one built around public domain sources), they needed to install the other software on the system.

Once the other company found out about it, they backed down -- they got paid and I was using the library as it was intended.

Now, if I would have written an app to go into their app, pull out a chunk of code and data, and had it included in my app (even if I required them to purchase a copy of the aformentioned software), I would have been guilty of some crime (probably several these days).

Thats what Real has done...they aren't doing anything 'crazy' with the hardware or software, they are illegally obtaining information that should not be obtained and doing it in a manner that should not have been done, and thumbing their noses. Thats not crazy, thats criminal.

Even if you hate copyrights and patents and other intellectual properties -- you should know to follow the laws of the land you are in.

Time for the Apple Hackers to speak up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833071)

"We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker [] "

The real question is... (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833072)

who owns the hardware? Apple or the User. No doubt that DMCA will come into play and soon. This should be interesting to see how it plays out.

Re:The real question is... (1)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833165)

Well, both actually. The user owns the hardware, the circuitry etc, but as per the license agreement, Apple owns the firmware.

Oh boy! (3, Funny)

jandrese (485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833077)

Now I can spend $300 on a music player AND get to use Real's spyware laden buggy hard-to-use interface! How can I loose?

Re:Oh boy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833143)

Perhaps you could learn to spell "lose" correctly?

Re:Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833215)

-1 Grammar Nazi. Try showing some tolerance for a typo or two.

Re:Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833245)

It's not just a typo or two though - it's becoming endemic amongst Americans. Come back in 50 years, and we'll all be speaking like hillbillies...

Re:Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833276)

But would that really be a loss?

Tell me again. (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833081)

Tell me again how Apple is different than Microsoft? All that bs about apple being 'different', 'free' thinking, and 'open' is just a PR campaign and nothing more.

The difference is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833123)

Apple is smaller. That's it.

Re:Tell me again. (2, Informative)

Gerad (86818) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833181)

For the thousandth time, APPLE IS NOT A CONVICTED MONOPOLY. The rules change significantly when you're a monopoly with near 100% market share.

Re:Tell me again. (1)

geek (5680) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833189)

The difference is you aren't locked in to Apple. You can safely ignore the company entirely and use alternatives. I don't know anyone that isn't locked into using an MS product of one kind or another right now.

Re:Tell me again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833220)

Unless of course you want to play RealMedia files on your purchased iPod.

Really? (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833292)

You must not be from around here, because there are a lost of us who don't use any MS products.

Re:Tell me again. (2, Interesting)

thirteenVA (759860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833221)

Actually, your comparison of Apple to MS is wrong. You should compare REAL to MS in this case. Real: "License FairPlay to us, we want to offer our files to ipod users." Apple: "Not interested, sorry" Real: "Ok, then we'll just force our way into the ipod" Hmmm, who in this scenario is just like Microsoft? Here's a tip: Order of operations dictates that you THINK, then post...

Re:Tell me again. (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833279)

Exactly. Remember, DMCA is *bad* here at /., unless it's used against an enemy, in which case it's *good*!

This is part of Real's attempt to fught death that will come about from having a crappy product. I can't understand why anyone still uses Real at all, I think it's a lot like Internet Exploader, people use the Real Adware / Spyware because it comes by deafult with the MS desktop.

'tactics and ethics' (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833096)

Tactics and ethics of a hacker? My god, Orwell was right. "We are and always have been at war with East Asia."

How is this anything but the extension of Apple's product to make it more valuable? I guess I don't see how, or why, Apple would have a beef about this, particularly since Real media isn't the best quality.

Is it simply that because the laws now exist, they have to make the complaint, or they'll lose legitity? That's the most logical answer I can think of.

So much for Apple being a company which embraces the hacker mindset, eh geeks? (I'll mention that I, too, am a linux geek, so don't flame me.) This is really quite unfortunate.

Competition (1)

Angry Black Man (533969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833099)

It's competition Apple, make your hardware hack-proof like everybody else has been doing for years. Or trying rather.

*sigh* (1, Insightful)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833104)

Wow, i'm really disheartened by this. i was impressed by Real's moves to give the customer what they wanted (ie all the recent changes...less crap, easier to find free version, etc). So impressed that i was even considering taking (getting?) a position with them in Seattle doing programming. Now, i'm not feeling warm and fuzzy. i'm feeling anxious.

Real was poised, in my mind, to perhaps become a darling of FOSS if they were to open up somethings, provide some code, help, etc....but, this is just not a good move. i generally feel Apple is a Good (tm) company (for the most part) and they really don't need this from Real. They said no. No means no, it does not mean do it anyway. Technically, there have been arguments that Real is doing nothing wrong, but it feels you say....just, bad faith, bad form to me.

Sorry Real, i expected more in light of your recent good moves. *sigh* Crap.

Re:*sigh* (5, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833295)

They said no. No means no, it does not mean do it anyway. Technically, there have been arguments that Real is doing nothing wrong, but it feels you say....just, bad faith, bad form to me.

Yeah, and boo on Compaq for reverse engineering IBM's bios instead of just licensing it, and boo on everyone who hacked TiVo and wrote books about it.

Sorry, but unless Apple is going to lease iPods they have no control over what you do to the hardware you bought from them. If I wanted to write software that turned iPod into a toaster I am within my rights to do so.

I really can't stand the double standard people have regarding Apple versus all other companies.

Apple is the most infamous company in the world ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833106)

Apple is not the company that lot of nerds think about : they want money from their customers, they want to dominate the computing world and thay want to rise their prices.

Fortunately Microsoft is here !
Now Apple is stealing Open Source technology without improving it, and they are pursuing some companies that want to colloborate with them

Go away Apple ! Long live to Microsoft and Linux, Death to Apple !

Happy shmappy (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833109)

What it will come down to is Apple figuring out if the loss of money is great with the decline in iTune sales versus the increase in iPod sales.

Important Guide to Understanding Article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833118)

Did a corporation use Was the encryption--Y-->Did someone reverse
encryption to prevent-Y->in question engineer the system,
their customers from pathetically weak? allowing for more
fairly using purchases? | /--consumer choice?
N-------N---<------<----N----<--+----<--- <-<No.. . |
| \ Y
N<------N----<---Did the corporation Did this new<--+
| react violently, <--Y-software enable
| Was the<--Y--slander hackers, fair use?
| corporation and fire off legal
| Apple(tm)(R)? threats using DMCA to suppress speech?
| | |
| Yes +No-->Oh my God those assholes! It's time we put this source
|_ | code on a T-shirt! Time to contribute to the author's
\ / legal defense fund! Time to call our senator and tell
No big deal! him to repeal the evil, flawed DMCA! Time
Time to play "Quake!!!" to practice "civil disobedience!". Time
to write "distributed peer to peer"
corporate-subversion software! Time to call for a radical reform
of copyright laws! Time to decry Palladium(tm)(R) design and
distribution as a grand scheme to put us under the lock and key
of DRM! Time to raid DVD-Jon's jail cell with Dimitri as lead
commando! Time to hack Hillary Rosen's web site and deface statues
of Jack Valenti! Quick buy another 2600 T-Shirt!
By the way, wouldn't it be great if Devo was 99c a song?
God I still remember the HACKER MANIFESTO!!!!

Go....Real?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833125)

Is it just me or does everyone else feel dirty for rooting for RealNetworks? I mean, their new Helix Player is actually quite good, and this great test case of reverse-engineering in the digital media world is exactly what we need, but...will the stain ever wash clean?!? ...then again, this is probably just how Kerry voters feel *rimshot*

Eh, what? (4, Informative)

ZiZ (564727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833128)

Previously, iPod would only play digitally protected songs that carry restrictions and were purchased from Apple's own iTunes music store.

This is silly. Previously, the iPod would play any MP3 or AAC (or WAV, or Audible - not sure if it handled any other formats) you stuck on there, assuming that if you HAD bought it from the itunes store you had also authorized the ipod. I should know - I have yet to buy more than three songs from iTMS, yet my 30 gig iPod is all but full.

Apple and DMCA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833137)

I hate the DMCA. I hope Apple doesn't use the DMCA to enforce their rights.

"AAC was developed by the MPEG group that includes Dolby, Fraunhofer (FhG), AT&T, Sony, and Nokia", so in order for Real to modify and alter the DRM, wouldn't they have to get license/permission from that group?

Device lock-in should die (4, Insightful)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833139)

What would the DVD market be like, if every DVD players only worked with the manufacturer's owned (or endorsed) DVD store?

I applaude Apple for showing RIAA that there is another way to market music.

I applaude Real for taking the first step to end device lock-in. Device lock-in is bad for consumers. I do think they're going to lose against Apple, but by taking the first step, one can only hope some day iPods will no longer be exclusive to iTunes and vice versa.

Fine then, (2, Interesting)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833142)

Fine then, can't Apple modify it's software to mess up Real's modifications?

That way, it'll just become a compatibility war, like when Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo modify their IM software to prevent third parties from accessing their networks.

I'm sure Apple will find a way to block Real, by legal or technical means.

By the way, I have 4 mod points, I really wish I could use them on this topic, but as I'm posting... oh well.

Not to worry (1)

Karellen !-P (717831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833147)

Real will certainly put the relevant software on a hidden link in a page full of ads.

Startling honesty (5, Insightful)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833149)

From the bottom of the article:

"The reason would not be because Real is a threat (they aren't), but because of the precedent it sets," he added in the e-mail. "Microsoft will be coming out with their own online music shop this fall, and they will be a threat. Better to nip such competition in the bud." (My emphasis)

God forbid that we might have competition in the marketplace!

Ignorant Media (1)

mirio (225059) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833152)

Previously, iPod would only play digitally protected songs that carry restrictions and were purchased from Apple's own iTunes music store.

The ignorance of the media never ceases to amaze me.

Hypocrites (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833154)

Wow. Watch all the DMCA-hating, DVD-copying dittoheads suddenly come out on the side of a company using the DMCA because a competitor figured out a way to also make use of the hardware.

It makes me want to support tougher copyright protection laws and purchase the upcoming Microsoft media player. At least the people who support those things are honest.

MP3 player it is not (0, Troll)

Kujah (630784) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833155)

Many people seem to be under the impression that the iPod is an mp3 player. That's not entirely true - it plays AAC files (mpeg2) not MP3 files (mpeg1layer3). The MP3 files are converted to AAC files before they hit the iPod, IIRC (I could be wrong about this)

What's the significance? AAC files have copyright protection built in, something which MP3's lack.

I read TFA, but I couldn't seem to figure out what exactly Real Networks did - did they hack the iPod firmware to actually play MP3 files, or did they figure out the copy protection Apple uses on it's AAC files. Anyone venture a guess?

Re:MP3 player it is not (5, Informative)

sith (15384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833202)

iPod plays Mp3s, AACs, AIFFs, and a number of other formats. They're not transcoded before the hit iPod. The iPod disk has a normal filesystem on it and all, so you can look for yourself.

Also, AAC doesn't inherently have DRM in it. Apple just wraps it in DRM for the songs they sell from their music store. I rip my music to AAC using iTunes and it is totally unencumbered by DRM.

Heck, AAC wasn't even around (at least, not the way it is now) when the iPod first came out...

Re:MP3 player it is not (4, Informative)

MikeXpop (614167) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833258)

Uh, no.

The iPod plays mp3s. It has an mp3 decoder chip. In fact, they didn't play AACs until some time after they were announced (two years?).

Converting mp3 to AAC would be destructive and silly. Where did you hear this?

Erm... Misleading article? (4, Insightful)

Wildfire Darkstar (208356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833157)

The linked article states "Previously, iPod would only play digitally protected songs that carry restrictions and were purchased from Apple's own iTunes music store."

This seems to be patently untrue, as it's hardly a state secret that the iPod can play un-DRMed songs perfectly well. I suppose I can simply be parsing the paragraph wrong, but they seem to refer to this again when they bring up the DMCA, specifically citing the provisions against "illegally copying software" (and not, as would make somewhat more sense, the reverse engineering angle).

It wouldn't be the first time a major news outlet got the technical details wrong, but this really completely misrepresents the nature of both Real's initial actions and Apple's reaction....

The smartest thing Applce could have done... (5, Insightful)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833159)

...was nothing. Ignore it. Who cares? No one is going to buy Real's crappy encoded format music. Apple looks like the bad guy by telling people what to do with hardware they purchased. Replace Real with some guy from Finland and ".rm" with ".ogg" format and see if you still agree.

Whatever (0, Flamebait)

HBI (604924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833160)

It doesn't matter what anyone really thinks about this, DMCA isn't going away anytime soon.

That said, seeing Real Networks get crushed would be very pleasant. They have polluted computer systems for the last 8 or so years with their lameass player. Time for it to die.

It's 1985 all over again! (4, Insightful)

Exmet Paff Daxx (535601) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833180)

Remember Apple? Remember the SE? Remember how if you bought a PC, it wasn't as nice, but because the hardware wasn't kept in a Cathedral but rather in a Bazaar, you could hack it, configure it, trade it, build it yourself? Here's the Apple mentality that kept them from competing successfully with Microsoft all over again: We Are The Shrine Upon High, Interoperate And Die!

BSD-based or not, Apple still has the same problems with their overprotective, self-infatuated management. They've failed to take ESR's lessons to heart, and this jealous hoarding of a good idea will cause them to lose it... AGAIN.

This means... (1)

Bingo Foo (179380) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833183)

This means you'll need to use Harmony and then Hymn, I suppose.

Why won't they licence FairPlay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833201)

Can anyone explain why Apple won't licence FairPlay? It's no secret that the iTunes store doesn't make much money, the iPod hardware's where it's at. So how could allowing other people's DRM'd tunes play on the iPod hurt them? It looks to me like they're just trying to own the whole digital music game from top to bottom. It wouldn't surprise me if they're shooting themselves in the foot with this. All the other mainstream download services that I've come across use WMA. If Apple licenced FairPlay they'd be in a superb position to define the "standard" digital music format. This way they're risking handing it to MS in the long run because MS are willing to let anyone use their format (for a price).

DRM doesn't stop anyone (1)

theluckyleper (758120) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833206)

Hahah... Real Networks, complaining about Apple's DRM while they are working on their own [] ? Nice job!

I still don't understand all of this DRM stuff... if someone wants to pirate an AAC file, or a Real Networks Helix file, all they have to do is PLAY it and record the output coming out of their soundcard. Plug a soundcard's OUT to a soundcard's IN and record a non-DRM WAV file. Who do they think they're fooling?

Happy with Real? (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833208)

Who is EVER happy with ...buffering... Real Networks anyways?

I don't know of one single person that actually installed Realplayer and enjoys it. Generally, it's "Ugh, how do I get rid of this annoying thing. It makes Bonzi Buddy look useful! AUuugh!"

Bad real. (1)

trendescape (801324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833225)

This really makes me mad that someone would take a product another company made and reverse engineer it to run their product. Thats like reebox taking a nike shoe and just branding it with their own logo.

I could see if this was for personal use, but real is obviously trying to make money off of a product they didn't even create. Perhaps real should invest in the making of an ipod clone instead, of course it will fail, but then again they always have been failing.
Message to real: invest more money in your spyware.

Slashdot hypocritical? Duh. (5, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833226)

Gotta love the hypocrisy of /.. Apple threatens to invoke the DMCA against Real, and there's applause and cheers. Creative licenses a software patent to id, and there's mass boycotts threatened.

If Apple actually does invoke the DMCA, I'm not going to buy or use any of their products for the next ten years. Do the right thing, Apple: drop the DMCA threats, license to Real, and put on a good face about the situation.


Re:Slashdot hypocritical? Duh. (2, Insightful)

thirteenVA (759860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833259)

How sensible...

Someone reverse engineers a product they don't have license to and apple should drop legal action and offer them said license that was denied in the first place?

Can't do it (3, Insightful)

chadseld (761331) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833228)

I'm sorry, but I can't defend Apple here. They should have signed an agreement with Real months ago. At least then they could have made a deal that benefited their goals (like getting Real to use AAC). As a consumer, I like competition. If Real's store is better than Apple's (it's not), then it will drive Apple to improve. Either way Apple sells more iPods. How can we defend apple in this instance and not defend Apple regarding the HYMN-Project??

Real OK? (3, Insightful)

epexegesis (733596) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833229)

I haven't read the DMCA, but the article says:
Real said Monday its engineers worked out a way for its files to be compatible with iPod solely through analysis of publicly-available information.

Wouldn't any security measures require that you can't break it using public information. If you can break it using public information then it's not really secure, hence Real aren't breaking any copy protection stuff.

Anyway, I like the sound of having more control over personal equipment.

anyone can store files on an ipod that not DRMed (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833246)

All real would have to do is use un DRMed mp3s or aac.

Problem solved..

Are you surprised? (1, Insightful)

brundlefly (189430) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833254)

When was the last time Real did anything which *didn't* piss people off?

I have been following their curve since 1995, when their RealPlayer actually seemed like it would be a huge boon to the Web. They started out on a high note and could have been a long-time darling of the 'net community. Instead, they've chosen the dark side, and they've pretty much sucked ever since.

Boycott Real.

bah (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833270)

DRM vs. DRM. A pox on both their houses.

hacker is good, cracker is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9833280)

Apple doesn't have a clue.

License on iPod box (5, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833281)

I just happened to look at the box of the iPod while moving this past weekend. The box says by opening this product you agree to the software license.

So here's my question:

If you're not using the software, can apple make you agree to the software license?

as a real fan (1)

harumscarum (675595) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833288)

I (streaming....) am (streaming...) upset (streaming....) with (streaming.... ) teh (streaming....) mac. (streaming.... ) Why (streaming....) can't (streaming....) we (streaming....) ride (reading system....) the (streaming....) mac (streaming... ) coat tails?

Wow talk about two-faced (1)

neildiamond (610251) | more than 10 years ago | (#9833296)

Hacking the X-Box is okay for fun and (sometimes profit). When Real does the same thing against Apple, people here say, "Go Apple! Sue them under the DMCA!"

That's it for for me guys. Good luck with that free software thingy.
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