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Real Worried About Apple Lawsuits

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the and-i'm-worried-about-ninjas dept.

Media (Apple) 264

sebFlyte writes "silicon.com is reporting that Real is very worried that Apple will sue it over its Harmony technology that 'breaks' iTunes' FairPlay DRM to allow its music to play on the iPod. They acknowledged in an SEC filing that a lawsuit from Apple would potentially be very damaging to the company's bottom line, as it accepts that a court might not agree that the reverse-engineering is legal."

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264 comments

Apple. (-1, Offtopic)

Blarrrg (907169) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306019)

Banana.

wow.... (3, Funny)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306022)

is this the first time I'll be rooting FOR Real?

(not to spite apple, but to support reverse engineering of course!)

Re:wow.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306103)

lol what?

Re:wow.... (-1, Offtopic)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306205)

Ha ha. Real funny. ;-)

Re:wow.... (5, Informative)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306251)

is this the first time I'll be rooting FOR Real?

Neither side is acting in particularly good faith on this issue.

BUT, before all of Slashdot flies off the handle on this "story", I think it's worth pointing out that this is an SEC filing, and it is every company's responsibility, in fact under the law, to state all possibilities that may negatively affect a business, however remote those possibilities may be. I don't think it's any secret to anybody that Apple could sue Real, and that there is at least a chance that Apple would win (because you just never know what can happen in the courts). Given that, Real must disclose this information to investors.

The news here seems to be that Real is "admitting" to something that seems to be common sense. But Real has to admit that they're at risk of a lawsuit, and that there's a chance that they would lose - to do otherwise would be fraud. It would be withholding information in order that people would continue buying their stock.

If you are not used to reading these SEC filings, even the healthiest of companies can seem to be in pretty dire straits once you get to the "risks" section. These are worst-case scenarios, presented basically to cover the company's ass from class action lawsuits and SEC investigations should the unthinkable happen. That doesn't mean anything listed as a risk will happen, or even has a good chance of happening. It's kind of the same as putting a warning label on a 9 volt battery that says "warning! eating this battery may cause injury!" I mean, duh. But they have to put that label on there or you just know that one idiot who eats that battery and gets sick is going to sue.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306023)

zing

Reverse-engineering (2, Interesting)

Valiss (463641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306027)

Is reverse-engineering software necessarily illegal? Has a precedent been set in the software world that would apply to this? Is there a lawyer in the house (or a law student with too much time)?

Re:Reverse-engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306140)

No, just plenty of high school students with too much time who think Groklaw is an online law library.

Re:Reverse-engineering (4, Informative)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306183)

Is reverse-engineering software necessarily illegal?
No, it isn't. The story submitter is confused. The last line of the summary should have read something like:
... as it accepts that a court might find that Real violated the DMCA.
I.e., Real cracked the DRM. How they did it is irrelevant be it reverse-engineering or reading tea leaves.

Re:Reverse-engineering (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306245)

Yes. This is a DMCA issue, not a reverse-engineering issue.

For Real's actions to be legal under the DMCA, don't they need Library of Congress permission or something like that?

Re:Reverse-engineering (2, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306346)

Have real really broken DRM i.e. all files are clean, or have they just implemented the same DRM in a different way? If your still leaving exactly the same restrictions that were there in the firstplace then your not providing software to crack anything. I should imagine this would make a huge difference to a possible DMCA violation.

Re:Reverse-engineering (2, Insightful)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306221)

Is reverse-engineering software necessarily illegal?

I doubt it, since SAMBA, linux's NTFS support, countless device drivers and many other hacking efforts have involved reverse engineering software. Those projects still thrive, so either corporate lawyers are being nice (hah!), or it's completely legal.

Re:Reverse-engineering (4, Informative)

slashjames (789070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306267)

The courts recently ruled that reverse-engineering hardware (Lexmark printer catridges, garage door openers) is legal and the DMCA doesn't apply for purposes of interopability. If you approach the potential case of Real getting sued by Apple about Rhapsody, it's the same concept: reverse engineering software (vs hardware) for purposes of interopability. Should be cut-and-dried, but who knows which way the courts will go.

Re:Reverse-engineering (1)

Yoje (140707) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306310)

Is reverse-engineering software necessarily illegal? Has a precedent been set in the software world that would apply to this?

Well, the Nintendo vs Tengen case pops to mind (pretty similar actually), where the Atari/Tengen reversed-engineered the lock-out chip so they wouldn't have to be limited by Nintendo's strict release rules.

It was found out though that it wasn't pure reverse-engineering, but they lied to the patent office to get the details on the Nintendo chip, so they got sued for copyright infringement and breech of contract (since they were still making games). Without those two factors, it might have been less likely to go in Nintendo's way.

Re:Reverse-engineering (2, Informative)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306318)

There's a legal process called Abstraction, [google.co.uk]
Filtration, Comparison that happens when someone claims that reverse engineering violates copyright.

The process is basically as follows:

For a copyright violation someone must have copied to code, so the source code is the only thing that relates to reverse-engineering and copyright.

First of all all trivial bits of the code are ignored
The two code bases are then checked for common areas of code.
Then the code in the common areas that is their due to necessisity is removed.
and the code that's left is used as the basis of the copyright infringement.

It's also a good argument for GPL not being able to prevent dynamic runtime linking. (Since GPL is based on copyright)

Boobies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306029)

I Like Boobies

Re:Boobies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306138)

Me too boobies are boobgreaet

Marketing Speak (5, Funny)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306032)

Harmony brings discord, Fair Play accused of playing unfair. We're adrift in a sea of marketing.

-Peter

Sounds Like (1)

csmacd (221163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306351)

Sounds like they're channeling Orwell. War is peace. Love is hate.

Idiots... (0, Troll)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306037)

Well why don't you just annouce it on Slashdot, and maybe Apple won't hear!

Re:Idiots... (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306102)

Its in a SEC filing and has been on other news websites, they didn't just learn about it here.

Re:Idiots... like you (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306236)

Yes, you flaming fucknugget. It is a good thing because everyone knows that the only viable source of news for apple is going to be /.

I bet your mother is proud of you, being such a flaming fucktard of course. I can't tell if this is a joke or not, but I doubt it.

Come on modpointtotingmotherfuckers. This is a troll!! M$

Why the DMCA sucks so badly (5, Interesting)

El Cubano (631386) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306040)

as it accepts that a court might not agree that the reverse-engineering is legal.

Real makes a competing product. They want to be able to interoperate with the songs sold on iTunes. This should be an open and shut case. I cringe to think what sort of legal wrangling will go on.

I know that Real is no great champion, but we should support them if there is a possibility it will help to preserve what little bit of fair use we still have left.

Re:Why the DMCA sucks so badly (1)

One Louder (595430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306134)

Real *can* interoperate with iPods and iTunes.

Apple isn't preventing interoperation - you're still welcome to publish music as MP3s, and iPods will work fine with them.

Don't want to do that? Tough shit - it's your choice to publish using DRM, and Apple has no obligation to support you.

Don't they see the hypocricy of complaining that somebody else's DRM is preventing you from applying your own DRM?

Re:Why the DMCA sucks so badly (1)

shotfeel (235240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306206)

Exactly. IIRC what Harmony does is wrap songs downloaded from Real's online music service in Fairplay DRM. They do that so you can play songs purchased from Real on an iPod and they can still enforce their DRM scheme.

As you said, its not like an iPod can't play non-DRM'd audio (other than wma and ogg vorbis).

Re:Why the DMCA sucks so badly (1)

saider (177166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306220)

Don't want to do that? Tough shit - it's your choice to publish using DRM, and Apple has no obligation to support you.

Unfortuneately, nobody will license Real any music if they are going to put it in an unsecured format. Real is making a competing product (their DRM scheme) and they should be allowed to reverse engineer FairPlay to interoperate the #1 music device on the planet.

Apple does not have to support them or do anything. But they also cannot prevent someone from doing some clean reverse engineering.

In the end, this will mean more songs out there, which will hopefully sell more iPods. Remember, iTunes is all about selling iPods.

Re:Why the DMCA sucks so badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306313)

Apple doesn't have to support anything. Real is providing the support so their DRMed music will use the DRM scheme used by the iPod.

Re:Why the DMCA sucks so badly (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306314)

Real makes a competing product. They want to be able to interoperate with the songs sold on iTunes. This should be an open and shut case.

First, Real announced this to the press in order to get free press because they are in danger of disappearing from the public consciousness. It is marketing. Next there is basically no doubt that the reverse engineering itself is legal, their statements to the contrary are FUD. Where they are on very shaky legal ground is by including technology hidden in music files that uses another company's servers without authorization from that company, without informing the individual user whose machine is connecting, in violation of that user's licensing agreement with Apple, and doing so for profit.

This falls afoul of any number of recent anti-cracking laws, some of which carry stiff criminal penalties. So far Apple has taken the high ground and neither cut off any users for violating their licenses, nor taken Real to court. All they have done was made statements that they certainly weren't going to insure it kept working and ignored them. If Real's piggybacking ever becomes a serious amount of bandwidth expect Apple to not only shut them down with technology, but also sue for reparations and to get a court order to stop the behavior.

You know.. (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306043)

I wouldn't mind if Real had to keep low for a while or even got shut out of business after what they've been like the past few years...



insert funnies here
But then I'll just be like the rest of slashdot and say Go Apple!
I must calculate these moves carefully....
GO GOOGLE!

Re:You know.. (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306137)

Seems the slashdot standpoint is for Real now...

Curses

If Real is so worried... (1, Flamebait)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306044)

...about a lawsuit from Apple, and if such a lawsuit would so dramatically affect their bottom line, why did they go ahead and break the DRM in the first place?

Can't they find another way to make money?

Re:If Real is so worried... (2, Insightful)

wankledot (712148) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306123)

Because (believe it or not) Real wants to provide something for its customers. They want to sell songs, and they want to make them work with the iPod, since there are tons of iPods out there. By supporting a popular product, they expect to sell more songs. QED. (And they should be able to, IMO, and even according to the law. This type of reverse engineering is specifically protected by the DMCA.)

"Can't they find another way to make money?"

Same could be said for Apple. Can't they make money from the iPods and be happy? No company should be kept from selling something legally simply because the competition doesn't want them to.

Re:If Real is so worried... (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306241)

Premise:
Because (believe it or not) Real wants to provide something for its customers.
Argument to support premise:
They want to sell songs, and they want to make them work with the iPod, since there are tons of iPods out there. By supporting a popular product, they expect to sell more songs.
The argument you gave has to do with Real selling songs and making money. It says nothing about their customers. Unless Real (or you) can show that they've been petitioned by lots of people pleading with them to make songs bought from their store work on the iPod, there's no evidence that Real isn't simply trying to be merely opportunistic and tap in on the money from a large market.

Re:If Real is so worried... (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306338)

It's implicit in the argument. If people purchase a Real product over an iPod, they've delivered something for a customer.

Of course Real is being opportunistic and trying to tap in on the money from a large market. That's how one runs a buissness.

They do make money another way... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306146)


They inundate you with ads. Want to access their pages? Ads. Want to see a video or clip? Well, first you get a page with more ads then the actual link. Click the link, get an ad. At the end of the clip? Another ad. Flip to another page, it's ads galore.

One must wonder, with all of their touted subscribers, why do they focus more on selling ad space than actually making some for the consumer?

Not to get offtopic, but really: what is Real's actual relevance in the market today?

Re:They do make money another way... (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306295)

They inundate you with ads.
And for that, I'd love to see them go down in flames.

Re:If Real is so worried... (1)

geekee (591277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306159)

" ...about a lawsuit from Apple, and if such a lawsuit would so dramatically affect their bottom line, why did they go ahead and break the DRM in the first place?

Can't they find another way to make money?"

That's like telling someone wanting to make an Office suite compatible with MS Office to find another way to make money instead of reverse engineering the .doc, .xls, .ppt formats.

Re:If Real is so worried... (1)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306273)

That's like telling someone wanting to make an Office suite compatible with MS Office to find another way to make money instead of reverse engineering the .doc, .xls, .ppt formats
No it isn't because reverse-engineering MS Office formats doesn't break the law since MS Office formats aren't (yet) encrypted. No encryption to break, no DMCA violation.

doesn't mean much (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306045)

The SEC filings are very much a CYA activity. If anything bad happens to a company, and you didn't list it and you knew about it, that's considered a fraudulent cover-up. You can still get sued if you warned people about a problem, but you can get used worse if you didn't.

So don't make much of this disclosure. Any non-zero risk will be listed.
-russ

Real (5, Funny)

oudzeeman (684485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306051)

Well, I think that Appl...BUFFERING [12%]...

Re:Real (1)

Valiss (463641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306074)

Man I wish I had mod points! Thanks for making me laugh.

Re:Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306242)

you have a very low standard for "funny."

hahaha (1)

carguy84 (897052) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306255)

truly hilarious

Don't get too worked up (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306055)

This is pretty standard language for a 10Q, basically you outline all your risks, and you try to be comprehensive, so that, if you do end up losing a court case around Harmony, shareholders don't coming running, screaming that they weren't informed about the risks.

No no no, it was *sarcastic* (1)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306058)

"Oh yeah, we're real worried about an Apple lawsuit."

Re:No no no, it was *sarcastic* (2, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306257)

Or maybe, "We're Real: Worried about an Apple lawsuit!"

I'd be real worried, too. (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306061)

"Nothing to hear for you, see? Please move along."
- SJ-421, Reality Field Manipulation Detachment

Rightfully So (1, Interesting)

Kanpai (713697) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306064)

It seems to me that now that apple's getting a real taste of success and getting more and more attention from people who normally wouldn't give a shit that now they're determined to hold onto it as hard as they can, and frivilous lawsutis seem to be one of their methods. Nor do i think that Real has a chance with this - it's APPLE's mp3 player, they reserve teh right to control what technology one can play on it. I'm all for real on this one, but i think they may be getting in over their heads.

Re:Rightfully So (1)

chez69 (135760) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306112)

what happens when I buy it? should apple tell me what I can do with it? hell no. according to your logic, If I buy a sony TV, the movies sony sells should be the only movies I can watch on it

Re:Rightfully So (1)

shawnce (146129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306197)

If Sony sold such a TV then yes, they could legally and technically attempt to make it only play their movies. Of course they would have to tell you about the products features up front.

Re:Rightfully So (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306156)

Um...no they don't? They can before sale, but after I buy it, it's mine, and I control what is played on it. If I want to make it work with an 8-track, that's my perogative. If I want it to double as a miniature lawmower (don't ask how), I'll fucking do it. Why? Because it is mine. That's what happens when you buy things.

Re:Rightfully So... Microsoft Too? (1)

Myriad (89793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306294)

It seems to me that now that Microsoft's getting a real taste of success and getting more and more attention from people who normally wouldn't give a shit that now they're determined to hold onto it as hard as they can, and frivilous lawsutis seem to be one of their methods. Nor do i think that FOSS has a chance with this - it's their OS, they reserve teh right to control what technology one can play on it. I'm all for FOSS on this one, but i think they may be getting in over their heads.

Hmmmmm.... careful, that knife cuts both ways you know.

Business as usual. (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306071)

I guess what Real will have to decide is whether potential sales will be worth the risk of a lawsuit. It's a risk/reward situation, just like any other business decision.

Public image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306079)

..And even though I think reverse engineering is good and fine, I might find my self rooting for apple simply because real has done nothing but annoy me for as long as I've known about the company.

For what it's worth.

Re:Public image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306250)

And what has apple done for you worth throwing away your rights to fair use?

Because they sure as fuck have never done anything for me.

Does anyone know... (1)

Michael_Munks (869444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306080)

What law makes reverse engineering illegal? Does it break a patent? Or violate DMCA? ? Thanks.

How about... (1)

concept10 (877921) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306087)

...breaking Real's technology to remove the consistent malware that is throught Real Player. (I know it has been done, some one has built Real Player without the cruft.)

I don't understand this from the perspective that Real wouldn't like it if other companies are trying to use thier software other than what it is intended for. They just want some of Apple's marketshare and they will cry and moan until they accomplish this.

We're worried (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306095)

Dear SEC: "We're worried that the shot we fired across their bow will be interpreted the wrong way."

What? This is a page out of the SCO play-book? Rambus play-book?

"Hello, Bernie Ebbers? You busy? We'd like some ideas on how to run our business."

Just a thought (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306106)

Couldn't someone make a utility that just converts DRMed files to mp3 on the fly as they're being transferred to an iPod (using a custom music store to iPod applet)? Sure users could use it to get around DRM, but that's not hard with ANY format for people who are willing to go around the steps in the manual.

Frankly I'm surprised gtkpod can't do this with ogg yet.

and Apple should be worried about the Beatles (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306107)


Breaking 20 year old contracts [out-law.com] binding you not to get involved in music won't be good for the bottom line either

but hey lawsuits is what America likes doing !, the legal industry is the biggest cash contributers in the world to American politics [opensecrets.org] so nothing is going to change until everyone is either dead or in court

see you in court or hell !

Re:and Apple should be worried about the Beatles (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306163)

Next up, it's Apple vs. Apple! Who will win? Be sure to tune in for our live coverage, available on iTunes for only 99/session!

Re:and Apple should be worried about the Beatles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306198)

Simply put, boo fucking hoo. I'm tired of hearing about the stupid Beatles' label and their pointless problems with Apple.

Real is a Linux hero. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306125)

When Apple and Microsoft failed to support Linux, Real did.

Real has always treated Linux seriously.

Well, I'm confused.. (1)

Cujo (19106) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306129)

I play non-DRM'ed mp3s on my iPod mini all the time. What am I missing?

Re:Well, I'm confused.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306218)

Well, I think Real wanted to sell DRM'ed files that would work with the iPod, rather than just mp3's since, of course, they aren't write-protected.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

Re:Well, I'm confused.. (1)

Cujo (19106) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306259)

I see. That makes sense.

I can also see why Apple would object (takes business away from ITMS), but it could be construed as unfairly stifling competition as well.

Re:Well, I'm confused.. (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306240)

I play non-DRM'ed mp3s on my iPod mini all the time. What am I missing?

According to Real, the ability to play a different form of DRM'd files on the iPod while still keeping it DRM'd.

Non-DRM'd mp3s, as you point out, will just play fine.

These days... (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306135)

It seems like a lot of people are "real worried about Apple lawsuits."

If it comes to a lawsuit... (2, Interesting)

It doesn't come easy (695416) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306139)

On one hand, a lawsuit would be helpful in testing the DMCA's reverse engineering rules for their legality in a manner that would not involve a flame war of company against pirate, since the case would be between two well established businesses.

On the other hand, Apple may be afraid to test these waters because if they lose, every hacker and cracker on the planet will get free reign to develop their own reverse engineering project...

They aren't "worried" (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306141)

Corporations don't make statements like this without an ulterior motive. This is Real's way of calling Apple out. Dropping a glove at their feet, so to speak.

Re:They aren't "worried" (1)

FLAGGR (800770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306336)

Uhm, no it isn't. It's an SEC filing. They legally have to state risks for their shareholders, to avoid class action lawsuits. SEC filings from every company are always doom-and-gloom.

mandatory disclosure (1)

sum.zero (807087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306151)

in sec filings you have to list all the potential harms to your business, even if you believe that there is virtually zero chance of it actually happening.

don't be too alarmed about this.

sum.zero

real (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306157)

when i was on windows, i hated real purely for the fact that they felt the need to keep a background process open on my computer even when their application wasn't launched, which for a media player i found a bit cheeky (i don't think it does on linux, but can't check now as i have it open anyway, correct me if i'm wrong) . however, if it wasn't for the fact that they have a linux version, there would be a whole lot of stuff on the net i wouoldn't get to see, mainly the radio [bbc.co.uk] which is far better than the normal airways because i can cut out chart shows and the like. i know that a lot of people go "grah real media format sucks, kill it" and if thats the case then maybe so, i don't know the finer technical viewpoints, but the one that really needs to be given the chop is windows media. i know there are workarounds for codecs for them and such, but it's a royal pain in the arse. at least real is available on all formats. all streaming sites please, use anything other than wmv.

The purpose of the DMCA... (1, Redundant)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306161)

Isn't the purpose of the DMCA to protected copyrighted materials? How does Real allowing the iPod to play MORE DRM material violate the DMCA?

I realize that Apple's business model is to get people to buy iPods and use iTunes. But is the purpose of government really to protect business models?

Re:The purpose of the DMCA... (1)

line.at.infinity (707997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306312)

That's what I was thinking too.

If Real circumvented measures taken to protect copyrighted content, then they are probably violating the DMCA. If what they were circumventing wasn't really there for protecting copyright in the first place but to prevent interoperability, then Real might not be guilty.

Re:The purpose of the DMCA... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306322)

Isn't the purpose of the DMCA to protected copyrighted materials? How does Real allowing the iPod to play MORE DRM material violate the DMCA?

Because, in order to get the iPod to play Real's DRM'd stuff, they had to circumvent Apple's DRM, figure out how it works, and then make their stuff work on Apple.

So you break a lock (metaphorically) so you can install your own lock I think is the gist of the possible argument.

Re:The purpose of the DMCA... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306337)

But they are not circumventing Apple's DRM to get to copyrighted content. Thus, there is no DMCA violation.

Concerns You WON'T Find in Real's 10Q... (4, Funny)

Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306180)

...even though you should.

  • Every single computer user in the world hates our software. This could negatively impact our profits.
  • ...buffering...buffering...buffering...
  • At night our engineers have recurring nightmares of carniverous iPod's hunting them down and tearing out their livers. This has harmed employee morale.
  • ...buffering...buffering...buffering...
  • Every full moon, our Board of Director's is required to pledge fealty to Bill Gates and sacrafice a yak to him. Should we be unable to find a yak one month, Microsoft would be able to crush us beneath their little toes.
  • ...buffering...buffering...buffering...
  • This form 10Q contains spyware. For a 10Q that doesn't contain spyware, click HERE.
  • Did I say "click HERE"? Hahaha, actually I meant click HERE.
  • No, HERE
  • ...buffering...buffering...buffering...

- Crow T. Trollbot

Real worried? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306188)

Who's real worried? I'm certainly not worried in the slightest.

Apple's evil just like the rest of them (1)

Enoch Lockwood (889602) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306193)

Ahahaha! Take that you Apple zealots. How does it feel to wake up and realize that the company you've been rooting for is just as evil as Micro$oft?

I've said it before and I'm saying it again. The only good software producer is the one that signs to the GPL and Free Software revolution.

Plan: (2, Funny)

iamjoltman (883526) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306214)

1. Announce could get sued by Apple
2. ???
3. Profit!(?)

Where are the Apple Astroturfers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306219)

Where are you guys? Is Apple marketing still working on the proper response? Little hold up in the focus group? Still trying to finesse the "freedom" and "DRM" issues?

unbreakable AND irreparable... (1)

moviepig.com (745183) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306235)

...Real is very worried that ... a court might not agree that the reverse-engineering [Apple's DRM-encryption] is legal."

Would this imply that, even if I lose my housekey, I'm not allowed to pick the lock? And, would it further suggest that, when I bought the lock, part of what I paid for was the vendor's assurance that they'd sue any crook who picked it? Seems like that'd be a lock in name only. Guess I could post a sign saying, "Warning: Premises protected by First Circuit Court of Appeals"...

Oh boohoo (5, Insightful)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306239)

Anyone remember Streambox? [uh.edu]

I don't think Real was whining about the DMCA then.

Reverse Engineering (2, Informative)

merkhet (829234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306244)

The problem at issue here is not really the reverse engineering. This is somewhat different than having someone figure out the secret forumla to Coca-cola and reproducing it for their own profit. The DRM that they are breaking is merely a method of allowing for the file to play on an iPod. It might be a little more analogous to getting a locksmith to copy a key for you. The physical act of copying the key or having possession of the copied key may not be illegal but the act of using the key to enter into another person's house might be... The real question is whether or not Apple has the right to enforce the types of files that it allows on its iPods. (I think that they do, but then again, I'm not comfortable with the idea that people can tell me what I can and cannot do with my own hardware...)

Taunting Apple? (1)

sapgau (413511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306252)

The question for Real's investors is if doing this is worth the risk.

It doesn't sound very bright. They're trying to sneak in their product as a competitor's clone, they feel there might be trouble and carry on anyways?

What happened to relying on their own technology and competing at that level? Maybe LICENSING apple's technology? I really wonder if this unnecessary risk taking is part of Real's corporate culture.

:-/

Re:Taunting Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306297)

I'd imagine behind the scenes at Real and Apple, there are probably ongoing negotiations with licensing. And the fact that Real is notifying that to the SEC, that those negotiations are not going well.

Re:Taunting Apple? (1)

nutshell42 (557890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306328)

Maybe LICENSING apple's technology?

This is *Apple* we're talking about. Do you really think that if they handed out licenses we wouldn't have seen official iPod-compatible shops (well apart from iTMS) by now?

Which begs the question (1)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306256)

... So why are they doing it?

They acknowledged in an SEC filing that a lawsuit from Apple would potentially be very damaging to the companies bottom line, as it accepts that a court might not agree that the reverse-engineering is legal.

That statement alone's damaging IMHO, as now when they continue pushing this technology, Apple can come back in a year (when it might actually be turning some form of profit for them) and sue saying "You clearly understood that this was wrong over a year ago, and yet you continued to break ther law for your own gains".

I mean, WTF?? That's a business plan?

Easy solution: Countersuit! (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306262)

The moment Apple files a lawsuit, countersuit for monopoly - settle in court, and everyone happy.

Ta-da!

He was such a nice boy... (1)

egriebel (177065) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306283)

Yeah, I can really sympathize with those Real guys. I feel bad for them they're such good sports, and likeable too! Weren't they the original "do no evil" people? ]:-)

Apple vs Real (2, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306285)

I consider what both companies are doing as wrong, so I don't know who to root for.

On one hand, Real is making it easy and accessible to its customers to break Apple's proprietary codec. Apple spent time and money to make the files only play on their players, and Real is trying to use the files without permission. Oh, and I'm still pissed about that who bloated Real Player thing :)

On the other hand, what Apple is doing is very akin to something that M$FT would do. They have a virtual monopoly on music players and online music downloads (to avoid starting an obvious argument, I will stress that I know what Apple has is not an actual monopoly, but imo it basically is. There are alternatives, but many people do not know this.) What Apple is doing is unfairly using this monopoly to sustain the monopoly, something MSFT is notorious for. If I buy a song from iTunes, I should be able to use it on any player. This is a basic sentiment of slashdot - freely using what is yours. Your dollar spent on that song should give you a license to use it however you want to, not a license to go out and buy a 300 dollar iPod just to listen to it.

I think Apple will win this fight and Real was foolish to get into it. Reminds me of MP3.com's downfall.

Breaking News: Apple Sues Real (1)

aldheorte (162967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306287)

Breaking news: Apple will sue it over its Harmony technology that 'breaks' iTunes' FairPlay DRM to allow its music to play on the iPod. Apple points out that, as reported on a popular site called Slashdot, Real acknowledged in an SEC filing that a lawsuit from Apple would potentially be very damaging to the companies [sic] bottom line, as it accepts that a court might not agree that the reverse-engineering is legal.

Re:Breaking News: Apple Sues Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306319)

And you read this where?

Here's why Apple is right to sue (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306288)

Because Apple is cool and must protect its coolness. They invented the revolution that is podcasting, and nothing like it would have ever happened without Apple and they have every right to podsue Real into podbankruptcy.

Clean room implementation (1)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306306)

As long as it is a clean room design [wikipedia.org] , it should be legal for Real. Courts may think otherwise though.

Rinse, lather, and repeat (1, Troll)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306323)

So I know might risk the savage wrath of the Slashgods here, but I really can't find myself feeling sorry for Real. Reverse engineering is wrong if you're just trying to copy off the other guy - innovate and make something better than the other guy for a change.

Apple built a product (iTunes + iPod) that a lot of consumers love (marketshare speaks much louder than OGG support, open-ness, etc.), and Real wants a piece of that because very few are using their service. Why is it that we think just because it involves a computer or teh intarweb that it should all be fair game (or fair play, to pull a pun)?

If I create a product that is easier to use, looks good, and appeals to more consumers than everyone else's product, why should I have to share? I mean, if in the mean time I was running around telling the music companies that they could only use my service or could get some sort of incentive to not allow other services (i.e., the allegations behind much of the Wintel monopoly) that'd be one thing, but it appears that nothing of that sort happened.

Apple sets a great example IMHO of how a tech company should do things. No, they aren't always the fastest, most compatible, free software and open source (two things I happen to like) loving people, but when people (consumers) have a choice, they choose iPod in a very large landslide. Don't try to beat Apple by making them open FairPlay, or support more non-DRMed standards on the iPod, or whatever. Beat them by doing something better. Remember, iPod was a relatively late comer to the digital music scene, and yet it did things so much better than everyone else it quickly took a huge lead.

If only more companies would try to serve their markets by simply doing things better the other guys, not trying to copy or out-price or out-market them (though admittedly, Apple has fallen for this in the past), maybe we'd have more innovation and progress in technology these days instead of trying to figure which DRM scheme will make the most content providers happy and make the decision for the next gen DVD wars. I want to do with my music whatever I want like any of you, but I (and millions of others) don't mind being a little restricted if it means I get to use a great product. Consumers still drive this economy more than companies - if we don't like what they offer, don't buy it.

Apple is isolating itself... (1)

stanleypane (729903) | more than 8 years ago | (#13306332)

It would seem to me that apple is trying to make technology that will only play music which is geared for it's device. The only thing that's new here is the fact that the music is being distributed in a digital format with a DRM.

It would appear to me that while Apple is ahead of the game right now, in the long run they are going to isolate themselves from the market in the same manner Microsoft did with WMA files and the likes. I just don't understand why everyone rally's behind Apple with their iPod and the fact that people are forced to use iTune's. I like Apple's product line, but it will be a cold day in hell before I buy an iPod.

typical response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13306335)

Ooohh!! Its APPAL!!! DMCA is good!!! It's used for APPAL!!

Notwithstanding all the reverse engineering that has been done for Linux/BSD/Samba & other OSS favorites.... /. jerks
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