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iPod Tax Causes Sour Apples

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the looking-for-pennies-under-the-couch-cushions dept.

Media (Apple) 388

An anonymous reader writes "Apple Computer is stepping up its push to get iPod accessory makers to pay for the right to connect to the popular music player." From the article: "It's not clear what means Apple might employ if companies don't go along, as Apple declined to comment on that. Though many manufacturers have signed up for the program so far, some have complained in private that it's too high a price. But for Apple, the move is a chance to profit further from the empire it has built on the iPod, given that the market for such add-ons is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year."

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And so it goes (3, Interesting)

denissmith (31123) | about 9 years ago | (#13819447)

And so another company that had an emerging monopoly blows all of its accumulated goodwill and demonstrates why monopolies are ALWAYS bad. And, no, there is no such thing as a NATURAL monopoly. Nature abhors monopolies.

Re:And so it goes (4, Interesting)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | about 9 years ago | (#13819467)

ALCOA kept aluminum prices below market level so that the consumer benefitted. Granted this kept anybody from having the ability to enter the market but it provided the best benefit to the consumer.

Re:And so it goes (1)

bypedd (922626) | about 9 years ago | (#13819469)

And you know there's only going to be so many second-chances before Apple blows it permanently and people start realizing that other companies make mp3 players, too.

Re:And so it goes (0)

ericdano (113424) | about 9 years ago | (#13819679)

Oh please. Have you perhaps thought that maybe it's a developer's license? To maybe make sure that all those iPod gadgets work on the iPod?

Re:And so it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819493)

Crap like this is nothing new for Apple. I think in reality it has been a very good thing that their market share in other parts of the electronic industry has been so small. Otherwise, we'd be seeing this all the time.

Re:And so it goes (4, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 9 years ago | (#13819515)

"Nature abhors monopolies"

Au contraire, mon frere. Over time, any given ecological niche will be dominated by one species only. You only find multiple species occupying a niche when that niche changes somehow.

Re:And so it goes (1)

nharmon (97591) | about 9 years ago | (#13819600)

Absolute power corrupts absolutely,.... and corruption changes niches. :)

Re:And so it goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819807)

And yet another "Apple can do no wrong" apologist steps up to the plate.

Were this Microsoft, you'd no doubt be shrieking along with the rest of Slashdot about how evil they are. But it's Apple, so hey...gotta make up excuses.

No monopoly (5, Insightful)

maynard (3337) | about 9 years ago | (#13819538)

You will know when Apple has gained monopoly marketshare when they leverage MacOS X on Intel by forcing iPod users to drop Windows. Somehow, I think Apple demanding certain manufacturing agreements with industry players doesn't quite measure up to a "portable mp3 music player" monopoly. --M

Nature LOVES monopolies (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819714)

Nature abhors monopolies.

How can you say that, look around you!

- How many websites compete with /.?
- Humans have a monopoly as far as higher order species.
- The Earth has a heck of a monopoly on liveable planets (at least in our solar system, at least as far as we can tell)
- Almost all useable light that shines on the Earth and helps to create/maintain life comes from a single source
- Much of what is animalistic instinct is to try to attain a monopoly at any stratum.

Re:And so it goes (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | about 9 years ago | (#13819715)

Nature abhors monopolies.

If that were true, there would be no reason to have anti-monopoly laws. Any pure capitalistic system will eventually trend toward monopolies. We've seen it happen many times in this country alone. It then takes intervention from a sufficiently powerful outside source (government) to return the market to a state of competition.

Re:And so it goes (1)

deesine (722173) | about 9 years ago | (#13819796)

I must have missed the event; when did Apple become a monopoly?

Oh, I read corrected; Apple is an "emerging" monopoly.

I can't count the number of articles here on /. where we're reminded that Apple ONLY has about 3% market share, and how competetive the iRiver and Archos are to the iPod.

Is it possible, that your anti-monopolistic zeal and judicious HYPERBOLE have clouded your business acumen?

Its called "Geek Capital" (4, Funny)

MarkGriz (520778) | about 9 years ago | (#13819816)

"Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital with the iPod, geek capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style" -- Steve Jobs

   

What's all the fuss (5, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | about 9 years ago | (#13819457)

If you want to say "Made for iPod", pay the money. If you don't, then say something else.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | about 9 years ago | (#13819565)

Reminds me of the Linux Trademark issue , though far more commercial .

Re:What's all the fuss (3, Informative)

noisymime (816237) | about 9 years ago | (#13819583)

Since when does saying "Made for iPod" mean that you have to pay dues to Apple? If I make an aftermarket product for a particular car I don't have to pay a license to the original manufacturer. In fact in the automobile industry you can even make OEM spec replacement parts without having to pay a license.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

ifwm (687373) | about 9 years ago | (#13819664)

"Since when does saying "Made for iPod" mean that you have to pay dues to Apple?"

I believe that "iPod" is trademarked.

Corrolary (1)

temojen (678985) | about 9 years ago | (#13819585)

Don't say "made for iPod" if your product isn't. It limits your market. Just about any sound player/recorder can use a stereo lapel mic, external speakers, etc.

Re:Corrolary (1)

pomo monster (873962) | about 9 years ago | (#13819743)

If you're looking at two products side by side to use with your iPod, and one of them says "3/8 inch audio connector for use with any compatible audio device," and the other says "made for iPod," which are you gonna pick? Well, I dunno about you, but most people will do the safe thing and buy the one they know, based on the slogan alone, was designed to work with their music player.

Also, "made for iPod" implies it's going to match in color, style, simplicity, elegance, and everything else for which you bought your iPod. "3/8 inch blah blah blah" pretty much guarantees the exact opposite.

Re:Corrolary (1)

CreatureComfort (741652) | about 9 years ago | (#13819836)


Which is exactly why, if you want that market advantage, you should have to pay for the licensing fee from Apple.

Apple spends tens of dollars a year in hyping the iPod label. If you expect to benefit from that, despite the fact that your product may-or-may-not 1)work perfectly well with non-iPod equipment, 2)work better than non-labelled components, then you should expect to pay.

Re:What's all the fuss (4, Insightful)

n.wegner (613340) | about 9 years ago | (#13819587)

>If you want to say "Made for iPod", pay the money.

IANAL, but that doesn't seem like a good idea in a free market. A company named NA should be safe with something like: ...
Compatible with Apple's iPod* ...
*Apple, iPod are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc
NA is not associated with Apple Computer, Inc

Re:What's all the fuss (5, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | about 9 years ago | (#13819643)

Of course. But if you want to use Apple's logo, and Apple's engineering support, and sell through Apple's web site, I think you shouldn't be surprised if Apple wants a cut.

You're free to not give it, and they're free to not help you. No harm, no foul.

Re:What's all the fuss (2, Insightful)

Jumperalex (185007) | about 9 years ago | (#13819785)

Exactly. by the logic of the previous poster, and Apple, that means FRAM should have to pay [instert name of EVERY car manufacturer] for the right to sell an oil filter that says "fits ..." And yes I know the filter box doesn't say that but their fitment guide does.

Or Energizer comcorder batteries that say they fit so and so's camcorder. Should they have to pay a fee to say "Fits Panasonic" Cell phone batteries, vacume cleaner bags, air filter replacments, car stereo adaptor kits, car stereo speakers, etc

There is no argument, legal or economic, that justifies the concept that a company should have to pay a royalty for making a product and marketing it as "compatibale with ..." any other product unless it required the use of some protected IP or Trademark.

I am ignoring the situations, like the inkjet and garage door opening folks, who create just such scenarios specifically to prevent the aftermarket in an effort to prevent competition.

So unless the company needed to utilize some Apple owned IP to produce their product Apple has no business asking or demanding royalty fees just because someone made a protective case cover that fits the iPod.

And those companies who signed up 1) should have a very pissed off share holders and 2) have royally screwed themselves and all other companies by setting a dangerous precedent.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

nharmon (97591) | about 9 years ago | (#13819589)

We're talking about a logo program, not simply saying something is "made for iPod". Stating that something is made to be compatible with Apple's iPod should not be construed as a violation of Apple's trademark.

Re:What's all the fuss (2, Interesting)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13819614)

Part of the fuss may be that "made for iPod", even though it uses a trademarked name, could actually reasonably be construed as being purely descriptive in nature - that is, as a mere statement of fact ("this product is compatible with Apple's iPod"). Given that there is pretty much no way to state this fact without actually using the term "iPod", it's easy to see why companies aren't keen on paying for this.

Is there a trademark equivalent of fair use? If this was a copyright issue, this would probably fall under that, but I'm not sure if there is anything equivalent for trademarks. The only thing I can think of would be the freedom of speech guaranteed in the bill of rights - one could argue that freedom of speech is impinged upon when it's not possible to state a fact ("this product is compatible with Apple's iPod") without having to pay royalties for the use of the trademarked term.

But I certainly ANAL.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 9 years ago | (#13819655)

"Compatible with MP3 players from Apple, Dell, Creative, etc." would be good enough for accessories that aren't iPod-specific. Which is probably most of what's available.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | about 9 years ago | (#13819661)

Why?

Aftermarket auto accessories such as nose bras, antenna balls and spark plugs say e.g. "Fits Chevy Impala", and these parts are not necessarily approved by GM. Why is the iPod different?

How about adding a disclaimer:
iPod is a registered trademark of Apple Computer. This product is not approved by apple.

Re:What's all the fuss (2, Informative)

Buran (150348) | about 9 years ago | (#13819769)

It's not. I'm a VW buff and I mod my car. When buying aftermarket parts, you'll find that the sites that sell them have categories that you click on subesequently - make, then model, then things like body style (2/4 doors), engine type, etc. The site uses this to show you items that you can make use of.

The makes and models are always spelled out with no apparent problems that I've ever seen. Sometimes, there will be a disclaimer somewhere that says "Not affiliated with Volkswagen" or "These items are not manufactured by or warranted by Volkswagen" or something along those lines. However, because the items are made to fit specific vehicles, the sites have to use the names of the make, model, engines, etc., in order to be useful to you.

They do not use the VW logo as they aren't authorized to, which makes sense, but because they need to refer to the cars in the course of their business, they do so, and it's a necessary use.

An example would be Parts4vws.com Virtual World Parts [parts4vws.com] . (The company is named Virtual World, so they can't be drug into court for using "VW" in the domain name. Yes, I'm pretty sure it was designed that way, but it does protect them while allowing them to have a descriptive URL. There is no law that says that two companies in the same industry can't have the same abbreviation, and it's up to them to make sure they're differentiated from each other).

In other words, it's OK to say "Product X" if you're selling things made for Product X since you need to be able to describe your item and its design use to your buyers, but you can't use the product maker's logo or any manufacturer-designed or trademarked "made for product X" logos.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

CptTripps (196901) | about 9 years ago | (#13819762)

I don't think this is any different than getting a driver certified on XP. Some people do it...others don't.

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

Darius Jedburgh (920018) | about 9 years ago | (#13819781)

Umm...don't you think it's kinda annoying to make a product for the iPod but not be able to tell people that it's for the iPod?

Re:What's all the fuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819821)

Like "iPod made for this" ?

Re:What's all the fuss (1)

linumax (910946) | about 9 years ago | (#13819834)

If you want to say "Made for iPod", pay the money. If you don't, then say something else.
How about Made for Windows or Made for Palm or ...? Should they pay the owners of those platform too?!!

Just like RIAA proposed tax? (3, Insightful)

stevew (4845) | about 9 years ago | (#13819465)

Doesn't this sound EXACTLY like what Apple is dissing the RIAA for, i.e. trying to make more money off of the IPOD?

If Apple doesn't do the engineering for accessories or the manufacturing - I see NO reason they should receive the profits?!?

I have similar feelings about Apple paying RIAA.

Re:Just like RIAA proposed tax? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 9 years ago | (#13819528)

Of course if apple succeeds then the RIAA can now extend their content-tax to the the 3-rd party vendors too. "they are profiting off our content being served so they should pay the RIAA too".

Re:Just like RIAA proposed tax? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819634)

If Apple doesn't do the engineering for accessories or the manufacturing - I see NO reason they should receive the profits?!?
Are you asking me? How should I know if you see any reason or not?

Re:Just like RIAA proposed tax? (3, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | about 9 years ago | (#13819727)

Except for the fact that the RIAA already gets more than 70% of iTunes proceeds, you're absolutely right.

So, in other words, you're absolutely wrong.

Just patent white... (3, Funny)

Stradenko (160417) | about 9 years ago | (#13819466)

...When used with a portable music player, then for any third-party accessory to match the ipod, they'd have to license Apple's patent...charge extra for the right to use Apple's "White Power certified" trademark on their accessory.

No true ipod weenie would buy or use a non-matching accessory.

Re:Just patent white... (1)

Compuser (14899) | about 9 years ago | (#13819508)

White Power certified???
Is Cupertino like uh KKK country?

Re:Just patent white... (1)

pomo monster (873962) | about 9 years ago | (#13819575)

You gotta wonder. [gothamist.com]

(note: yes, it's all bullshit)

Re:Just patent white... (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | about 9 years ago | (#13819690)

...When used with a portable music player, then for any third-party accessory to match the ipod, they'd have to license Apple's patent...charge extra for the right to use Apple's "White Power certified" trademark on their accessory.
You may be joking (or maybe not), but keep in mind what Steve Jobbs said to the president of Sonos http://www.sonos.com/us/index.htm/ [sonos.com] said when he asked Jobbs what he thought of their music player. Jobbs said "I think you might be infringing on apple patents".

Apple isn't a noble, white horse riding advocate of personal freedoms and the exchange of ideas, they're a cutthroat corporation looking to make money. Were they otherwise, they'd have been bankrupt years ago.

So, Does this Make... (2, Funny)

IMarvinTPA (104941) | about 9 years ago | (#13819485)

So, Is MPAA to Apple as Apple is to add-on makers?

Or is Greedy generic enough to cover all the bases?

IMarv

Re:So, Does this Make... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819514)

"Greed, for lack of a better word, is Good" - Gordon Gecko

I don't see why... (5, Insightful)

jamesgamble (917138) | about 9 years ago | (#13819507)

...accessory manufacturers are complaining. The cell phone industry has been doing this for years. There will always be cheap knockoffs though, just take a look on EBay for that.

Re:I don't see why... (1)

gunpowda (825571) | about 9 years ago | (#13819753)

I don't see why......accessory manufacturers are complaining.

As so many companies (viz Griffin, iSkin, Belkin) seem to have made a killing out of this secondary market, I don't see why this is an issue at all - if they'd like to reassure the consumer about compatibility and tie themselves into the brand name, it's a fair requirement. I'd be tempted to agree with the parent poster.

First record companies, now apple? (2, Insightful)

deanj (519759) | about 9 years ago | (#13819509)

First record companies say that they want a cut of iPod sales, and Apple says "Oooooo, that's bad! Can't do that!"

Now they're turning around and telling add-on companies they want to do the same thing???

Geesh

Re:First record companies, now apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819703)

Maybe they expect to loose the fight to the RIAA and thus in generating this additional revenue stream maintain the same profit levels as they do now (i.e. if the RIAA can do it, so can we!).

uncomfortable (2, Insightful)

toQDuj (806112) | about 9 years ago | (#13819511)

With the swift turnaround of Jobs to support video iPods (but where's the content?) it is uncomfortable to see companies search for more money in such a way. What will be next?
I think this will make companies reconsider, that are looking to develop software or hardware for the mac.

If it's only money for analysis and approval of the item though, it wouldn't bother me that much though.

B.

Love/Hate (3, Funny)

steelshadow (586869) | about 9 years ago | (#13819512)

So wait, do we love or hate Apple today?

Depends. (1)

MuckSavage (658302) | about 9 years ago | (#13819543)

Depends on wether slashdotters just read the headline, or take time to read the article. I'm thinking it's not the latter.

Re:Love/Hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819639)

It depends on the cliche that you 'expose' with this post that you've made. You asshat.

Re:Love/Hate (0, Flamebait)

ryanvm (247662) | about 9 years ago | (#13819651)

So wait, do we love or hate Apple today?

You must be new here. These fuckers always love Apple.

That's business, people (0)

teutonic_leech (596265) | about 9 years ago | (#13819517)

Obviously Apple is taking risks and is spending bucks to position their iTunes/iPod infrastructure as a new media distribution network. You want to hook into that? Well, you're going to have to pay a price - of course! That's the nature of business - you take it while you can - and as much as possible while you're at it! There will always be companies complaining about exorbitant fees, and yes, it might cut out some of the smaller players, but unfortunately the world of business is not about fairness. The trick is to get in early and make a bundle being one of the first to leverage this emerging market. Just my 2 cents...

Re:That's business, people (1)

Lemental (719730) | about 9 years ago | (#13819734)

Nice spin.

Just add 10% to the final selling price (1)

digitaldc (879047) | about 9 years ago | (#13819519)

Problem solved!

If you want to take a bite out of the Apple, you better compensate the worm.

iPod tax, sales tax, land tax (2, Funny)

rob_squared (821479) | about 9 years ago | (#13819520)

I'm just waiting for the Tax tax, you know it's coming...

Re:iPod tax, sales tax, land tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819590)

A fine is a tax for doing bad.
A tax is a fine for doing good.

Re:iPod tax, sales tax, land tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819605)

Come to Canada. When you buy gas, there is a gas tax on it, and then a 7% sales tax that is calculated on the full final price per liter of gas, which includes the gas tax. Taxed tax. Voila.

Re:iPod tax, sales tax, land tax (1)

mirio (225059) | about 9 years ago | (#13819805)

Don't you guys also have your provential sales tax that gets taxed by the Feds?

Is this Atari or Nintendo? (5, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 9 years ago | (#13819526)

I may be wrong in my history, but if memory serves me correctly-
*takes a bite out of a yellow pepper*
- Atari (or was it Colecovision? It's been so long ago I can't remember) originally had a "no license fee" to their system. Which leads to an overabundance of very crappy games, which lead to death of the system.

When Nintendo had their NES system, if you wanted the "Gold Sticker" of quality, you had to go through Nintendo's process and give them a cut for the licensing. Which forged a company that is profitable even today.

So, is Apple being "teh evil" by enforcing a trademark license - if you want to use the words "Made for iPod" on your product, you pay the fee that lets them decide if your item is actually worth it. Or, you can go the Gameshark route and *not* license your product and sell it as "iPod compatible, not licensed by Apple" and still make money anyway.

Personally, I think that Apple's being a touch overhanded here, but they're working with an existing model, one they hope to bring them enough money to continue to fund new products and new directions.

Of course, this is all just my opinion - I could be wrong.

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819567)

Don't worry - you are wrong.

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (1)

Thrymm (662097) | about 9 years ago | (#13819580)

Nintendo was more than just that gold seal... They also produced ALL cartridges which 3rd party games were using, along with their own of course. So they held all the cards so to speak. As far as I can remember, that one Tetris game somehow circumvented that system of control.

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | about 9 years ago | (#13819677)

There were some other Tengen games that had the weird different cartridge, like that racing game that was a sort of a precursor to Off-Road but with cars... I can't remember the name.

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 9 years ago | (#13819596)

When Nintendo had their NES system, if you wanted the "Gold Sticker" of quality, you had to go through Nintendo's process and give them a cut for the licensing. Which forged a company that is profitable even today.

There's a big difference between charging a manufacturur to sell an official" accessory, and trying to force manufacturers into it.

I don't see how they have any legal groupd to stand on here, there are decades of third-party video game accessory makers, cell phone accessory makers, etc.

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819693)

I don't see how they have any legal groupd to stand on here, there are decades of third-party video game accessory makers, cell phone accessory makers, etc. Decades?

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (1)

interiot (50685) | about 9 years ago | (#13819687)

Games and accessories are different. Consoles live and die by the quality of their games. iPod owners can reasonably never buy any accessories, and Apple will still make ongoing money through iTunes.

Re:Is this Atari or Nintendo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819808)

Having a bunch of crappy software hasn't hurt PC sales.

Coin has two sides (3, Interesting)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | about 9 years ago | (#13819535)

I can see this going two ways.

On the one hand, people will cry out "Monopoly!" and point at Apple. Naturally, Apple's dominance in the MP3 player market makes it a likely target for such a label, and a move like this certainly helps reinforce that image.

But on the other hand, the manufacturers of the third party add-ons are making a mint off the iPod themselves. If their entire industry is based on the existance of the iPod, doesn't Apple have the authority to ask for a cut of the sales? Without the iPod, those accessories wouldn't exist. I'd see it as paying a royalty to use the iPod brand/name/whatever. Items marketed as "For use with iPod" should pay to use the name "iPod." For some reason, a set of speakers marked as "iPod Speakers" sounds better than "Speakers for use with that fruit-named company's music player."

Re:Coin has two sides (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819628)

What next? Nokia and Motorola get a cut from all of the manufacturers who list "Nokia" or "Motorola" devices on their products?

You could extend it even furter by your second argument and agree with me that Microsoft should get a cut of every Windows application because those developers are just making money exploiting Microsoft products?

No, this is asinine. Apple is no better than any other greedy company. They just have the luxury of getting a lot of passes because, well, they're kinda cool.

Re:Coin has two sides (1)

Burianski11 (554142) | about 9 years ago | (#13819660)

Let me try to convince you of why you are wrong using your own argument:

Apple is making a mint off music sales themselves. If all of their iTunes sales are based on the existance of the RIAA, doesn't the RIAA have the authority to ask for as large a cut of the sales as they wish? Without the RIAA, those songs wouldn't exist. I'd see it as paying a royalty to use the band/name/song.

Clearly you can't agree with that scenario, can you?

Re:Coin has two sides (1)

MoneyT (548795) | about 9 years ago | (#13819772)

Problem with your argument is, Apple already does pay the RIAA for the songs.

Re:Coin has two sides (1)

DarkBlackFox (643814) | about 9 years ago | (#13819835)

From the documenation I've seen, and feel free to search google, Apple only makes about 10 cents for each 99 cent song sold. They're not making a mint. They're making just enough to cover bandwith and service costs. The Cash Cow for Apple has always been hardware. From premium priced computers, to the iPod itself, it's not a secret Apple's main business is the hardware itself.

So no, I can't agree with that scenario because it's based on an invalid assumption. The RIAA is taking a substantial percentage of iTunes music for themselves (for just licensing, they do nothing to distribute or provide services). And Yes, the RIAA has the authority to ask for as large a cut as they wish, and that's been covered on Slashdot before, as right or (mostly) wrong as it is (despite them already getting a rather significant cut.)

Given that Apple makes most of it's profits on the sale of the hardware, arguably because of the quality associated with said hardware, known by the trademarked name iPod, why wouldn't Apple want to collect from companies using the name and interface of it's own product?

Re:Coin has two sides (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13819665)

But on the other hand, the manufacturers of the third party add-ons are making a mint off the iPod themselves. If their entire industry is based on the existance of the iPod, doesn't Apple have the authority to ask for a cut of the sales? Without the iPod, those accessories wouldn't exist. I'd see it as paying a royalty to use the iPod brand/name/whatever.

There is no such right, in general - this is what patents are for. The mere fact that you created something does not mean that you're entitled to profits when others build upon your work.

Otherwise, shouldn't Microsoft receive a fee whenever someone creates a program that runs on Windows, too, for example?

Re:Coin has two sides (4, Insightful)

linumax (910946) | about 9 years ago | (#13819783)

the manufacturers of the third party add-ons are making a mint off the iPod themselves. If their entire industry is based on the existance of the iPod, doesn't Apple have the authority to ask for a cut of the sales?

Many many software companies based their products on the existance of Windows, does MS have the authority to ask for a cut of the sales?!!

Steve Jobs...... (1, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | about 9 years ago | (#13819537)

....has just created a huge dis-incentive to people who want to make iPod accessories just so he can make a few extra bucks and keep his shareholders happy. I'd just love to see these companies come out and call Apple out on this. But it won't happen because of Apple's love of using lawyers to keep the "reality distortion field" in full effect.

IMHO, Jobs is as much of a crook as the two headed monster known as the MPAA/RIAA.

Suicidal Apple Tendencies (3, Insightful)

RapmasterT (787426) | about 9 years ago | (#13819539)

So basically yet AGAIN Apple is exploring ways to kill the golden goose.

For myself, the ONLY reason I own an iPod was the amazing plethora of accessories avaialable for it. It's simpy not a very impressive MP3 player (other than styling), but being able to choose from a bazillion accessories makes it pretty attractive.

If Apple tries too much of this, they're going to learn that holding a majority share of a market is NOT the same as a monopoly. Piss off the market enough, and Creative is going to sell a LOT more Zens.

This sounds extrmemly reminiscent of the ill fated "mac clone" fiasco a few years back.

Apple's biggest missed chance... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819748)

This sounds extrmemly reminiscent of the ill fated "mac clone" fiasco a few years back.

If Apple had opened up the Mac to cloning, after seeing how Compaq successfully did their number on IBM, they would have stood a good chance of establishing the Mac platform either as the main standard or at least a second standard of equal standing. Had they done so, their software development efforts would take up a much larger portion of the company than they do now - and they might even have stayed the best-selling Mac manufacturer, in the way that Dell has stayed the best-selling PC manufacturer.

Re:Suicidal Apple Tendencies (1)

loftis (750863) | about 9 years ago | (#13819751)

This is a silly way to look at the issue. Apple legally HAS to do everything they reasonably can to protect the iPod trademark. If they don't then they lose the protection. Further, the claim that the RIAA made, that their music was advertisement for the iPod is nothing like Apple's claim that accessory vendors need to license the trademark to say 'Made for iPod.' The RIAA needs the devices that play music to exist, or no one will buy their music. You cannot make a straight-faced claim that because music is on a CD, a person will decide to buy a CD player. It doesn't happen like this. For a vendor to claim that an FM transmitter with a standard 1/8" headphone jack is made specifically for an iPod is insane. The only reason to do this is to use Apple's popularity to earn yourself a few bucks. This is why companies are allowed to create trademarks; so you can protect the image or the things you create and try to sell. If a vendor makes really crappy static filled headphones, do you want him telling the world that they work great with your product?

Re:Suicidal Apple Tendencies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819815)

option 1)
Make 10 million dollars making iPod accessory
Pay apple 1 million


option 2)
Make 1 Million dollars making Zen accessory

HMM, which to do, which to do. DAMN apple and their money grubbing, I can't make any money!!!!

Hell has frozen over today. (5, Funny)

CDPatten (907182) | about 9 years ago | (#13819544)

First MS releases an innovative wireless software with source. Then Google screws with privacy and Apple becomes "evil" and screws some vendors. Yikes! The /. Crew most not be happy today!

OMFG!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819546)

First Google turns all evil and shit. And now Apple pulls this shit!

Whats a freeloading commie hippie supposed to think?

How does Nintendo handle it? (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | about 9 years ago | (#13819548)

How does Nintendo handle the addons for its various handheld gaming systems? How do the addon manufacturers handle it? How do they refer to their compatibility with Nintendo devices? Do they flat out say, "GameBoy-compatible" or do they word it to avoid naming the Nintendo products supported?

Why its wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819550)

Apple Retail is a major source of iPod peripheral sales. Apple not stocking your product if you don't pay their useless tithe is coercive and monopolistic. You pay not because you want the product but because you don't want them to hurt you.

The division of labour someone? (2, Interesting)

Anthet (462436) | about 9 years ago | (#13819573)

In doing such a thing apple makes it harder for small businesses to use the Ipod for some neat trix. One would think that companies wouldve learned by now that allowing people to use your device to create cool stuff actually increases the profits earned from the sales of the device. Imagine for a second if Valve decided to have everyone pay a fee if they were to mod the original halflife, I would bet that counter strike would have been realeased for some other game instead and valve would have missed out on an extreme amount of cash.

Apple is more liberal than camera makers (3, Interesting)

UR30 (603039) | about 9 years ago | (#13819591)

The camera makers like Canon don't sell rights to make compatible
lenses. So if you buy a non-Canon lens for your SLR, you are in effect
buying a pirated product. And camera makes change their systems
all the time to make them incompatible with lenses by third parties.

Apple could follow suit - but by licensing Apple allows third-party
innovation. Good for Apple, good for iPod accessories, good for
iPod users.

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819593)

What would Slashdot say if MS charged 10% for apps released on Windows platform.....

Does this sound right?

Without windows platform there will be no apps. So this thing is totally fine....

It's just another brand extension for Apple... (0)

Eric Giguere (42863) | about 9 years ago | (#13819638)

iPod, iMac, iTunes, iLife, iTax... though initially the latter was going to be a competitor to QuickTax.

Eric
Invisible Fence Guide [ericgiguere.com]

Did apple not learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819644)

Did apple not learn from it's mistake several years back to lock out companies for all the accesories for the Apple PC. The accessory companies then turned to the PC and made that successful. Hopefully they do the same for the iPOD with this BS going on!

why the wrong headline? (5, Insightful)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 9 years ago | (#13819654)

what a stupid and terrible headline. there have been ipod taxes enacted and talked about in other countries, so a headline like this makes it seem like the story will actually be about taxes imposed on ipods and customers who buy them.

think.

Re:why the wrong headline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819813)

And who the hell says 'sour apples' anyway? Desperate punning there.

Free Markets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819668)

Thus Apple creates market incentives for an Open Source solution.

iPood (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819706)

and it came out white

Hmmmm... (2)

8127972 (73495) | about 9 years ago | (#13819708)

"It's not clear what means Apple might employ if companies don't go along, as Apple declined to comment on that."

They'll likely do what they've always done. If someone makes an iPod accessory and doesn't pay the "tax" they'll send in the lawyers.

It makes me wonder if they got the same people who came up with the Microsoft Protection Racket [slashdot.org] to come up with this idea.

Apple idiots (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819729)

Imagine the money they would be making if they had thought in the first place to have a weird non-standard headphone jack. Then they could sue or harass anyone who tried to make anything that plugged into it unless they paid the iPod tax.

It is par for the course. This is the company that for most of its life had weird non-standard mice, keyboards, disk formats, etc etc.

Liscenced by... (2, Interesting)

JoeQuaker (888617) | about 9 years ago | (#13819740)

This kind of reminds me of the old deal with the gold "Liscensed by Nintendo" emblems that used to appear on cartridge labels back in the 80's.

As other companies figured out how to zap Nintendos lock-out chip so they could make their owned games without the shiny gold emblem, Tengen just went ahead and used legal action (which they eventually lost their case for miserably) and got the code for it from the copyright office. After that, the Tetris suit, retailers not carring Tengen titles due to threats from Nintendo, they were ultimately strong-armed and shut down by Nintendo.

Now I don't know what ever came of the manufactorer that made the un-Nintendo-liscensed "Chiller" and "Baby Boomer" titles, but something tells me they didn't exactly become a big success.

So in the case of Nintendo... despite Nintendos bullying and Tengens efforts to get things done their way, Nintendo is still a loved company and Tengen is out of business.

Would the same sort of thing happen for Apple with the iPod accessories? Perhaps. As much I despise Apple and would never own an iPod... I know there are plenty of people who think different (as lame as different may be) that will be more than happy to shell out big bucks for their trendy accessories with Apple logos on them.

History Repeats Itself @ Apple? (3, Insightful)

cmholm (69081) | about 9 years ago | (#13819741)

Scenario A & B:

A: Around about the middle of '90, while Sculley was at the helm, Apple raised prices across the board. Product demand was strong, and Apple shipped more systems per year than anyone. They figured this was an Econ 101 situation, and raised prices with only a fig leaf attempt to bs their way out of it. Obviously someone dropped out before Econ 401, which would have taught the costs of trading on "good will", when they could have been looking at increasing their market share upward from 20%.

B: Learning from Atari's experience where unmanaged 3rd party game developers flooded the market with crappy product, Nintendo required developers to register with them for the right to see the NES s/w development tools, or get any cooperation in distributing game carts. While some moaned that this was a restraint of trade and raised prices, Nintendo was able to control who traded on Nintendo's good will.

So, which is it for Apple, this time? Any knowledgeable insider Anon Coward care to comment?

Yeah. Hi. The RIAA just did what to Apple? (1)

kulakovich (580584) | about 9 years ago | (#13819749)


And Apple wasn't asked by the RIAA to increase prices at the iTunes store, I believe it was more like a demand for a piece of the action. That .99 cents wasn't enough. Of course I'm sure they are fine with WalMart's .97 or .88 cents, since Bush signed HAFTA (Hell/America Free Trade Agreement).

Kulakovich

From TFA (5, Insightful)

monkaduck (902823) | about 9 years ago | (#13819768)

The article says that this tax isn't for all accessories, only the ones that attach to the connector on the bottom of the device.
It's also something where they are trying to insure that these devices won't harm them in the long run. TFA states that having the "Made for iPod" seal on these devices ensures that these deviuces will work on current and future iPod versions.
If I was Apple, I wouldn't want some third-rate speaker system to be designed for the current generations of the iPod, then not work on all future versions, having this burn the buyer into not wanting to buy newer versions of said speakers to continue to enjoy his/her iPod and feeling jaded by the iPod that a certified piece of gear would be gauranteed to do from the box. I think it's a good move for the future.

I'm sure glad they didn't do this... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13819802)

... with the Apple ][+. I'd probably be flipping burgers instead of writing software.

Isn't it about time for another Slashdot interview with Steve Wozniak? I wonder what his thoughts would be on this. What opportunities is Apple missing by nailing their architecture shut?

More details (5, Insightful)

olddotter (638430) | about 9 years ago | (#13819833)

If Apple is doing this to keep the standards up, then it could be a good thing. If it is just greed then it will end up being a bad thing.

I suspect the bigger companies will go along, seeing the fee as away of keeping smaller players from moving into the market.

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