Apple retracts legal threats against wiki site over iTunes

Legal threats dropped over the proposal of an open source effort to help iPods and iPhones work with software other than Apple's iTunes

Apple has retracted its legal threats against public wiki hosting site Bluwiki, and a counter suit on behalf of the Wiki operator has also been dropped.

The arguments centre around an open source effort to help iPods and iPhones work with software other than Apple's iTunes.

Last November Apple's lawyers demanded that the Bluwiki Web site remove a project called iPodhash, saying that it violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) writes, on its website, that Apple took this action even though the authors of the pages had not yet figured out how to accomplish their goal and that in response to Apple's legal threats, Bluwiki took down the wiki pages in question.

In April 2009, EFF and the San Francisco law firm Keker & Van Nest sued Apple on behalf of Bluwiki, asking a court to reject Apple's claims and allow Bluwiki to restore the discussions.

According to EEF's website, Apple this month sent a letter withdrawing its cease-and-desist demands and stating that "Apple no longer has, nor will it have in the future, any objection to the publication of the iTunesDB Pages." As a result, the EFF has moved to dismiss its complaint against Apple.

"While we are glad that Apple retracted its baseless legal threats, we are disappointed that it only came after seven months of censorship and a lawsuit," said EFF attorney Fred von Lohmann in a statement.

"Because Apple continues to use technical measures to lock iPod Touch and iPhone owners into -- and Palm Pre owners out of -- using Apple's iTunes software, I wouldn't be surprised if there are more discussions among frustrated customers about reverse engineering Apple products. We hope Apple has learned its lesson here and will give those online discussions a wide berth in the future."

Sam Odio has not yet made a recent statement about this on his blog.

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