July 2, 2022

Archives for August 2002

Apple Uses DMCA Threat Against Competing Product

Declan McCullagh at news.com reports on Apple’s use of a DMCA threat to force a useful product off the market.

Apple’s iDVD application allows the user to burn DVDs – but only on Apple-brand drives. A DVD drive vendor called Other World Computing shipped its drives with a “DVD Enabler” program that modified iDVD so that it could burn DVDs on any FireWire-connected drive.

Apple was displeased, so it used various threats, including one based on the DMCA, to convince Other World to back down and yank DVD Enabler from the market. According to the story, the main reason for Other World’s quick backdown was a general desire to stay on Apple’s good side. But clearly Apple thought the DMCA threat would have some impact, or they wouldn’t have made it.

Apple’s use of the DMCA here has nothing to do with preventing copyright infringement, since Apple-brand drives can make infringing copies just as easily as other brands can. The real motive is to weaken competition in the market for Mac-compatible DVD drives.

Business Week: Internet is Evil

Business Week has an amazing article characterizing the Internet as a cesspool of crime and depravity. The article approvingly quotes somebody saying “[More than] 70% of all e-commerce is based on some socially unacceptable if not outright illegal activity.”

To give you an idea of the tone, the main body of the article starts with this:

Warning: You are about to enter the dark side of the Internet. It’s a place where crime is rampant and every twisted urge can be satisfied. Thousands of virtual streets are lined with casinos, porn shops, and drug dealers. Scam artists and terrorists skulk behind seemingly lawful Web sites. And cops wander through once in a while, mostly looking lost. It’s the Strip in Las Vegas, the Red Light district in Amsterdam, and New York’s Times Square at its worst, all rolled into one–and all easily accessible from your living room couch.

The remainder of the article reveals that there are bookies, con artists, and drug dealers on the Net. Thank God we don’t have those problems in the real world.

Who Controls Your PC?

One of the most interesting issues in technology today is the battle for control over users’ computers. Ray Ozzie offers some thoughts, and a nice tutorial.