Apple sued by Electronic Frontier Foundation in wiki war

28 Apr 2009

Online civil liberties group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken a case against Apple over the tech firm’s demands against a non-profit organisation to remove content it said violated its copyright.

The BluWiki website, which is owned and operated by a company called OdioWorks, included a discussion on a page called ‘iPodhash’ on how to make software other than Apple’s iTunes work with certain models of the Silicon Valley firm’s iPod and iPhone digital media players.

The pages were published on the BluWiki site by hobbyists who reverse-engineered certain aspects of recent models of the iPod and iPhone to enable them to operate the devices with software other than iTunes.

In November, Apple’s lawyers issued a demand to Odioworks to remove the content. It alleged that copyright was being infringed and that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was being breached.

Fearing legal action, OdioWorks complied and removed the content.

Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said it was suing Apple on Odiworks’ behalf.

In the action filed to a North Californian district court, the EFF said that the purpose of the action was “to vindicate the free speech interests of internet readers and publishers, as well as those such as Odioworks that operate public ‘wiki’ platforms on the internet.

“OdioWorks takes the First Amendment rights of BluWiki users seriously, believes that Apple’s claims are baseless and would like to restore the iTunesDB pages,” the action read.

By John Kennedy