Apple sued over iPhone locking, DRM patent violations

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  • Reply 41 of 118
    physguyphysguy Posts: 920member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    Cookies were introduced in 1994. However, it is probably pretty difficult to argue it is obvious, because an average engineer in multimedia delivery (especially in 1998) probably is not an expert in web browser implementation, so this is not something "obvious" to an average person in trade.



    The actual requirement for obviousness is to one 'skilled' in the trade. Anyone dealing with network transmission of data was, or should reasonably, have been aware of web/html/http standard practices.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    To make it worse, I will bet that both Microsoft and Apple applied for patents for their version of DRM, which will in turn validate this particular patent.



    Not necessarily as long as they dealt with specific implementation issues and not such a overly (IMO) broad claim set.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post




    This is the second patent lawsuit against Apple which I consider valid (last one was the one against Nike/Apple).



    The main problem I have with this, and similar patents, is there is no reduction to practice nor pursuit of implementation. I know this is not a legal requirement at this time but IMO it should be.



    I still believe the combination of similarity to other technologies at the time, and the heft of the defenders will lead to either a defeat of this or a small/quick settlement.
  • Reply 42 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    In all honesty, I think Apple should at least be held responsible for creating a restore tool to unbrick iPhones.



    Why? Because the unlocks that people used on their iPhones ARE ALLOWED by the DMCA, and Apple made unusable the phones of those who did nothing illegal.



    Those shouting about the EULA and "warnings" from Apple, hear this: Apple's governing over people's use of iPhones cannot violate the rights they have, which, in America, include the ability to modify one's phone in such a way. They don't have sovereign rule over what iPhone users can and can't do.



    It would be like a landlord selling a lot in a Mall but forbidding the tennant and all employees from silently praying before they eat their lunch, or any other form of personal religious practice.



    Personally practicing religion is legal in the US, and no one can forbid you from doing so. Likewise with phone, no one can prevent you from unlocking. Just because the athiest tennant wants to snub out all religous folk, doesn't mean it's legal to do so. Likewise, just because Apple wants to enforce AT&T use doesn't mean they can forcibly snub out unlockers.



    Thus, I don't find it at all unreasonable to demand that Apple provide a way to unbrick, therefore allowing users either a chance to sign up for AT&T, or attempt unlocking again, with a working unit (at their own risk, of course).



    Let me make it perfectly clear that I do NOT think Apple should be charged with supporting unlocked phones or phones with 3rd-party programs. Those should be "proceed-at-you-own-risk" activites. I only approve of the "unbricker."



    By the way, before you opponents begin to flame me, I do not own an iPhone, so no, I am not biased.



    -Clive



    In my opinion they rather exchange the phones for a period of time. Like an anmesty. Apple wants people to stop trying to hack so giving them a period of time may work better for them. If they create a tool, they will forever have to use the tool to restore the iPhones no matter how many times they get bricked.



    Then again they could always charge a set price to repair the iPhone, but it would still be out of warranty due to violation of the agreement.
  • Reply 43 of 118
    When will people learn...

    If you don't like the terms of the iPhone, then don't get one!
  • Reply 44 of 118
    jrgjrg Posts: 58member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    Did you read the patent claims? It is not about copy protection, which has prior arts all over the place. It is about having copy protection for online distributed materials.



    Please, read and understand before you post.



    I disagree with your reading.



    It appears to me to patent unlocking existing content on your computer. Not downloading content.



    I would say this lawsuit would cover things like the old multimedia CD's which came with a certain amount of content and then you paid to access extras that were already there. Perhaps a better modern example is shareware, the content is already downloaded and you pay to receive more rights and capabilities after using it for a bit.



    I don't see it applying to the iTunes music store where none of the content exists on your hard-drive until you download it (which is after paying for it). Note the language only talks about downloading the token, not the content.



    It also does not appear to cover the authorisation of an iTunes library on a new computer because that does not involve an extra payment.
  • Reply 45 of 118
  • Reply 46 of 118
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    I am a bit puzzled: unlike the iPhone one can surf the net with the iPod touch and any mac without having to lock yourself into a silly 2 year contract.



    The iPhone is a great product by Apple. The problem is that they are locking you into a questionable two year eco system where Apple takes 30% of your monthly AT&T bill. Apple therefore is a part time service provider.
  • Reply 47 of 118
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,338member
    I hacked your phone, and now it's uncompatible with your software update. I*LL SUE YOU!



    It's like hacking a DVD player's firmware to play region free, and then try an official firmware update. There is no guarantee it'll work.



    Other than that.. I think Apple should have the same attitude with iPhone as with iTunes Plus. No sim lock, but it will be sold only with their selected operator of choice. That way it'll work like today, only if there's people willing pay for two operators to use iPhone on their selected operator of choice, then so be it.



    edit: Personally though, really, wouldn't iPhone be better off totally operator free? Operators would probably want to install the visual voice mail and other small iPhone only details as a competitive offer.
  • Reply 48 of 118
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    I think I posted this in another thread, but I still believe it all comes down to intent. If Apple intentionally released a software update that was designed to brick hacked iPhones, I could see where they could be held liable for it. But that is different than if a software update just happened to be incompatible with hacked iPhones and the failure was unintentional.



    You bought the device, you have the right to modify it ... with the understanding that at some point in the process Apple is likely no longer required to provide warranty coverage for it. If you have modified the device to work with some other provider, whether the device works on that network is between you and that other provider. Apple is not allowed to intentionally damage your property.



    I continue to find it disconcerting that DMCA comes up when discussing this. DMCA has to do with copying, protecting copyrights, making measures which circumvent copyright protecton illegal. Despite some odd ruling from the US copyright office claiming a relationship, the intent of the DCMA had absolutely nothing to do with phone unlocking. It certainly has nothing to do with protecting companies' software licenses. Any use of DMCA by a company to defend phone locking is a gross misuse of the intent of DMCA. You should be outraged, and you should let your legislators know about it.
  • Reply 49 of 118
    kishankishan Posts: 732member
    There was some nice commentary on this issue in last week's episode of MacBreakWeekly. Their panel seemed to come down hard on Apple for carrying out this un Apple-like action. For weeks Apple was silent and essentially gave tacit approval for the hacking of the phone. It's a very anti-consumer piece of action. Whether Apple was compelled to do this by AT&T is certainly a question. As an Apple Fan, I would be willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt on this issue.



    What I cannot believe, is that thus far, Apple has not offered a way back into the proverbial fold. Speculation is that there is a kickback to Apple from AT&T on each contract. Apple ought to provide some kind of amnesty to people with bricked iPhones to come back into the Apple/AT&T fold, if for no other reason than the revenue stream which is generated for Apple.
  • Reply 50 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by physguy View Post


    Something being legal and conferring a RIGHT are two entirely different concepts. If unlocking a phone is a RIGHT granted or recognized by the gov't then no (ordinary) contract can abrogate that right. As a US citizen you have the RIGHT to be free from various, defined, forms of discrimination. This right cannot be removed by a contract.



    This is not the case with unlocking a phone. You are perfectly free to enter into a contract along the lines 'I won't unlock this phone if you do XYZ'. In point of fact those who unlocked their phones did breach a contract to which they had agreed - the EULA with Apple. That breach relieved Apple of further responsibility wrt the upgrade.



    Is this just? Maybe, maybe not. Various opinions abound. Does Apple have any legal responsibility - no.



    But there's the kink in your argument. People who have modified their software for the purpose of operating on a different network have not violated the language of the EULA.



    The pertinent section of the EULA reads like this:

    Quote:

    (c) Except as and only to the extent permitted by applicable law, or by licensing terms governing use of open-sourced components included with the iPhone Software, you may not copy, decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble, attempt to derive the source code of, modify, or create derivative works of the iPhone Software, iPhone Software Updates, or any part thereof.



    The key words here are "Except as ... permitted by applicable law..."



    Since SIM unlocking is currently specifically permitted by applicable law, such an act is exempted from the EULA.



    I still don't think Apple is doing anything wrong with the simple act of releasing a firmware upghrade that isn't compatible with certain modifications. I don't think that Apple is obliged to provide ongoing support for all the myriad different techniques of unlocking that have sprouted up so far.



    However, I do think that Apple has a duty to provide a mechanism for reverting these legally modified, EULA-compliant, phones back to a factory-approved (SIM-locked, if absolutely necessary) state.



    If Apple could find some way of providing a legitimate means of unlocking the phones through official channels, even for a fee, then they would close the loop-hole that the DMCA exemption provides. Then, they'd no longer need to worry about any of this because at that point there would only remain one possible legitimate mechanism for SIM unlocking (therefore it would be easy to provide official support). Everybody else would unambiguously be in violation of the EULA, and Apple would no longer have any duty of care for them.



    Hell, even if Apple would admit that the hardware really is subsidized (via the ongoing cut that AT&T is paying back to Apple from the monthly service fees), then I'd feel a little better about all of this, because then it would be clearly established that the iPhone hardware itself is still Apple's property and therefore the end-user doesn't have any property rights to it at all until the end of the contract. (Yes, I understand that the software itself always has remained Apple's exclusive property, and that it was only licensed to the end-user despite the end user's ownership of the physical hardware. That's the reason why the EULA, and the rights conferred by the EULA, exist.)
  • Reply 51 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    Since unlocking is legal, users who did so did nothing illegal and Apple shut them out of service. Users should not have to pay an extra fee to revert their phones back to an initial state.



    While users have the right to hack their phones, that doesn't mean Apple has to make it easy for them, or support their phones after hacking.



    Legality has nothing to do with it. It's also legal for users to pry open their iPhone and fill it with mayonnaise. But the fact that that's legal doesn't mean that apple has to make sure their phone works after that.



    People need to take responsibility for their actions. If you hack a product, you may break it. Apple warned that hacks could brick the phone, and word got out fast that 1.1.1 caused problems. I have a hard time feeling bad for anyone who was careless enough to end up with a bricked phone.
  • Reply 52 of 118
    messiahmessiah Posts: 1,689member
    Greed vs. Stupidity.
  • Reply 53 of 118
    "On Friday, California resident Timothy Smith filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, alleging that the company is violating the state's Cartwright Act by prohibiting iPhone consumers from using and purchasing cell phone service other than through AT&T."



    I'd love for Apple's response to this to be not selling the iPhone in California. Since it is ONLY a California Law.
  • Reply 54 of 118
    physguyphysguy Posts: 920member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post


    But there's the kink in your argument. People who have modified their software for the purpose of operating on a different network have not violated the language of the EULA.



    The pertinent section of the EULA reads like this:



    The key words here are "Except as ... permitted by applicable law..."



    Since SIM unlocking is currently specifically permitted by applicable law, such an act is exempted from the EULA.



    I still don't think Apple is doing anything wrong with the simple act of releasing a firmware upghrade that isn't compatible with certain modifications. I don't think that Apple is obliged to provide ongoing support for all the myriad different techniques of unlocking that have sprouted up so far.



    However, I do think that Apple has a duty to provide a mechanism for reverting these legally modified, EULA-compliant, phones back to a factory-approved (SIM-locked, if absolutely necessary) state.



    If Apple could find some way of providing a legitimate means of unlocking the phones through official channels, even for a fee, then they would close the loop-hole that the DMCA exemption provides. Then, they'd no longer need to worry about any of this because at that point there would only remain one possible legitimate mechanism for SIM unlocking (therefore it would be easy to provide official support). Everybody else would unambiguously be in violation of the EULA, and Apple would no longer have any duty of care for them.



    Hell, even if Apple would admit that the hardware really is subsidized (via the ongoing cut that AT&T is paying back to Apple from the monthly service fees), then I'd feel a little better about all of this, because then it would be clearly established that the iPhone hardware itself is still Apple's property and therefore the end-user doesn't have any property rights to it at all until the end of the contract. (Yes, I understand that the software itself always has remained Apple's exclusive property, and that it was only licensed to the end-user despite the end user's ownership of the physical hardware. That's the reason why the EULA, and the rights conferred by the EULA, exist.)



    Very interesting view. The next question that would arise is did those that did this modification (SIM Unlocking) do ONLY this modification, as that is the only loophole provided by your analysis (which seems right). If they also added other applications, etc., then they are still in violation.



    I agree that Apple still has no responsibility to make sure updates work with the modified phones and now I wonder if this type of analysis is WHY they issued the warning. This would cover them WRT bricked phones.



    Personally I think that anyone that SIM unlocked their phone and then upgraded following the warning, which I believe is given right at the time you start the upgrade, is pretty stupid. I also believe its the responsibility of those who modified the SIM to provide the restore function.
  • Reply 55 of 118
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    I hacked your phone, and now it's uncompatible with your software update. I*LL SUE YOU!



    Whether or not the suit has merit, you're completely misunderstanding the basis of the suit. The suit is over the fact that non-defeatable carrier locking exists in the first place, not that someone's hacks are incompatible with a software update.



    The only relationship between the hacks and the suit is that if the hacks worked and continued to work, there'd be less reason to pursue a suit to try to force unlocking.
  • Reply 56 of 118
    Earlier today I blogged the following re the patent being asserted against Apple:



    SPAMMMMMMMMMMMM



    The main point is that there appears to be prior art to the asserted patent that may call its validity into question. The details are in my blogicle.



    Cheers
  • Reply 57 of 118
    johnqhjohnqh Posts: 242member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BobWeber View Post


    Earlier today I blogged the following re the patent being asserted against Apple:



    Deleted -JL



    The main point is that there appears to be prior art to the asserted patent that may call its validity into question. The details are in my blogicle.



    Cheers



    That's a cheap shot to lead people to your blog.
  • Reply 58 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    While users have the right to hack their phones, that doesn't mean Apple has to make it easy for them, or support their phones after hacking.



    Legality has nothing to do with it. It's also legal for users to pry open their iPhone and fill it with mayonnaise. But the fact that that's legal doesn't mean that apple has to make sure their phone works after that.



    Except the difference with mayonaise is that it would probably immediately render the unit inoperable... That would be sabotaging your own product and no one would have sympathy for you.



    Unlocking 1.0.2 does not destroy anything and leaves the unit in perfect working condition. It's not a malicious act, and until 1.1.1 came around, the unlock process had NO NEGATIVE EFFECTS on units. Users didn't destroy their phones... Apple did. You said youself that users have the right to hack their phones... By doing something that destroyed legally modified phones, Apple has essentially committed the malicious act.



    That's why I believe Apple should release a restore tool or (as EagerDragon suggested) an in-house Apple repair program which would dissuade users from attempting hacking in the first place in fear of bricking the unit, paying to ship, and waiting a couple weeks for the fix... time and time again.



    I DO NOT (nor have I ever) agree with the idea of Apple supporting hacked phones... only restoring of Apple-bricked phones.



    -Clive
  • Reply 59 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    I hacked your phone, and now it's uncompatible with your software update. I*LL SUE YOU!



    It's like hacking a DVD player's firmware to play region free, and then try an official firmware update. There is no guarantee it'll work.



    The difference is that SIM-unlocking is legal, while region-0-hacking a DVD player is not. Manufacturers will provide you with a means of altering this if you are legitamately moving to a different region.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    Other than that.. I think Apple should have the same attitude with iPhone as with iTunes Plus. No sim lock, but it will be sold only with their selected operator of choice. That way it'll work like today, only if there's people willing pay for two operators to use iPhone on their selected operator of choice, then so be it.



    I agree that this would be a smart option. They'll sell such a greater volume of phones that it'll make it worth the lost profit sharing.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palegolas View Post


    edit: Personally though, really, wouldn't iPhone be better off totally operator free? Operators would probably want to install the visual voice mail and other small iPhone only details as a competitive offer.



    Most certainly other providers would want to add VVM compatability, not only for use with the iPhone, but for other emerging products. The incentive is high. Unfortunately, I think Apple was a little desperate to jump into a contract and AT&T took them from the rear, in this respect. In other respects, Apple got the better end of the deal, such as with the profit sharing on a phone that, likely, isn't even subsidiezed at all. Well, maybe it is now, after the $200 price-drop, but as suggested, I think many would pay and extra hundred or two for an unlocked unit. You all remember when GeoHot's model... some guy traded his car for it. Obviously some people would be willing to pay more than others



    -Clive
  • Reply 60 of 118
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by physguy View Post


    I also believe its the responsibility of those who modified the SIM to provide the restore function.



    Correct. They should always do that first, before moving on to

    subvert each Apple firmware update. As the altruistic saviours

    of the computer using world, they will doubtless do it this way.
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