∞ Apple withdrawals legal threats against Wiki, EFF drops lawsuit

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is dropping its lawsuit against Apple after the company withdrew its legal threats against Bluwiki. Apple sent letters to the operator of Bluwiki last November objecting to discussions on the Web site that talked about how to sync media to iPods and iPhones using software other than Apple’s own iTunes. Apple said the discussions violated copyright law and constituted a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

According to the EFF, the authors of the posts were only discussing interoperability and had not yet figured out how to accomplish their goal.

Apple sent another letter on July 8, 2009 withdrawing its cease and desist demands. “Apple no longer has, nor will it have in the future, any objection to the publication of the iTunesDB Pages,” Apple’s letter said.

“While we are glad that Apple retracted its baseless legal threats, we are disappointed that it only came after 7 months of censorship and a lawsuit,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. “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.”