Update: Apple “stunned” at RealNetworks’ hacker tactics | iLounge News


Update: Apple “stunned” at RealNetworks’ hacker tactics

RealNetworks has responded to Apple’s statement (below) saying “consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software. We remain fully committed to Harmony and to giving millions of consumers who own portable music devices, including the Apple iPod, choice and compatibility.

Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real’s music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices. Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system.”

Apple today released a statement in response to RealNetworks’ recent announcement that they had created a method to offer iPod-compatible song downloads through its new Harmony software. “We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”

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Oh, snap!  Take that, Real.

Posted by ChrisVA in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 10:56 AM (CDT)


Could this be a way to make Apple upgrade the G3 firmware :D

Posted by Chibimiffy in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 11:00 AM (CDT)


What is wrong with the 3G firmware? does it not play music correctly?

Posted by croooow in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 11:04 AM (CDT)


Real, you’re just a guppy !!

Posted by 6nsa in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 11:12 AM (CDT)


no it doesn`t since EQ’s broken :6

Posted by bleh in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 11:12 AM (CDT)


That is an extremely bad move on Real’s part.  I read this story on CNN Money.  I wonder what the outcome will be…

Posted by Asian_N02 in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 11:49 AM (CDT)


If anyone of us had written that program you know we’d have already been sued for every single dime.

Why does the DMCA not apply to major corporations?

Posted by SteveB in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 12:01 PM (CDT)


This just shows what an ‘dirty’ company Real Networks is, they tried buying into the iPod phenomena and now they are trying to hustle their way in.

A quick gripe -  Have you noticed how the ‘free’ (but adware/spyware ridden) Real Player is hidden away on their site? When you finally find the ‘free’ Real player it has has some strange effects on OS X. Even when I was a PC user it took over most media file permissions (ala AOL). It’s a shame some web content has to be viewed by Real Player - I just avoid these sites (that includes you too BBC!)

I fully back Apple bringing out regular software updates restricting Real content. Mac users should stand united against this sort of thing!

Posted by Oh Really Networks in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 12:06 PM (CDT)


I don’t see what everyone is crying about. Isn’t REAL just helping out Apple in the end anyway?  Apple never said they were using ITunes to profit rather just to sell IPods.  With REAL compatipility, it should help them sell more devices.

Posted by Go REAL in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 12:28 PM (CDT)


Helping Apple out?

If you try the Real beta software (something I don’t recommend you do) you will see a pretty ominious dialog box the Real software puts up that tells you that you must make Real’s software the only app that manages the music on your iPod. It also requires you to quit iTunes if it is running at the same time.

The Real software screws up the entire iPod experience.

Posted by Friends of iPod in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 12:55 PM (CDT)


We need more options to buy music, not less.

Posted by rilhouse in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 1:09 PM (CDT)


You people truly are fan boys.  Anything Apple does is genious.  Well news flash, Real hasn’t done anything wrong.  What the difference between what Real has done and what programmers do everyday?  Real tried to do things the nice way and when Apple said “No thanks” Real said “ok, then we’ll do it the hard way”.

Companies do stuff like this all the time.  Hell, Microsoft’s famous for it.  Linux programmers do similar things on Microsoft technologies all the time (example: Mono), but I guess that’s different since they’re treding on the evil M$ company and not Apple.

Posted by mkoby in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 1:14 PM (CDT)


Seem like many ppl here are truely apple fanboy. Open your mind and think for a second. What did Real do that is wrong. Reverse-engineering is permitted by law (and yes, even by the DMCA for the interoperating purpose.

Real is merely give more choice to customers. You must be really dense to accept that only musics from iTMS can be played on iPod. FYI, you buy the iPod, not leasing from Apple.

I hate this kind of double standard. Think about this situation again but substitue Apple/Jobs with MS/Gates, what do you think now?


Posted by mm in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 1:52 PM (CDT)


REAL PLAYER is the worst media player on the internet. It’s full of Spyware, Chocked full of it. it’s Terrible, i mean, the only thing worse than Real Player is AIDS

Posted by TS in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 2:35 PM (CDT)


Worry not?,
As iPod users,We didnt buy into the Real Crapworx deal first time round and We’re not likely to now!
The previous posters’ attitudes are a tad unprincipled-Digital rights management software is the only reason the Record co’s agree to deal with Apple,OD2 etc.
Its up to Apple to decide compatabilitys (?) with the iPod certainly not a close competitor like Real especially when Apple has negotiated licensing agreements with the Record industry that are dependant on the DRM software.Real have tried to stitch up Apple here-naughty

Posted by fanboywithintegrity in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 2:39 PM (CDT)


I’m with Apple on this one. As a software engineer, I know that it’s not good when people build things on an unsupported interface. Apple needs to be free to change their software without worrying about what some third party has written to an unsupported interface. You can say its not their worry, but it is, because from the point of view of the poor uninformed consumer, who just bought a bunch of songs that they were told would play on the iPod and suddenly they don’t, they will blame the iPod. It will make Apple look bad, even though it’s not their fault at all.

Posted by lesliet in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 2:58 PM (CDT)


“i mean, the only thing worse than Real Player is AIDS”

Quite an un-necessary statement.  Don’t you think?

Posted by schaaking in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 3:17 PM (CDT)


I don’t necessarily care about Real, but I do want more choices and competition. I’m an Apple Computer and iPod fan, but I really don’t like the way Apple is behaving in all this. If they are going to bitch about what Real has done, then they need to open up FairPlay and give us choices.

Posted by sjonke in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 3:38 PM (CDT)


Despite all the soap opera drama, I think the whole thing is overblown and overestimates Real’s motives and intentions.

Of course, they say its all about providing choice, but at the end of the day, the only choice Real offers is that you choose THEIR solution rather than Apple’s, and that you MUST you REALPLAYER to manage your iPod instead of iTunes. 

The fact is that the iPod already offers choice.  You have the choice to buy from iTMS or not.  You also have the choice to buy music from a variety of online sources that support open MP3 format.  You also have the choice to buy CD’s and rip them in any format you want, playable on whatever device you want, and with whatever jukebox you want.

To me, it seems that Real is offering me much in the way of self-serving bullshit, and little in the way of choice, despite their phoney “nobler than thou” PR spewtum.

Posted by Now c'mon...REAL-ly in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 3:42 PM (CDT)


I don’t think Apple needs any “help” from Real at the moment. They can barely keep iPods in stock and last thing I read about the iTunes store was that it could/would become profitable.

“Choices”? At least AAC are still mp4s at heart. What the f*** are Real and WMA files? iTunes has over 750,000 songs and Amazon has every album you could want to burn to your iPod—do we need more choices? Only a spoiled American would say something like.

“Fanboys”? We’re not all “boys” here you small penis simpleton.

Posted by sisel in Irvine, CA on July 29, 2004 at 3:44 PM (CDT)

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