Apple backs down after legal threats

Cupertino (CA) – Apple has backed down from its legal bullying of the Web site Bluwiki, a site hosting content for iTunes database exploration.

According to Apple Insider it all started when Bluwiki offered a set of anonymous user-created wiki pages where users explained how to sync media with iPods and iPhones without the use of iTunes.

Apple was furious that someone would dare use its iPods without iTunes and threatened to sue Odowork’s Bluwiki even though it did nothing to suggest anything illegal.

iTunesDB uses iTunes’ database file system and creates third-party software that can replicate the sync functionality of iTunes for iPhones and iPods without forcing users to run Apple’s own media software.

In November 2008, Apple slapped writ after writ on Bluwiki. It claimed that iTunesDB violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)’s rules on circumventing copyright locks and successfully frightened OdioWorks into taking down the wiki entries.

But things started going badly for Apple when the pressure group the Electronic Frontier Foundation took up the case and started firing off a few legal writs of its own. In April 2009, the EFF returned fire, suing Apple on behalf of OdioWorks. In a writ they asked a court to reject Apple’s claims and allow Bluwiki to restore the pages.

Now it seems that Apple has sent a letter withdrawing its cease and desist demands, and EFF responded by moving to dismiss its complaint against Apple.

Red-faced attorneys at Apple have said that the outfit no longer has, nor will it have in the future, any objection to the publication of the iTunesDB Pages.

As the EFF points out, while it was nice that Apple retracted its baseless legal threats, it was disappointing that it only came after seven months of censorship and a lawsuit.