'Stunned' Apple rails against Real's iPod move

Apple Computer on Thursday issued a scathing response to RealNetworks' move to unlock Apple's proprietary technology and make it possible for people to listen to music in RealNetworks' digital file format on iPod devices.

In a terse statement, a "stunned" Apple accused RealNetworks of adopting "the tactics and ethics of a hacker" with the release of its Harmony software, which allows songs sold via its online store to be played on a variety of portable devices, including Apple's iPod and Microsoft-compatible rivals. Apple threatened to block access to the iPod using Harmony the next time it updates the software used to run the device. The company last week unveiled the fourth generation of the trend-setting music player.

"It is highly likely that Real's Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods," the company said in its statement. In addition, Apple said that it is investigating the implications of Real's software strategy under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other laws. The DMCA broadly restricts the bypassing of copy-protection technologies used in DVDs and in some music CDs and software programs.

News source: C|Net News.com

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