The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Apple are standing down over a legal dispute involving the Web site Bluwiki. Apple is no longer going after Bluwiki’s operators for what it says was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and in return EFF has dropped its own lawsuit against Apple, reports The Loop.
Apple’s legal counsel, O’Melveny & Myers, went after the iPodhash project in late 2008. iPodhash’s developers sought to reverse-engineer elements of Apple’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, and Apple’s legal counsel claimed this violated aspects of the DMCA which involve the circumvention of file protection.
Apple’s lawyers then e-mailed Bluwiki, a site involved in the creation of wiki pages, for its role in distributing information about the iPodhash project. This raised the ire of the EFF, which said that what Apple was doing was tantamount to trying to quash Bluwiki’s right to free speech, and that no violation of the DMCA had taken place.
In announcing the withdrawal of EFF’s lawsuit, EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann said that while the organization was happy to put the incident behind it, the EFF is disappointed it took Apple seven months to come around. Von Lohmann also predicted that this issue will raise its head again as “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.”