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Originally published August 6 2004

Apple Computer Now Emerging As An Anti-Competitive, Narrow-Minded Company That Prefers To Limit Consumer Rights Rather Than Expand Them

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Apple is taking more heat over its anti-competitive practices regarding its iPod copy protection technology. The French online music store Virgin Mega has now filed a legal complaint against Apple, saying that Apple is engaged in anti-competitive practices by refusing to license the copy protection technology used in its iPod consumer electronics devices. This is yet more news about Apple's anti-competitive stance on music.

Real Networks recently called on Apple to open up its Fairplay digital rights technology so that other competing music services could transfer music content onto Apple's iPod players. But Apple apparently isn't really interested in open music standards. In fact, today Apple is beginning to act a lot like the MPAA or the RIAA, both of which strongly promote closed, proprietary digital rights management schemes for limiting the copying and the transfer of music from one device to another. Apple is apparently playing the same game now by blocking competing music services from being able to easily transfer music content to iPod devices.

It is a monopolistic practice by Apple, no doubt, and it runs counter to the philosophy of the Apple community, which has traditionally been far more open and fair-minded. Perhaps this is an indication of a fundamental shift in the philosophy of Apple computer. From here forward, the company seems intent on monopolizing its relationship with consumers and limiting their options rather than expanding them.

For my part, I think the iPod has always been an overpriced, underperforming consumer electronics device and I neither own one nor recommend it. If you want to play music files, go get yourself an iRiver flash MP3 player, which holds far more music than other flash players on the market, and has outstanding battery life to boot. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this situation and watch what Apple does down the road to inconvenience customers in its attempt to monopolize its intellectual property sales channels.

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