Real v. Apple - Who Wins?


RealNetworks Rankles Apple With Software

Seems a lot of news agencies have been putting their own spins on this news, but what it boils down to is RealNetworks using backdoor IP thievery to weasel their way into (1) the news, and (2) Apple's pocketbook.

First things first, the only reason Real had to basically hack Apples AAC file format was because they themselves do not support the universal MP3 file format that most people are familiar with and use on a regular basis to freely move files to and from their iPod. True, people who download their music from iTunes are using Apple's AAC format, but most of the people who know what they're doing immediately burn those to a CD, then extract them as MP3s, so they can do with them what they will.

At least they're not pulling a Sony here - their newest audio player supposedly does not even support MP3 playback at all, and requires files to be in Sony's (surprise!) proprietary format.

But still, Real of all people should understand that hacking into and appropriating another company's technology isn't the smartest thing to do in this day and age of RIAA lawsuits and the DMCA! So why would they intentionally and blatantly reverse-engineer the codec used by the single largest digital audio player in the market? Simple - attention. Real's been a half-assed, has-been player in the online audio market for years. Both Microsoft and Apple have handed Real defeat after defeat, and their RealAudio format, once the cutting edge of both audio and video online, now looks sad and pathetic compared to the other options out there.

Shame on you, Real...if this had been done the other way, you'd already have your lawyers in court. I really hope Apple will sue your pants off, but you'll probably just force them into a licensing agreement, now that you sprung the bombshell on the community. Real classy. Really. I mean it.


What it boils down to is Apple using backdoor IP thievery to weasel their way into (1) the market, and (2) Microsoft's pocketbook.

(Reffering to Apple shipping Samba with MacOS X).

Actually, not...samba is an LICENSED solution to network with Microsoft systems, so they're not "weaseling" their way into MS' pocketbook, at least no more than anyone else using the NetBIOS/SMB networking protocols to inter-work with MS' 90% market share.