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Apple sued for threatening fan wiki

Accused of suppressing free speech
Tue Apr 28 2009, 11:23

THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION and a San Francisco law firm sued Apple yesterday, accusing the Cupertino flogger of expensive PCs and personal technotoys of having illegally suppressed open discussion of its gadgets on a fan forum late last year.

The lawsuit is based on a threatening letter Apple's legal department sent to Odioworks in November 2008 demanding that Odioworks take down a thread about Iphones and Ipods on the Bluewiki web site.

The thread contained posts by Bluewiki users discussing strategies and methods for potentially making the Iphone and Ipod interoperate with non-Apple music files and software. The Bluewiki users hadn't succeeded in actually jail-breaking the devices.

Odioworks took down the Bluewiki thread at the time, but now it's claiming that Apple's takedown notice was an illegal suppression of its users' rights to free speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief from the court, "to clarify the rights of the parties and to refute Apple's baseless assertions of copyright infringement and violation of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act...."

The 11-page complaint is available for reading at your leisure here (PDF). µ


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