Cydia Opens Unauthorized iPhone Application Store

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Date: Monday, March 9th, 2009, 06:07
Category: Legal

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Though the App Store provides some incredibly fun and useful stuff, there are still some iPhone and iPod touch applications that can’t be acquired through this end. Applications like Cycorder, which lets you use your iPhone as a camcorder or PdaNet, which allows users to use the iPhone’s cellular data connection on their computer via a Wi-Fi connection, may never see the light of day via Apple’s online retail channel for the handset and according to Wall Street Journal, have been available through Cydia, a software installer developed by 27-year-old California graduate student Jay Freeman.
Starting today, Cydia will be opening its own app store, providing a way those jailbreak developers to easily sell their applications.
Freeman has stated that Cydia “intends to charge developers no more than the commission Apple does for his site’s billing services.” The paper reported that two more rival app stores are also underway, including one interested in “selling adult games for the iPhone.”
Though this seems like these App Store rivals may need to have their lawyers on speed dial, many technology law scholars have said that an Apple legal victory isn’t necessarily a given, as this qualifies as uncharted legal territory.
“Courts have said you shouldn’t use the DMCA to leverage your copyright monopoly into other markets,” said Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, who said that federal courts ruled that previous DMCA-related cases were less about preventing copyright infringement, but rather about stifling competition.
Last December, the EFF proposed an exemption to the DMCA that would legalize jailbreaking. In response, Apple filed their opposition to the proposal in February arguing that it could lead to problems with the iPhone’s security and reliability, as well as providing a potential venue for pirated iPhone applications.
Many tech law experts still say that the jailbreakers might actually have a viable defense. While jailbreaking and unlocking are not the same process, the iPhone unlocking process requires jailbreaking, so it seems likely that the same legal reasoning to defend against unlocking might hold.
Either way, Cydia’s Freeman has stated that he’s ready for the impending legal challenges to come…
If you have two cents to throw in on this, please let us know in the comments or forums.

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Third Class Action Suit Emerges Over iPhone Battery Replacements

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Date: Wednesday, September 5th, 2007, 07:52
Category: Legal

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A third class action law suit regarding the iPhone battery has emerged. The new case, filed by a Mr. and Mrs. Stiener, cite that the battery in the iPhone will only last for 300 cycles before being completely exhausting. According to the complain, the battery would cost US$115 to replace as well as the time necessary to wait for a replacement.
The couple alleges that by not placing a warning about this apparent limitation in or on its packing materials, Apple and wireless carrier AT&T have violated both good faith and the California Commercial code, which demands that manufacturers in the state honestly reflect how their products will perform in real-world conditions. The Stieners have gone on record to state that the two companies responsible for the iPhone and its service meant to defraud customers.
According to The iPodObserver, the nine-page argument that the case is using as its central core is being written by the Hoffman and Lazear as well as Folkenflik and McGerity law firms. Both of these firms handled a similar suit regarding the iPhone battery in mid-August. If found guilty, Apple and AT&T would be forced to pay restitution to any affected customer in the state of California.
If you have any ideas or feedback on this, let us know in the comments or forums.

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California Law May Ban Cell, Laptop Use in Cars by Teen Drivers

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Date: Thursday, August 30th, 2007, 09:12
Category: Legal


A new bill which just passed the California assembly on Monday by a 62-5 vote may ban California drivers under 18 from using a cell phone, pager, text messaging device or laptop while driving.
The amendment aims to improve driver safety, one of the cited studies finding that while teenagers make up 6% of licensed drivers, they compromise 16% of auto accident fatalities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the bill, which was previously approved by the state senate, will head back there for expected final approval of amendments before being placed on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk. It’s unknown as to whether the Governor is expected to sign or veto it.
Opponents of the bill have argued that other distractions, such as CDs and music, continue to exist. Others have cited that hands-free devices, help remove the danger from using a device such as a cell phone in the car.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Additional Class-Action Suit Filed Against Apple Over iPhones

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Date: Wednesday, August 29th, 2007, 08:46
Category: Legal

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You can’t please all the people all the time.
Apple is facing yet another class-action lawsuit over its iPhone handset. The most recent action comes on behalf of New York state resident Herbert H. Kliegerman, who cites that the company failed to adequately disclose to its customers that the iPhone would be locked to AT&T’s network and that using the handset would incur substantial data roaming charges.
According to AppleInsider, the nine-page complaint, filed Monday in New York Supreme Court, accuses Apple of engaging in deceptive and misleading practices by failing to properly disclose that the iPhone would only work with AT&T SIM cards and that unlock codes would not be provided to bring the device to alternate carriers.
In the complaint, Kliegerman cites a week-long trip to Mexico, where he used his iPhone to check e-mails and go online. He did so, according to the suit, after reading a statement on Apple’s iPhone website stating that “[y]ou can browse the Internet and send emails as often as you like without being charged extra.”
Upon his return, the plaintiff claims he received a bill from AT&T with approximately US$2,000 in international data roaming charges. Kliegerman then stated that, being a frequent traveler, he returned the iPhone to AT&T in order to obtain an unlock code for the iPhone, but was told that these would not be provided to him.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Users File Second Class-Action Suit Over iPhone Battery

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Date: Monday, August 20th, 2007, 08:00
Category: Legal

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You can’t please them all.
A second class-action law suit has been filed against Apple and AT&T accusing the companies of failing to inform its iPhone customers that fees of more than US$100 would be needed to replace the battery as well as maintain service.
The suit, which according to Computerworld, was filed last Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Sydney Leung, is purported to represent a group that could represent hundreds of thousands of iPhone owners. Leung’s case seeks more than US$5 million in compensatory and punitive damages and a court conference to discuss the matter has been set for November 28th.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Apple Faces Patent Infringement Suit Over iPhone Keyboard Technologies

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Date: Tuesday, August 7th, 2007, 10:24
Category: Legal

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On Monday, Apple was notified this its iPhone handset allegedly infringes on a 2004 patent issued to Florida-based SP Technologies, LLC.
According to MacNN, the patent outlines a “method and medium for computer readable keyboard display incapable of user termination.” SP Technogies is currently asking that Apple pay what it considers to be “reasonable royalties” for each iPhone sold and is also seeking a permanent injunction against the Cupertino, California-based firm in order to prevent the use of its intellectual property in the popular handset.
SP Technologies has cited Apple’s “willful and deliberate” infringement of its patent, as described in the complaint, which was issued on August 2nd in a federal court in Tyler, Texas.
Should Apple be found guilt of the charges described in the complaint, the company could be forced to pay punitive damages equal to three times the economic the plaintiff can prove it has suffered.
In the past year, Apple has filed dozens of patents related to the iPhone and its unique touch-screen and gesture-based technologies.
Have two cents to throw in about this? Let us know in the comments of forums.

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Class Action Suit Filed Against Apple Over iPhone Battery

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Date: Tuesday, July 31st, 2007, 15:30
Category: Legal

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A class-action law suit has been brought against Apple and AT&T accusing the company of unfairly steering its user base towards buying frequent and expensive iPhone battery replacements via a non-replaceable battery.
The suit, represented by lead plaintiff, Illinois-based Jose Trujillo, alleges that the lithium-ion battery found in the current version of the iPhone will exhaust itself in approximately 300 charges – roughly a year of consistent use. The situation thereby guarantees that users will need to have the battery replaced on a yearly basis, a situation that could have been avoided via an easily accessible battery compartment.
According to Gizmodo, Trujillo has stated that the customer is essentially tricked into buying a unit wherein users can’t easily replace the battery by on their own:
“Unknown to the Plaintiff, and undisclosed to the public prior to purchase, the iPhone is a sealed unit with it’s [sic] battery soldered on the inside of the device so that it cannot be changed by the owner,” the suit notes.
Click the jump for the full story…

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Law and Order – Cupertino

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Date: Thursday, April 26th, 2007, 00:00
Category: Legal

I have watched enough TV to know that when you catch a small fish you offer them a deal and get them to flip on the ring leader. Fred Anderson took a deal and has certainly implicated Mr. Jobs in the public statement issued by his attorney. It appears that Nancy Heinen will be taking her chances in the courtroom and she has a lot more to lose than Fred Anderson. Will she plead out and testify against Mr. Jobs or follow the code of omerta?
How did this happen? Apple management awarded themselves something like US$100M in options and then picked earlier strike dates that allowed them to say it was less, let’s say $80M. Management performance had been stellar and US$20M amounts to just peanuts when you look at the profits and performance this team delivered. If these laws were written in order to protect shareholders, where is the harm in all this?
Well, presumably they also told Uncle Sam the same story at tax time. Now I am only a “contributing” editor here at the PowerPage, but for the sake of argument, let us say that Jason started paying me US$100K a year to write this drivel. If I told the IRS it was only US$80K, where would the harm be in that? And if I did that a thousand years in a row, it would amount to just about the same thing. If subpoenaed and asked to testify at Nancy Heinen’s upcoming trial, I would suggest Mr. Jobs have a sit-down with Martha Stewart to find out what it’s like to do hard time or whatever sort of time it is you do in minimum security.

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Apple Admits Backdating; CFO Fred Anderson Resigns

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Date: Thursday, October 5th, 2006, 13:01
Category: Legal

Apple (AAPL) said late Thursday that stock options granted on 15 dates between 1997 and 2002 were apparently backdated, and though CEO Steve Jobs was aware of favorable grants, he didn’t benefit personally and “was unaware of the accounting implications.

“In addition, the company announced that Fred Anderson, who served as Apple’s CFO from 1996 to 2004, resigned from the company’s board, believing it is in “Apple’s best interests” that he go.

The Street.com :: Apple Owns Up to Backdating

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Apple Goes After “Podcast”

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Date: Monday, September 25th, 2006, 10:16
Category: Legal

Now that Apple’s lawyers have scared the pants off of small entrepreneurs selling products like the Profit Pod and TightPod — items that have nothing to with portable audio in any way, mind you — it seems that the next targets are companies that have the audacity to use the word “podcast” in their names.

With “pod” on lockdown, Apple goes after “podcast” – Engadget

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