Apple has released new version of their IPods (nano, iPod Classic, iPod Touch) which restrict user freedoms.
Up until now it was possible to synchronize (e.g. get music from the iPod and putting music into it) with the iPod’s with many different programs. So you didn’t need the iTunes program to use your iPod. This was a good thing, because iTunes is not available on every platform (i.e. GNU/Linux, …) and secondly in created a vibrant environment of competing programs.
The latest iPods have a cryptographic “checksum” in their song databases that prevents third-party applications from synching with the portable music players. This means that iPods can no longer be used with operating systems where iTunes doesn’t exist — like Linux, where gtkpod and Amarok are common free tools used by iPod owners to load their players.
This means… New iPods can only be used with iTunes… Restricting usage and a try to monopolize this environment.
It is not the first time Apple tries to demolish users freedom: Boycott Apple and show them that you have the right to use their products in every way YOU like.
But now to our second beloved company Sony. As you may know, Sony had used rootkits on their CD’s to prevent copying of these CD’s. Not only that these rootkits are putting you at risk to be compromised through security holes. No, Sony installed the software on your computer without informing the users. And, of course, it had a lot of other problems too (like not allowing burning OTHER data).
They got a lot of criticism for their behavior and removed the software from their CD. Again showing that non-free software can’t be trusted.
Like Apple, Sony probably will never learn: They sell USB sticks (MicroVault) which include driver that.. who would have thought of these… include another rootkit. Only after getting media coverage they have cleaned the software from the rootkit. Which leads me again to… yes I know the sentence gets old. But it is true: Non-Software can’t be trusted…
So remember.. Buying Apple and Sony products mean that you are supporting companies who believe in taking freedoms and criminalizing customers.