Apple Fights Open Source Software in India

June 2004

Record Labels, Internet

In an intermittent war between the open-source community and the proprietary software industry, Apple Computers has slammed a legal notice on for hosting a software tool called Playfair., a Thiruvananthapuram based Indian portal dedicated to the open source software community, had hosted Playfair, a tool that enables free download of music files from Apple’s properitary online music store, iTunes. iTunes contains around 500,000 music files and offers users the facility to download music by paying 99 cents per song. The downloaded music can be played only on iPods, again a proprietary Apple hardware that permits the playback of such music. However, PlayFair, written by a US programmer, enables a user to play the songs from Apple’s iTunes on any operating system. Playfair was first hosted by a US-based website called Sour-ceForge but Apple invoked the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyrights Act) against PlayFair and asked SourceForge to remove the tool from its site. The tool was almost immediately relocated to On April 19, 2004, received a legal notice from the Indian attorneys of Apple, citing provisions of the (Indian) Copyright Act and the (Indian) Information Technology Act by which they attempted to demonstrate that the hosting of the PlayFair tool on the servers was in direct contravention of the law.


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