A recent development on an ongoing case is giving a few people hope: Those following the Electronic Frontier Foundation or Apple may remember a story from last year. In November 2008, the computer and peripheral manufacturer sent cease-and-desist threats to OdioWorks, owner of Bluwiki, concerning a series of hobbyist chats about syncing media to iPods and iPhones without using iTunes.
Bluwiki removed the pages, but in April 2009, a San Francisco law firm operating with the EFF filed a suit against Apple, requesting the courts to dismiss Apple’s case against OdioWorks.
On July 8th, Apple withdrew its demands. The EFF has now dropped its suit.
Unfortunately, this is only one battle in the war against software and computer companies locking paying users into use of proprietary mother and third-party company devices and software. While we can hope the victory will set a common precedent, it is doubtful individuals and businesses are forever saved from similar situations.
Hopefully Apple will be giving such discussions the benefit of the doubt onward.