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The patent threat from Apple

por Zak Rogoff Published on 14/12/2012 14:18
Steve Jobs went on record vowing to "destroy" Android because he felt Apple deserved an exclusive right to make touch-based smartphones. Jobs obviously did not have the best interest of smartphone users in mind, seeking to restrict options to his proprietary and restrictive devices. But are threats like this credible? How could Apple get rid of Android?

When Jobs said he would "destroy" Android, he meant to do it using software patents. Apple continually amasses patents, numbering in the thousands, simply so that it can threaten other developers with lawsuits if they create something vaguely similar to an Apple program, even by accident.

Though Tim Cook is now CEO of Apple, the company's aggressive use of software patents hasn't changed. Apple remains hostile to other developers, using patents to threaten those that try to write programs that interact with its products or draw inspiration from them. (You can read more about this hostility on our blog).

Apple has a huge influence on the computing world. But this doesn't mean it isn't vulnerable to criticism; Apple is very image-conscious, going to great lengths to look good despite its bad intentions. The FSF works to expose Apple with creative online campaigns and takes action with in-person protests. Right now, you can let Apple know that you see through its sleek image; write to Apple CEO Tim Cook and to let him know you won't be buying a device from Apple because of its use of destructive software patents.

Click here to compose an email to Tim Cook.

You can also send mail directly to tcook at the obvious host name, apple.com. Please CC us at campaigns@fsf.org so we can see the response to our campaign.

Want to learn more about the Apple's abuses of developers and users of its software? Check out the FSF's page about Apple.

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