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August 17, 2004
Competition to Apple: Get Real
NYT: "RealNetworks plans to announce on Tuesday that it is putting its digital music offerings on sale at half price as part of an aggressive strategy to force its way onto Apple Computer's popular iPod digital music player.
Mr. Glaser acknowledged the company would not benefit directly from selling music at a loss, but he said that he believed that it would help force Apple to change its policy about licensing the iPod to play music from competitors."
Later: Engadget: "Hoping to get a little people power on their side in their battle to try and get Apple to open up the iPod to downloads from their online music stores, RealNetworks launched a 'Hey Apple, Don't Break My iPod' online petition which quickly turned against them and filled up with such witty anti-Real chestnuts as, 'REAL CRAP. rob you are a loser!' and 'If you guys dare to touch my iPod!! Oh Boy
! Im so going to rip out your....' They ended up removing the link from their site and put up another one which only lists people's names and nothing else."
Later #2:Fred von Lohmann: "In the latest development in the ongoing spat between
RealNetworks and Apple over the iPod, RealNetworks has launched its 'Freedom of Music Choice' campaign. 'Consumers are getting a raw deal with the status quo in digital music, which limits healthy, open competition that drives down prices and encourages innovation,' trumpets the campaign website.
Lovely sentiment. We couldn't agree more. But it's not as if Real is doing anything to change that status quo. After all, Real keeps its customers in DRM shackles that look pretty similar to Apple's FairPlay. In fact, Real's beef with Apple is really about keeping those shackles on its customers when the move songs to the iPod."
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