« MySpace's vacancy | Main | Grid unlocked »

Is that a ticking crocodile?

March 22, 2006

Last week I noted how Microsoft's new "power to the people" message echoed Apple's old "1984" pitch. Yesterday, the topsy got even turvier. France gave Apple the treatment it usually reserves for Microsoft, as its National Assembly passed a measure that would require Apple to unlock its iPod/iTunes fortress. Apple, whose Macintosh design team once famously flew the pirate flag above its Silicon Valley hideout, immediately attacked France's move as "state-sponsored piracy."

"If this happens, legal music sales will plummet just when legitimate alternatives to piracy are winning over customers," said Apple, deftly repositioning itself as the benign Big Brother protecting us little folks from our criminal instincts. "Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy."

Isn't that more or less what Disney said about Apple back in 2002 when Apple was running its "Rip. Mix. Burn." ads? "The 'killer app' for the computer industry is piracy," declared Disney's then-CEO Michael Eisner, as he accused Apple of encouraging people to engage in thievery. That was also when Steve Jobs was lecturing the recording industry about the evils of restrictive encryption methods. "If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own," Jobs said. (I'm not sure if he was wearing a beret at the time.)

Here's something else Jobs said, back when he launched the Macintosh program in 1983: "It's better to be a pirate than join the navy."

I guess it all comes down to how much gold you have in the hold.


After hearing much hype about ipod finally bought a 60GB video ipod. Tried a week, got fed up with it and returned.

I am more satisfied for my return decision now when I read your blog.

Copying my own videos takes hours if not days. Looks like copying files bought from their store is fine.

I hate any product/company that talks dual standards.

Posted by: Sam C at March 23, 2006 09:00 AM

I guess we all need to get a pirate name then. My name is "Hackin' Radley Hornigold".

You can get yours here...

Posted by: Arnie McKinnis at March 23, 2006 05:19 PM

Mine's Hobblin' Eugene Hacke, which is, uh, lame.

Posted by: Nick at March 23, 2006 07:57 PM

Posted by: Gianni at March 24, 2006 12:50 PM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

carrshot5.jpg Subscribe to Rough Type

Now in paperback:
shallowspbk2.jpg Pulitzer Prize Finalist

"Riveting" -San Francisco Chronicle

"Rewarding" -Financial Times

"Revelatory" -Booklist

Order from Amazon

Visit The Shallows site

The Cloud, demystified: bigswitchcover2thumb.jpg "Future Shock for the web-apps era" -Fast Company

"Ominously prescient" -Kirkus Reviews

"Riveting stuff" -New York Post

Order from Amazon

Visit Big Switch site

Greatest hits

The amorality of Web 2.0

Twitter dot dash

The engine of serendipity

The editor and the crowd

Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians

The great unread

The love song of J. Alfred Prufrock's avatar

Flight of the wingless coffin fly

Sharecropping the long tail

The social graft

Steve's devices

MySpace's vacancy

The dingo stole my avatar

Excuse me while I blog

Other writing

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

The ignorance of crowds

The recorded life

The end of corporate computing

IT doesn't matter

The parasitic blogger

The sixth force



The limits of computers: Order from Amazon

Visit book site

Rough Type is:

Written and published by
Nicholas Carr

Designed by

JavaScript must be enabled to display this email address.