Apple has a history of using lawyers against bloggers. There was the now infamous Think Secret lawsuit, which may have had merit. But they also engage in clearly superfluous, bullying tactics as well. In August we received a letter from Apple’s lawyers demanding that we remove an embedded YouTube video showing features from OSX 10.5. We felt this was an extreme position to take – Apple could have simply requested YouTube to remove the video. And this wasn’t a trade secrets issue – they also had a very similar video up on their own website.
Today Apple is engaging in similar tactics against a number of bloggers who simply reported on the fact that someone created a skin for Windows Mobile phones that looks exactly like the new iPhone user interface. See the images above – the Windows version is on the left, Apple’s version is on the right.
The offending download page is here (the software has now been removed). Blogger Paul O’Brien simply linked to this download page and included a screenshot of the user interface and also received a cease & desist letter from Apple’s lawyers.
I think this is all complete nonsense. If Apple wants to go after the guy that made the Windows Mobile skin that looks like the iPhone, fine. But to bully bloggers who are simply reporting on this is another matter.
More on this story at TechMeme. As far as I can tell, the software is no longer available anywhere for download. If that is incorrect, please let us know.
Update: Parallel issue here – this time for Palm. I assume Apple will crack down on anyone reporting about this as well.