Apple Comments on Real [Updated]
We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod and we are investigating the implications of its actions under the DMCA and other laws
Apple also warns that the song compatibility may be broken in the future.
This statement comes on the heels of hints that Real was looking into licensing the unofficial format to 3rd party companies wanting to create iPod compatible songs.
[Update] MacWorld's MacCentral posts RealNetwork's response to Apple's comments.
There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real's music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices. Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software.