Apple brings open source fight to India

PlayFair, an open source project which mimics ITunes software and allows Linux users to listen to ITunes music has ended its Indian vacation, according to news reports here. The project which was kicked off SourceForge last week had relocated to an Indian server, hosted by Sarovar,org, an open source not for profit group. Sarovar folks received a legal notice from Apple India. (Here is the link.)

bq. “PlayFair lets music bought from Apple’s iTunes Music Store (iTMS) play on any computer. But Apple is fighting a global battle to restrict iTunes buyers to the iPod – its popular music player – apart from a limited number of PCs,” says S. Rajkumar, a founding member of the not-for-profit Sarovar.

Apple has been very aggressive in pulling the shutters on this software because it worries that it could slow the sales of its hit IPod product. Given that it is ITunes and IPod which are saving the company’s skin these days, it is no surprise.

bq. “Apple licences buyers to play iTunes on iPod and three other pre-decided computers. But PlayFair lets them listen to iTunes on any device. More than 30,000 have downloaded PlayFair within four days, from India,” says Rajkumar.

I am trying to figure out the implications of all this for the overall software and music business in India and will be filing a report later.


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