James Boyle, of the law school at my fine Alma Mater, had a fun Financial Times article on the iPod/Real thing last week. My favorite line:
If I want to use Real’s service to download music to my own device, where’s the breaking and entering?… So leaving aside the legal claim for a moment, where is the ethical foul? Apple was saying (and apparently believed) that Real had broken into something different from my iPod or your iPod. They had broken into the idea of an iPod. (I imagine a small, Platonic white rectangle, presumably imbued with the spirit of Steve Jobs.)
Good summary of really the whole API/interop problem for non-techies- it’s the same thing MS wants to do with patenting the Office file format stuff, and very similar to the CD-DRM problem, so it’s a lot more important than ‘just’ Real v. Apple.