Jun 10th 2008 6:01PM Just for reference, and I don't think iPhones will be sold without plans here in the US given what the leaked doc says, there is a way to "fine" after the sale. DirecTV has mandated that every receiver sold requires that the sale comes with a condition that if not activated within 30 days, they can charge you additional fees (meant to cut down on Sat piracy). You agree to that when you buy it - even from an online vendor - so there is one way to make you sign a contract even if you don't sign up for service at the time of sale.
As I said though, I think they will get there way by mandating that a customer pick a plan at the time of sale. I sure do hope they have a streamlined process for doing that...
Jun 10th 2008 5:55PM I think the AP was confused. If you check the leaked AT&T memo that Gizmodo posted here:
you'll see this quote:
"Customers must accept AT&T and Apple Ts & Cs, sign a 2-year agreement, and select the data plan for the iPhone 3G before leaving the store. "
It also has this quote, which I think is where AP got confused (they may not have seen this and just asked questions and tried to put the pieces together later - I trust the accuracy a document like this that clearly spells it all out, assuming it is legit):
"To cancel service within the first 30 days, the customer must return their equipment to the place of purchase (no exceptions).
If the customer cancels service after 30 days, they will be charged the ETF. The customer is not required to return the device to cancel after 30 days."
The quote from the AP story was:
"There would be penalties for users who do not activate the iPhone in the first 30 days, AT&T said, in a move aimed at reducing the number of customers who buy an iPhone and tweak it so that they can use it on another network."
The gist is similar but the specifics are slightly different. AT&T's aim can be achieved by what the leaked doc spells out - charging an ETF for plans cancelled after 30 days. I read the leaked doc to mean that an iPhone won't leave the store without a contract having been agreed to.
Jun 10th 2008 11:16AM Just as a follow-up, it does raise some interesting questions then about device upgrades going forward. If an existing non-iPhone customer pays a non-subsidized purchase price and also has to re-up their contract, does that push out their existing upgrade eligibility date? You'd think not, as that would be a huge middle finger on top of it all, but again you never know...
Jun 10th 2008 11:01AM Here's what's still unclear to me - and maybe they haven't figured this out yet. Let's say you are an existing AT&T customer using a device other than the iPhone who isn't eligible for an upgrade discount for a while. If you choose to move to the iPhone 3G before your upgrade discount period, will you have to pay the additional purchase price for the iPhone AND re-up for 2 more years?
Last year everyone had to re-up, even if you were an existing customer, but the purchase price was the same. Making existing non-iPhone customers pay more AND re-up seems excessive. However, I wouldn't be surprised if that's exact;y what AT&T did...
Sep 18th 2007 10:58AM From the B&W Zeppelin FAQ:
"9. Using an iPhone with Zeppelin.
Zeppelin will play music from the iPhone, but the iPhone does not yet know that Zeppelin is unlike virtually all the other docking speaker systems on the market in this respect. So when you dock an iPhone, it will display one of two messages.
If the phone function is disabled, the message is:
""This accessory is not made to work with iPhone. OK?""
Simply press OK and the iPhone will behave with full functionality as described in Zeppelin's owner's manual just like a 5G iPod, except of course that the interface is different.
If the phone function is enabled, the message is:
""This accessory is not made to work with iPhone. Would you like to turn on Airplane Mode to reduce audio interference (you will not be able to make or receive calls)? Yes/No""
If you press Yes, the phone function is disabled and the previous condition applies. If you press No, you can still listen to music, because we have taken care to make Zeppelin immune to interference. If you have an incoming call, the iPhone will ring through Zeppelin and mute the music.
To take the call, remove the iPhone from Zeppelin and replace it when the call is finished. The iPhone currently does not support phone operation while docked."
Nov 21st 2006 10:37AM What kind of deals do they usually have? I know I may have visited the online store on Black Friday in previous years but can't for the life of me remember how good the discounts were. Since I'm looking into a MacBook Pro for the holidays, I'm wondering if there will be any discounts offered on it...
Nov 19th 2006 10:17PM "1, this is an American problem. and although most Americans don't know it, some of us live in OTHER countries,"
Wait, you mean there is life outside the US? Who knew? :-P
Nov 19th 2006 7:51PM As Embee points out, even private ripping of your legally purchased titles at home, for your own use violates the DMCA. The DMCA doesn't overturn consumers' fair use rights. What it does instead is place copyright holders' access control rights ahead of end-user fair use rights. The copyright holders get to decide who has access to the content before any of us get to implement our fair use rights.
Standard CD technology is older and therefore doesn't have any access control technology (something I'm sure the labels are kicking themselves over). CSS is employed on DVDs and, contrary to popular belief, is not a copy protection measure but an access control measure. Without a valid key, the content on the DVD can't be read (of course we all know how easy this is to bypass following the advent of DeCSS). The DMCA backs that up by making it illegal to circumvent access control measures. The DMCA does nothing to restrict or make illegal copying or even circumventing copy protection measures. But, since you first have to gain access in order to make a copy, the illegality of circumventing access control essentially takes away users' fair use rights to copy. It makes the creation, distribution and even the use of access circumvention technology illegal.
An example of how fair use is maintained even in the face of the DMCA can be seen with Kaleidescape. They use legally acquired keys from the DVDCCA (DVD Copy Control Association) to access DVDs and then copy the content over to the system's HDDs. Since they are not bypassing CSS, they aren't in violation of the DMCA. Now, the DVDCCA contends in their lawsuit against Kaleidescape that they are violating their contract by using the CSS key in a way they aren't supposed to. It is believed though that since there is no specific wording in the CSS key contract forbidding Kaleidescape from using the keys in the manner in which they are, that the DVDCCA will lose its case. Again though, that's a contract dispute over a legally licensed CSS key and not a DMCA violation because the act of copying the content isn't illegal.
Whether home users are circumventing CSS to copy content or a 3rd party is doing it for them, both are illegal. In my opinion though, the MPAA nor any of the studios will EVER sue an end user for ripping their own legally purchased content. That kind of PR could wake up teh general public to the reality of the DMCA and finally get a vocal movement going to have it repealed or changed.
By the way, in case any of use had any doubt about how inadequate the old folks in Congress are to understand current tech, let alone legislate it, let us bask in the intelligence of Senator Ted Stevens' (R - Alaska) now famous "series of tubes" comments:
"Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got... an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes. And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it's going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material"
Ah, the genius of our system. ;-)
Nov 9th 2006 11:24AM Who in their right minds thinks this is a good idea? Every time I see one of these electronic license plate message devices, I instantly think of some road raged driver shooting or otherwise hunting down another driver. Please folks, let's not encourage on-road hostility any more than what is already out there. This belonged in that old SNL skit about "Bad Idea Jeans". Another lawsuit waiting to happen.