big-brother-posterSAN FRANCISCO – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed suit against Apple Inc. to protect the rights of a non-commercial wiki-site against pressure from the corporate giant to suppress discussion on the site that it said infringed its own rights.

BluWiki is run by OdioWorks LLC as a standard “Wikipedia-style” site that allows the public to author and edit content on any subject.

According to an annoucment by EFF, “Late last year, after BluWiki users began a discussion about making some Apple iPods and iPhones interoperate with software other than Apple’s own iTunes, Apple lawyers demanded removal of the content. In a letter to OdioWorks, the attorneys alleged that the discussions constituted copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA’s) prohibition on circumventing copy protection measures. Fearing legal action by Apple, OdioWorks took down the discussions from the Bluwiki site.”

Represented by EFF and the San Francisco law firm of Keker & Van Nest, OdioWorks filed the lawsuit April 27, with the goal to vindicate its right to restore those discussions. Filed in federal court in San Francisco, the suit seeks a declaratory judgment that the discussions do not violate any of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions, and do not infringe any copyrights owned by Apple.

“Apple’s legal threats against BluWiki are about censorship, not about protecting their legitimate copyright interests,” Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann said. “Wikis and other community sites are home to many vibrant discussions among hobbyists and tinkerers. It’s legal to engage in reverse engineering in order to create a competing product, it’s legal to talk about reverse engineering, and it’s legal for a public wiki to host those discussions.”