Print 35 comment(s) - last by MrBlastman.. on Nov 11 at 8:28 AM

Apple's VP of the iPod Division and iPod inventor Tony Fadell (the one with the red 'X') is out, to be replaced with former IBM top gun Mark Papermaster. IBM is suing Apple over the acquisition. Fadell isn't free from Apple quite yet -- he will stay on as iPhone inventor (yes) and Apple CEO Steve Jobs' personal assistant.   (Source: Engadget/Apple)
The drama between Apple and IBM continues

DailyTech previously covered iPod creator and team leader Tony Fadell's departure from his role at Apple, and his replacement by Mark Papermaster.  Mr. Papermaster was very enthusiastic to get to work reinvigorated the iPod franchise.  Apple CEO Steve Jobs set him to work right away.  The only problem -- it may have been illegal for him to work for Apple.

Apple snagged Mark Papermaster, former manager of IBM's critical blade server business and mastermind of the PowerPCs, after wooing him away from the Big Blue.  Mr. Papermaster was obviously the kind of person needed to lead the iPod business.  There was only one tiny problem -- he had signed a non-compete contract with IBM.

A non-compete clause is a legal device found in some contracts, under which an employee agrees to not work for competitors for a set period of time after leaving the company.  For Mr. Papermaster, that period was one year.  However, after resigning from IBM on
October 21, Mr. Papermaster started working for Apple at the start of November, throwing caution, and perhaps legality, to the wind.

IBM unsurprisingly filed suit against Mr. Papermaster and Apple.  Now a judge has ordered Mr. Papermaster to stop performing work at Apple for the time being, until the case is resolved.

Big Blue is pushing hard for punishment against Mr. Papermaster for deserting its "elite Integration & Values Team" -- a special 300 person team within the company.  It says that aside from the strictly binding non-compete contract, Mr. Papermaster is "privy to a whole host of trade secrets and confidences" of IBM.  According to some reports, Apple is indeed hoping to milk Mr. Papermaster for his inside scoop on everything from enterprise-class server hardware to Power processors for small devices.

IBM is also fearful that Mr. Papermaster may have approached IBM employees about leaving IBM for Apple.  Another clause of Mr. Papermaster's contract prevents him from soliciting employees to join him at his new company for two full years after ceasing employment with IBM.

As to the current state of the case, IBM seems relatively unwilling to compromise.  Mr. Papermaster recently received some negative press, when Information Week misquoted him as saying, "I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM."

The quote, which led to much mockery among the tech news community, was actually taken out of context; Mr. Papermaster actually stated, "Until this litigation effort by IBM, aside from the divested IBM personal computer business and a single sale several years ago of Apple’s Xserve product to a university, I do not recall a single instance of Apple being described as a competitor of IBM during my entire tenure at IBM."

Mr. Papermaster has vigorously defended the propriety of his behavior both at IBM and with leaving the company, claiming he showed the utmost deference and transparence.

Nonetheless, his removal from being able to head the iPod division casts Apple's ranks into disorder. 

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A lesson in DRM...
By MrBlastman on 11/10/2008 10:20:23 AM , Rating: 3
to Apple - on people. Think DRM sucks for us consumers, take a piece of your own medicine. DRM is absolutely horrid and maybe, just maybe, they'll see how nasty it is on the flip side, in a language they might be able to understand (as our crying, whining and complaining obviously isn't loud enough).

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By kelmon on 11/10/2008 11:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
Stupid question, but what has that got to do with the article? Maybe I missed something.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By MrBlastman on 11/10/2008 11:38:49 AM , Rating: 5
You really don't see the play on words, do you?

I-Tunes - music, MP3's, DRM, RIAA and now, a company that centers part of its business around the music industry is faced with a huge speed bump based on an acquisition they make (akin to a purchase) which prevents them from using it in the way that they want? I spell it out more clearly - they hired a guy, wanted to use him and his knowledge to expand their company, but were prevented from doing so due to contractual strings that were attached to him at the time of hiring.

You need to reach below the surface to find the true meaning. ;)

It was merely an artful jab at the very industry we have all become to love.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By kelmon on 11/10/2008 5:38:37 PM , Rating: 1
It's Monday and I've drunk too much red wine. This probably explains why I didn't "get it". Perhaps I need to ask for subtitles...

Suffice to say that the play on word flew right by me.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By KashGarinn on 11/11/2008 8:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
Suffice to say that the play on word flew right by me.

well, that's why we have janitors in this world.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By ZmaxDP on 11/10/2008 7:17:57 PM , Rating: 3
A little high on your horse? Artful eh? Well, fair enough. Just FYI, it isn't a play on words unless there is some relation between meanings of the words and you're suggesting a different reading of them; then again I shouldn't point fingers as I'm always confusing allegories and metaphors, and this may well be an allegory. Still, I get the metaphor at a high level - purchase, restrictions, yeah yeah. Personally I prefer metaphors that remain true to a slightly higher level of detail. Purchasing a intellectual product is very different from hiring an intellect - both legally and philosophically. Not so sure your metaphor holds at that level. Just my two cents, not worth much.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By MrBlastman on 11/11/2008 8:28:17 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I rode the short horse when I was in school. Kids always made fun of me for it but I could never figure out why.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By Myg on 11/10/2008 8:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well MrBlast, 9 for effort/5 for execution...

Needed more corny puns and easily understood references; otherwise: Keep up the fine work fellow corny joke maker!

Kudos :-)

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By michael2k on 11/10/08, Rating: -1
RE: A lesson in DRM...
By MrBlastman on 11/10/2008 12:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
I remember hearing that they were going away from it but then I heard in another place that they had changed their mind. It feels more like a tug-of-war than anything. If they are, great.

However, I refuse to install itunes on my PC ever again. The last time I installed that wonderful piece of software, my DVD Burner stopped allowing me to burn dvd's and cd's. Nero would just crash every time.

Same day with old version of itunes on PC - Nero worked, everything was great.

Later on that day with newer version of itunes on PC - Nero crashed every time as well as did every other piece of software that would facilitate burning data to a dvd or a cd.

That was enough for me. I had to eventually install Windows again to fix the stupid problem.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By Lifted on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: A lesson in DRM...
By Fanon on 11/10/2008 1:23:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, iTunes is a POS. I experienced strange behavior with my burner. I also couldn't compile software while listening to my music with iTunes (until they fixed that bug).

And rofl at Geek Squad. Yeah, I'm going to let those idiots and thieves touch my computer.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By mondo1234 on 11/10/2008 10:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
The last few versions of Nero have been buggy as hell.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By MrBlastman on 11/11/2008 8:26:20 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I agree. If I hadn't tried reinstalling Nero five times along with the updates I would have pointed my finger at it as a possibility instead. The cause was simply too obvious to deny though, updated itunes, things stopped working.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By sprockkets on 11/10/2008 12:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
So why don't they license the rest of FairPlay to the competition like Microsoft did with Plays for Sure? Oh, right, Apple doesn't like DRM MY A$$.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By michael2k on 11/10/2008 2:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
By refusing to license DRM, they force the RIAA to license their work in a DRM-free manner!

In other words: Had Apple licensed their DRM from the beginning, there would be no reason at all for the RIAA to have licensed DRM-free MP3s to Amazon, Walmart, or anyone else.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By kelmon on 11/10/2008 5:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
I will just note here that Microsoft won't license their DRM to Apple, or rather to Telestream Inc who picked up the ability to play WMV files on the Mac after Microsoft couldn't be arsed to continue developing Windows Media Player for the Mac platform.

With respect to Apple licensing Fair Play, I tend to agree with Michael on this one. Apple clearly has no wish to use DRM on music these days (legend has it that Sony's music is going DRM-free on iTunes soon) but if they licensed Fair Play then there would be no incentive to remove DRM, which we all agree is the best thing. Apple probably does like Fair Play and the limited licensing of it (i.e. no licensing) from a business perspective, but they aren't dumb enough to not see that the market is moving to DRM-free for music. There's a DRM-free music store in just about any direction that you care to throw a stone these days. The reasons why iTunes itself isn't 100% DRM-free today are probably pretty complicated but it probably comes down to a pissing match more than anything else.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By Fanon on 11/10/2008 1:18:37 PM , Rating: 2
News flash! You have to purchase the music again if you want the DRM-free version. They do not strip the DRM from the music you purchased before they starting offering DRM-free music (at a higher cost).

Granted, you can strip the DRM yourself, but then you become a criminal.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By kelmon on 11/10/2008 5:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sort of. It costs about £0.29 for the DRM-free version here rather than the full £0.79 and for that you also get the track at 256kbps rather than the original 128kbps. I'm not particularly bothered by this since I knew that the tracks were DRM bound in the first place and this was the price paid for the convenience of an instant download at the time.

The legality of DRM stripping is a bit vague, depending on where you live. You can burn your DRM encoded files to a CD and then rip the CD, which should be legal in most locations (unless you are a lawyer for Sony Music). The downside of this is that you then lose some of the audio quality during the encoding process. Since I've never done this I can't comment on how bad the drop is.

RE: A lesson in DRM...
By Samus on 11/10/2008 3:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yea I don't see the correlation...Apple never wanted DRM to begin with. The labels did.

You know
By Cullinaire on 11/10/2008 9:46:40 AM , Rating: 2
I read the headline as "the judiciary prevents a brand new product from Apple that I've never heard of, the iPod Chief (tm), from operating"

And to think I've actually read the prior article about Mr. Papermaster's (best name ever) adventures...

RE: You know
By Joz on 11/10/2008 11:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
I did too >_<

RE: You know
By kelmon on 11/10/2008 11:13:32 AM , Rating: 5
Mr. Papermaster's (best name ever)

Oh, I don't know. I'm willing to bet that Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster takes that accolade. Probably by force...

RE: You know
By MrBlastman on 11/10/2008 11:47:06 AM , Rating: 3
Apparently he did not master his own papers and have them in order, or he would not have overlooked that one little clause buried in his pile of documents.

Non-Compete Illegal in CA...
By eek2121 on 11/10/2008 10:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
Where is he located? Non-compete clauses are illegal in the state of CA. If he is working there california laws will apply.

RE: Non-Compete Illegal in CA...
By SpaceRanger on 11/10/2008 10:13:24 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't it that you can't make non-compete clauses in CA? If he's from IBM, he'll probably be coming from NY where non-competes are more than legal.

It'd be pretty screwed up if you were bound to a non-compete from a different state, but because you went to california it all became null and void.

RE: Non-Compete Illegal in CA...
By Spivonious on 11/10/2008 11:06:41 AM , Rating: 2
IBM is based in NY, so the non-compete clause is completely valid.

If you're married in Maryland, you're still married if you move to PA, even if you don't meet PA's marriage requirements.

By theapparition on 11/10/2008 11:57:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'm very interested in the outcome of this case. Up until now, as far as I know, no court has upheld any non-compete agreements where there was not compelling evidence that direct 1:1 competition exists.

So far, he's just being ordered to abstain until this matter is resolved.

This will be interesting.

By foolsgambit11 on 11/10/2008 7:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
But if you're married in California, it's not necessarily valid in any other state. There's a contract that's pretty screwed up. Hooray DOMA.

Of course, you currently can't get one of those contracts - gay marriage was banned by Prop. 8.

By AssBall on 11/10/2008 11:14:10 AM , Rating: 2
I am more curious about the reasons why he left IBM for Apple than the resulting drama. Did Apple agree to pay him more? That seems absurd. Maybe it involves his work with PowerPC.

If this is such a huge deal for IBM, why can't just buy him back? I think there might be some weird internal politics going on there which are not being disclosed.

RE: Why?
By kelmon on 11/10/2008 5:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, to be in such a position where you can demand a pay rise by simply threatening to leave for another company...

It's possible that Mr. Papermaster is either looking for new challenges or fancies being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Who can say?

RE: Why?
By michael2k on 11/10/2008 6:26:56 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe he wants to live in a nicer area as he gets older? California weather is much nicer than New York weather.

RE: Why?
By mondo1234 on 11/10/2008 10:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
IBM reportedly offered him more money to stay, but he chose to leave. It was rumored that he was to help Apple with new low power processors and possibly the move away from Intel based machines. A foolish move indeed.

RE: Why?
By kelmon on 11/11/2008 5:45:55 AM , Rating: 2
A move away from Intel? Don't be silly. Apple only moved from PowerPC to Intel because IBM no longer seemed to have interest in making desktop/mobile processors (no mythical PowerBook G5, for example), PC performance was accelerating under Intel processors in laptops, and Apple already had OS X running under Intel processors since NeXTStep. Right now Apple not only has a good roadmap for processors from Intel but they also have Intel making custom designs for them. There is no incentive to switch right now unless Psystar somehow wins their case and a significant Mac Clone market appears.

If Mr. Papermaster is to be involved in chip production then it'll be for either processors to power the likes of the iPhone or custom chips to support the Intel processors.

Still, that's rumor for you...

As usual, it's beyond me....
By Landiepete on 11/11/2008 3:13:48 AM , Rating: 2
How does moving from a blade server department in company A to an iProt pushing department in company B constitute a breach of contract under a non-competition clause ?

Does this mean a car salesman can't leave a company and start selling TV's because under the same logic ?

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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