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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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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.


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