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Iphone The Courts Apple

Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash? 980

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iron-bound determination to keep Adobe Flash out of any iWhatever device is about to blow up in Apple's face. Sources close to Adobe tell me that Adobe will be suing Apple within a few weeks."
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Will Adobe Sue Apple Over Flash?

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  • I'm conflicted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:36AM (#31831542)
    In a battle between two vendors, one with a closed source, insecurt framework and the other with a closed platform, which side do I root for?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:38AM (#31831564)

      I don't know.

      Is there a way both of them can lose?

    • by hhw ( 683423 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:39AM (#31831586) Homepage
      You could just root for the lawyers.
      • by Kozar_The_Malignant ( 738483 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:17AM (#31832356)
        Denny Crane!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Do I root for the layers because they are the ones who will win, or because they are less evil than both sides?

    • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bluesatin ( 1350681 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:41AM (#31831612)

      Personally I'd think that Adobe standing up for itself, and perhaps threatening Apple with some-sort of discontinuing of it's products on Macs may knock some sense into Apple; it'd probably be a good thing for Adobe in the long run.

      If Apple obviously doesn't want to play nice with Adobe, why should Adobe keep providing Apple with a main selling feature of Macs? (The supposed fact they're for multimedia work).

      • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Informative)

        by Old97 ( 1341297 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:49AM (#31831790)
        Adobe didn't play nice with Apple in the 1990's and about killed it. Instead they sucked up to Microsoft. Turn about is fair play, but there are still good technical reasons why Flash is not good for devices like iPad and iPhone. They are not personal computers. They are devices and Apple is trying to squeeze the most out of them.
        • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:16AM (#31832322) Homepage
          The problem isn't so much that the iPhone/iPad shouldn't be running Flash due to performance/battery limitations, it's that Apple changed the rules without telling Adobe. It's as if you worked for 2 years on a shiny sports car only to be told, 3 days before you'd be able to take it on the road, that its category had been banned from using the roads ever again. I don't think Adobe would've been that pissed off had Apple told them BEFORE they started working on their Flash exporter.

          I just don't know what Apple is thinking here though because as the GP said, Apple needs Adobe as much if not more than Adobe needs Apple. Adobe's products are a major reason Apple sells well in the first place.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Adobe would bend over backwards to make flash work in the iPhone or iPad to Steve Job's satisfaction. Apple does not want flash on their platform for simple money reasons. If you go and play Farmville or Mafia Wars on Facebook on your iPad Apple does not make any money for that. If you buy We Rule from the app store they do get a cut of that along with the books, music, video etc.. They sell you through the built in store. They have you completely locked down to their app store and they collect revenue on

      • by HogGeek ( 456673 )

        While historically speaking the Mac was "the best system for multimedia" and that's why they sell, I don't necessarily believe that holds water anymore.

        I use Macs exclusively, as does my family and all of my friends (not to mention a lot of people where I work), and none of us do multimedia.

        I use it because it is "UNIX", and a lot of my friends and family use it because it is more stable and less "work" that windows (has been in the past, W7 still being evaluated).

        So personally, Adobe can crawl into a deep

      • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Informative)

        by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:14AM (#31832274)

        If Apple obviously doesn't want to play nice with Adobe, why should Adobe keep providing Apple with a main selling feature of Macs? (The supposed fact they're for multimedia work).

        The relationship between Adobe and Apple has been somewhat strained. Adobe for the most part made their name with Photoshop on Mac. Over the years they have slowly shifted their main focus to PC products instead and then going porting these products back to Mac. This is most evident with the Cocoa API Framework. Apple first released the APIs with OS X back in 2001. Up until CS5 was released on Monday, Adobe didn't use the API framework and instead relied on the Carbon Framework. That's 9 years to move frameworks. CS5 is also the first to be 64 bit as well. Apple might be a little tired of Adobe dragging its feet on development.

        • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Informative)

          by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:24AM (#31832506) Journal

          Rather than Adobe dragging their feet, Apple fucked them over when they released developer docs for Carbon 64 and then later cancelled the entire API without any explanation. The Mac Zealot idea that there was some sort of roadmap or plan to transition everyone to Cocoa is simply factually incorrect. Apple just spontaneously did it and without warning their major development shops (even internally).

          And I don't see how developers wasting their time with platform churn rather than adding new features and improving the product helps anyone. The platform-purity argument is bunk - the programs really aren't any better for using Cocoa as far as anyone can tell.

          • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

            by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:35PM (#31833824)

            So Apple is bad for annoucing a new transitional framework. Waiting six months and realizing that only a couple of companies would ever use it as itwas only designed to last a couple of years anyways?

            Carbon was always supposed to be just a transitional framework. Something to help port from OS 9 to OS X. That like msft supporting win 16 frameworks in windows 7. Apple moves faster however during the ppc to intel transition those who used the coccoa frameworks transitioned a lot faster and easier than those who used the ppc designed carbon frameworks.

            I would live to see msft mange a major processor shift. It would take 10 years.

          • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:4, Informative)

            by John Whitley ( 6067 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @02:37PM (#31836352) Homepage

            Apple made a hard decision to cut support for a legacy framework, with broad impact to many of its developers. This very trait is often lauded in comparisons to Microsoft, where many people would dearly love for terrible legacy frameworks and APIs to be deprecated (or even just 'nuked from orbit'). Moreover, Apple isn't obligated to do any work to make Adobe's life easier.

            If you want to continue silly tit-for-tat analyses of such things, Adobe screwed Apple over a decade earlier by refusing to port anything to Cocoa -- sticking with Carbon in the first place. This Roughly Drafted article [] provides more of the historical color.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I doubt Adobe are silly enough to cut off their software to Apple users. It would be seen as a real dickhead move in the publishing industry, where most don't care about the Flash and iPhone fiasco.

        If Adobe did such a thing, I wouldn't count on people leaving OS X for Windows. Rather, I'd count on another company finally getting a foothold into Adobe's market.

        Apps like Photoshop might seem impossible to displace in the professional industry, but it can happen. With apps like Aperture (and Lightroom) taking

    • I'm reminded of AVP ... except this is the opposite ....

      Who ever loses, we win!

    • Re:I'm conflicted (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:47AM (#31831736) Journal
      The one with the closed source, insecure framework.

      On an open platform, you are free to kick software vendors you don't like to the curb, in favor of ones you do, and in a granular fashion. On a closed platform, your decision is entirely deprived of granularity. It's a take-it-or-leave-it, all of it, thing.

      In practice, the latter gives you much less power as a customer. Yes, you can not buy the closed platform; but that means that you cannot have any of it. Technologically bundled. On an open platform, you can pick and choose. Bundling(whether technological or contractual, and whether or not it meets the legal standards of Sherman) gives the vendor great power over you because, as long as one part of their product is good, they can be more or less assured that you will just have to suck down the bad parts. Open platforms, which are much less subject to bundling, barring particularly nasty contracts, subject individual parts of the system to competitive pressure.

      Yes, flash sucks. Don't install it if you have the choice, use flashblock and a whitelist if you just need it in a few places; but never forget that the vendor who can choose for you, even if their taste is impeccable, is more dangerous than the vendor you can choose, even if they suck.
    • It is simple. Flash crap is everywhere wether you want it or not. But it is trivial to get a non-iPhone phone.

      So I am with Apple 100% on this. Flash has to die and die horribly.

      They really got themselves to blame. Apple is just paying them back for the years Adobe did not support Flash on Apple OS/Hardware.

      If Apple can kill Flash, it killed a dependency on a 3rd party provided who determines what you can and cannot do.

      Quick test: If I launch a 128 bit CPU that is completely different from x86 or ARM, th

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      Root for Apple. Apple creates significant markets regardless of their unattractiveness. If they can keep Flash off their crap, then content creators will adapt, because they want those Apple users. How will they adapt? Well, if we're lucky, they'll just stick to standards. And that means the device that you use or develop, will only need to be compatible with standards. And then everyone wins (where everyone includes you), regardless of Apple's closedness.

  • Lord of War Quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:40AM (#31831592) Journal

    This reminds me of a line from a movie...

    "But in the Iran-Iraq war you sold guns to both sides."

    "Did you ever consider that I wanted both sides to lose?"

    We should be pointing out more reasons for the guys to sue each other than just a petty Flash dispute, we should arm them with the means to sue each other into oblivion!

    Than, if my calculations are correct, the lawyers will have made enough to buy new yachts, bolstering the economy slightly. It's really a win for everybody all around.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sznupi ( 719324 )

      ...and once they can't help but use their yachts, also in open seas, they will inevitably start falling prey to storms, cyclones, etc.? (commonness of which will be increased greatly due to warming, in which building the fleet of yachts also had its part?)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DaveV1.0 ( 203135 )

      If you do not know the difference between "then" and "than", I doubt your plan is as sound as you think it is.

    • by way2slo ( 151122 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:10AM (#31832202) Journal

      I personally feel that Apple should sue itself.

      Specifically the Quick Time team should sue the iPhone and iPod OS team for not putting Quick Time support in the OS. Seriously, why must we all convert our Quick Time movies? Is it really that hard to support their own format on their own device?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        I personally feel that Apple should sue itself.

        Specifically the Quick Time team should sue the iPhone and iPod OS team for not putting Quick Time support in the OS. Seriously, why must we all convert our Quick Time movies? Is it really that hard to support their own format on their own device?

        The iPhone OS *does* use QuickTime (the framework) to play movies and music. Hell, an MP4 container (as defined in MPEG4 Part 14) is a subset of the QuickTime MOV format. 3GP (as used on many cellphones) is also a subs

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:40AM (#31831604)

    "It was Microsoft's operating system." Oh, right, I forgot, under modern antitrust laws you're allowed to be a total anti-competitive asshole until you become the 800lb gorilla. Part of me is hoping that Adobe wins and takes Apple to the cleaners because I don't buy the hypocrisy here that Apple should be able to get away with behavior that would have launched an online World War 3 if done by Microsoft.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:56AM (#31831912) Homepage Journal

      Oh, right, I forgot, under modern antitrust laws you're allowed to be a total anti-competitive asshole until you become the 800lb gorilla.

      These "modern" anti-trust laws are a century old, and were instituted because of abuses by 800 lb gorillas like Standard Oil. Microsoft has a monopoly, Apple doesn't; that's the difference, and it's a difference that matters.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnasher719 ( 869701 )

        These "modern" anti-trust laws are a century old, and were instituted because of abuses by 800 lb gorillas like Standard Oil. Microsoft has a monopoly, Apple doesn't; that's the difference, and it's a difference that matters.

        Not a car analogy: You shouldn't punch people on the nose. But it makes a difference whether a three year old girl punches me on the nose (I'll say "Ouch") or Mike Tyson punches me on the nose as hard as he can (I'm likely gone). In one case people tell me "don't be such a wuzz" if I complain, in the other case someone could go to jail for murder.

  • by dtml-try MyNick ( 453562 ) <> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:42AM (#31831632)

    Adobe is going to sue for what?

    Company A doesn't want to use technology developed by company B. Good luck with that.

    Granted, Apple is quite aggressive and loud when it comes to Flash but that is still no reason to sue them for not using it. Their device, their technology.

    • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:53AM (#31831856) Homepage

      This was my first thought. Sue them for WHAT? AFAIK there is no contract that Apple has breached. The only possible claim seems to be an antitrust claim under the sherman act or clayton act alleging some sort of exclusionary boycott or "refusal to deal." But the antitrust claim has major problems:

      (A) Apple is probably not a monopoly in the mobile phone market. Unless Adobe can show that Apple has a monopoly in the relevant market, they will get absolutely nowhere.

      (B) Apple isn't making agreements with competitors to boycott Adobe. They just aren't using it themselves.

      A distinction between single-firm and multi-firm conduct is fundamental to the structure of U.S. antitrust law, which, as noted antitrust scholar Phillip Areeda has pointed out, "contains a 'basic distinction between concerted and independent action.'" []

      This article is silly. Don't expect a lawsuit.

  • TFA wasn't clear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:43AM (#31831654) Homepage Journal

    What grounds are they suing under? Breach of contract? Why should Apple be forced to use Adobe's stuff if they don't want to?

    • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:44AM (#31831678) Journal

      There's no information. These are anonymous sources close to an anonymous coward. Don't take it any more seriously than graffiti on the bathroom wall.

    • Re:TFA wasn't clear (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:54AM (#31831870)

      The short version: Apple is telling developers that they can't buy Adobe *tools* to produce *native* Apple-platform applications.

      The long version:

      1. Adobe Flash is buggy and crashes a lot. Steve Jobs also seems to have a personal beef with it for some reason.
      2. Apple says, "No flash on our iAnything platforms."
      3. Adobe says, "Please?"
      4. Apple says, "No!"
      5. Adobe says, "Okay, we've made a compiler that takes a Flash script and compiles it to an iAnything native application, using HTML 5, Apple's C-variant, and Apple's API."
      6. Apple says, "We've added a clause to our developer contract that says that developers are not allowed to use anything that translates code from one language to another for the iAnything platform. You have to use OUR tools, and you must write in OUR language from the start, or you - the developer - cannot play with us."
      7. Adobe says, "..."

  • sue them for what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:43AM (#31831660)

    What exactly are they going to sue them for? Is there a law that says a company has to allow another company's product to interact with theirs? I mean, sure, its generally considered good form to do so, but its hardly required. Of course, rising popularity of iPhone/iPod Touch/possibly the iPad as well, none of which run Flash, means that there will be less demand to use Flash, and therefore Adobe will be able to sell fewer Flash dev kits. Well, frankly, too bad. Adobe makes some good stuff, and is probably largely responsible for the success of the Mac, but as Apple moves more towards the mobile space, they don't really need Adobe as much as they used to anymore. But, as Apple continues to push the market space away from the desktop, Adobe may need Apple more than ever.

  • WTF Slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpeZek ( 970136 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:44AM (#31831670) Journal
    This is actually a "story"?

    It's literally some anonymous guy on the internet saying something.
  • by jockeys ( 753885 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:47AM (#31831750) Journal
    I rtfa, (crazy, I know) and don't understand on what grounds the suing will occur. I understand why Adobe is pissed off, but is Apple really in an actionable position? They own the SDK, the hardware, everything, they can do whatever the fuck they want. While this might not make them popular and people might not buy their shit, how is it that Adobe can sue them because Apple said they couldn't come over and play in the walled garden?

    Granted, ianal (but neither is Jack Thompson!) but I am just totally baffled as to what grounds the alleged suit is being brought on.
  • Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Flambergius ( 55153 ) * on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:51AM (#31831828)

    Come on, people!

    Apple is telling developers that they aren't free to choose the tools they use. Specifically you can't use a tool that would allow you to write code once and run it on any platform. Who cares about Adobe, Apple is telling *you* to take it up the ass and like it.

    And there are people in Slashdot that are ok with that?


  • Haha. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:53AM (#31831864) Homepage Journal


    Use our product! On your product! Without paying us! Or we'll sue you!

    What next? Microsoft suing a suddenly popular PC manufacturer because they've completely abandoned Windows and only ship with Ubuntu Linux, or an "advanced" option out of a list of free OSes including Fedora, CentOS, Debian, FreeBSD?

  • by rimcrazy ( 146022 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:00AM (#31831996)

    They have a platform worth billions. Tens of billions. They have chosen to make it closed. You as a consumer can chose to use there platform or not, that is up to you. For them, to potentially put the fate of a multi-billion dollar product in the potential hands of a company that makes development content for this multi-billion dollar platform and not control it is suicide.

    You can argue the merits of closed or open but in this case the point is moot. iPhone is closed and Apple wants it that way. They are not going to put their fate in the hands of Adobe. The only legs Adobe may have to stand on is if they were lead to believe that their platform was to be accepted (written contract or verbal) and then at the 11th hour to be shafted? Well then maybe they have a case.

    Hey, I was the engineering dept. manager back at VLSI Tech back when chip sets was a good business. Intel decided, rightly so, that they could not put the fate of their CPU's in the hands of 3rd party chip set vendors. In ONE product cycle (after they finally figured out how to make them) they took 90% of the PC market with their chip sets. Did it hurt? Yea, it hurt. We went from $250M/yr to $25M/yr in 12 months. I lost my job along with a host of others. That being said, I still can't fault Intel for what they did. Quite frankly I'm surprised it took them as long as it did. The case in point with Apple and Adobe is no different.

  • by 4iedBandit ( 133211 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:18AM (#31832370) Homepage

    What's stopping Adobe from porting Flash to iPhone, iPad, iPod?

    Oh wait, they would have to make it not suck.

    Flash is cool. I too have played some great flash games. But when my system goes from idle to 100% and all I did was open a web page with a flash based add, something is wrong. Why does something that takes up no more than a tenth of the web page cause my system to go to 100% cpu?

    Everyone thinks Apple is the big bad wolf here. The reality is, Adobe has every opportunity to port flash and make it an outstanding piece of software. Instead they want to settle for good enough. Good enough is what has given us software that works, but requires ever increasing amounts of processor power, memory and disk space just to run at an acceptable level.

    Processor, memory and more importantly battery life, are not unlimited in a mobile device. Apple is the gatekeeper so yes it does appear that they are the bad guys, but the reality is that Adobe has had every opportunity to make Flash better. Make it use less CPU, less memory and make it world class software. Instead, they've chosen to whine and complain about it.

    Did Opera whine and complain about Apple's rules and how it was going to hurt them? Or did they innovate?

    Adobe has every opportunity to make Flash function so well that Apple would have no problem letting it exist on the iProducts. Apple has provided the tools to write code for the iPlatforms. Adobe has access to those tools just like everyone else. The only thing stopping Adobe is Adobe. Apple has no further responsibility to make some other companies product work.

  • Who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RyuuzakiTetsuya ( 195424 ) <taiki.cox@net> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:37AM (#31832768)

    I'm not being mindlessly dismissive here, but what does Adobe seek to gain here? To sway the hearts and minds of a handful of pundits while Steve Jobs rolls out products that make HTML5 development attractive?

    This part is redundant, but needs to be asked, why is Adobe not fixing flash? Is it cheaper to litigate and wage a PR war than it is to fix the damn browser plugin and development tools?

  • by dAzED1 ( 33635 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:42AM (#31832864) Journal

    How the hell can one company require another company to use their products? Apple wants only things written in a certain language, and that can't be used to re-execute additional code, etc etc, to be installed. Have we already forgotten /Launch from pdfs, a week later? And flash itself allows additional, non-Apple-approved, code to be run. That's the point...whether or not you or I like the policy, it's not as though Adobe is being singled out. They just feel like they are because they have such crap products that are near-monopolies themselves.

    "How can you shut us out!!! We would have had our monopoly locked down if not for you...and now people are all abuzz about html5 instead! You bastards!" Yeah, I don't see how that's a legally binding thing. Ford can decide that they won't install Pioneer radios in their cars...what legal grounds would Pioneer have to suing them in to forcing them to use their product? Especially if Pioneer radios somehow broke a policy that Ford has (such as - no apps that can be used to write new apps that can be run).

  • Buyout? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Altus ( 1034 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @12:01PM (#31833250) Homepage

    My first though (after a brief "Sue them for what?") is that perhaps Apple should attempt a take over of Adobe. Adobe has plenty of good pro apps that would go great along side Apples pro apps.

    But then I think back to what I know from having worked with Adobe. Its a highly bloated organization, not run in a very efficient manner. Their authoring tools are great, but a lot of what made them a great company doesn't seem to be there anymore. The project that I worked on with them was very poorly conceived, poorly executed and was already on its third or fourth iteration (none of them ever went anywhere beyond the pilot program I worked on).

    For Apple, buying adobe could be too much of a drag, they would want them to be a subsidiary but the changes they would have to make to streamline to corporation could be more than Apple would want to bite off.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein