Have iPod, Will Secretly Bootleg
Thu, 28 Feb 2002 23:00:39 -0800
This is funny...
When Apple introduced the iPod, the company was aware that people might use
it to rip off music from the Net or friends' machines. Each new iPod, in
fact, is emblazoned with a sticker that warns, "Don't Steal Music."
But it is unlikely that Apple imagined people would walk into computer
stores, plug their iPod into display computers and use it to copy software
off the hard drives.
This is exactly the scenario recently witnessed by Kevin Webb at a Dallas
Webb, a computer consultant from Dallas, was browsing his local CompUSA when
he saw a young man walk toward him listening to an iPod. Webb recognized the
iPod's distinctive ear buds.
The teenager stopped at a nearby display Macintosh, pulled the iPod from his
pocket and plugged it into the machine with a FireWire cable. Intrigued,
Webb peeped over the kid's shoulder to see him copying Microsoft's new
Office for OS X suite, which retails for $500.
When the iPod is plugged into a Macintosh, its icon automatically pops up on
the desktop. To copy software, all the kid had to do was drag and drop files
onto the iPod's icon. Office for MacOS X is about 200 MB; it copies to the
iPod's hard drive in less than a minute.
"Watching him, it dawned on me that this was something that was very easy to
do," Webb said. "In the Mac world it's pretty easy to plug in and copy
things. It's a lot easier than stealing the box."
Webb watched the teenager copy a couple of other applications. He left the
kid to find a CompUSA employee. "I went over and told a CompUSA guy, but he
looked at me like I was clueless," Webb said.