Open industry standards like USB are governed by an “implementers forum”, which lives off membership fees and sets out the rules for the standard (usually) by popular vote. Palm recently filed a complaint against Apple due to their iTunes blockage, hoping to get Apple punished.
Unfortunately, things look bad for the Oranges. AllThingsD claim to have received the following letter which the USB Implementers Forum sent to Palm:
“Palm will shortly issue an update of its WebOS operating system that uses Apple’s Vendor ID number for the sole purpose of restoring the Palm media sync functionality.”
I attach for your information the USB-IF’s adopted and published policy regarding Vendor Identification Numbers (VIDs). Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage. Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm’s expressed intent to use Apple’s VID appears to violate the attached policy.
Please clarify Palm’s intent and respond to this potential violation within seven days.
From my personal point of view as an electrical engineer, the situation is clear: the vendor ID is Apple’s. By abusing it, Palm endangers the standard – after all, vendor IDs are there to identify which vendor made a box for a variety of purposes (like automatic driver downloads). By creating a box which seems to be made by Apple (but is made by Palm), the vendor ID concept is led ad absurdum…
What do you think?