Aiding and abetting totalitarian regimes by censoring search results and turning over email correspondence is evil. Making shiny toys that don't do exactly what you want is not evil. Let's stop using "evil" as a synonym for "reprehensible."
Historically the word "evil" has had a pretty broad meaning. Among tech companies the word has a new and fairly specific sense that follows from Paul Buchheit's slogan "Don't be evil." That's the sense I was using. It has a pretty low bar. It means, roughly, winning by taking advantage of people instead of by doing good work.
Artificially limiting the capabilities of the hardware (people pay for) with the interest of keeping control, can't possibly be in the same league as "shiny toys that don't do exactly what you want".
People also lose the perspective of scaling the current trends set by Apple and others to everything ... what would happen if all the documents within your computer would be DRMed? What would happen if all personal PCs had software only approved by a central authority?
SciFi? They are already releasing a bigger iPhone who's functionality overlaps that of tablets / small laptops.
Also, before search engines that are censoring the results in China ... we had nothing comparable. You're also free to implement your own search-engine and index all the web-pages Google does ... but try creating a phone that connects to the iTunes store and that can run iPhone apps ;)
No one is forcing you to be in the iTunes store and write iPhone apps.
As for all personal PCs having only software approved by a central authority -- all electrical appliances are approved by UL. I don't see that as having resulted in much evil. To get to drive in the US, everyone is approved by their State. I don't see that as being very evil. The former is opt-in and arranged by insurance interests. The latter is entirely government. Neither form seems to necessarily produce evil when given central authority.
It's a question of how much power is involved, and how corrupting it is. Is DRM on all data really all that much power? It would be if it were ironclad. But I doubt such a thing will ever exist in an economy run by human beings.
That's like saying 10 years ago, no one is forcing you to use Windows.
Right now there is no credible alternative to iPod/iPhone/iTunes. Guys like Google and Microsoft are trying to make a better product. If Apple continues to win by making the better product, that's good for consumers, that's how the free market is supposed to work. If Apple decides to focus their time instead on PREVENTING other people from making the better product, instead of improving their own product, that's evil.
The injunctive relief sought goes rather farther than "stop using our particular implementation of multi-touch". I think you need to go back and read the complaint (there's a great writeup right now at http://lwn.net). Yours seems to be a knee-jerk defense of your favorite company, but this is not a trivial or common license action.
You sort of prove my point ... there isn't a market in improving/modifying electrical appliances by third parties ... especially since they also come with an EULA nowadays.
> To get to drive in the US, everyone is approved by their State.
That's not the same ... the government is (theoretically) working for the people. Getting a license is required for driving on public roads only ... and they do that to insure that the public roads are safe within reason.
The difference here is one of great importance ... the government is (theoretically) trying it's best to give licenses as non-discriminatory as possible. And if they aren't doing a good job at that, you can fight back.