UPDATED: ZDNet retorts, and says to chill.

ORIGINAL: iLounge (via Engadget) is reporting that the new iPod shuffle ships with headsets that not only include advanced (read: complicated) on-wire controls, but with lock-down chips that may prevent third parties from making compatible alternatives without ponying up licensing fees to Apple. Whether this is a money grab in exchange for technology Apple has patented and feels they deserve compensation for, or just another internet controversy that ultimately goes nowhere isn't fully understood yet (least not by me!). iLounge says:

This is, in short, a nightmare scenario for long-time iPod fans: are we entering a world in which Apple controls and taxes literally every piece of the iPod purchase from headphones to chargers, jacking up their prices, forcing customers to re-purchase things they already own, while making only marginal improvements in their functionality? It’s a shame, and one that consumers should feel empowered to fight.

When the iPhone 3G came out, there was some noise that the new component and composite video cables that came along with it contained proprietary chips that would prevent 3rd parties from creating cheaper alternatives to the Apple-proper cables.

Launched along with the 2nd generation iPod touch was Apple's new in-ear headset with mic and remote control, allowing music to be started, stopped, and skipped, along with volume to be controlled right on the headset. They worked not only with the iPod touch, but with the new aluminum unibody MacBook family, and to a lesser degree with the iPhone 3G. Was there a proprietary lock-down chip in those headsets?

Either way, are we sharpening our pitchforks and lighting our torches, or waiting to see how this develops before storming the streets of Cupertino?