U.S federal Judge orders Steve Jobs to answer questions in iTunes antitrust lawsuit

“A federal magistrate judge ordered Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs to answer questions in an antitrust dispute alleging the company operated a music-downloading monopoly,” Pamela MacLean and Karen Gullo report for Bloomberg.

“Lawyers for consumers who filed the 2005 complaint won permission to conduct limited questioning of Jobs, under an order issued yesterday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd in San Jose, California,” MacLean and Gullo report. “The deposition can’t exceed two hours and the only topic allowed is changes Apple made to its software in October 2004 that rendered digital music files engineered by RealNetworks Inc. inoperable with Apple’s iPod music player.”

MacLean and Gullo report, “Jobs took a medical leave from the company starting Jan. 17. The 56-year-old CEO, who has battled a rare form of cancer, has taken time off for medical reasons three times in the past seven years. The case is Apple iPod, iTunes Antitrust Litigation, C05- 0037JW, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This blast from the past brought to you by America’s efficient legal system.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Navio threatens to hack Apple iTunes Music Store’s FairPlay DRM à la Real’s ‘Harmony’ – November 22, 2005
RealNetworks ‘Harmony’ stops working on iPods but nobody notices for a month and a half – December 15, 2004
Apple’s latest iPod updates render RealNetworks’ ‘Harmony’ songs unplayable – December 14, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: ‘Harmony’ hack legal, Mac lovers are very sensitive to Apple criticism, and more – September 14, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: Go pound sand – April 16, 2004
Forbes writer: ‘bad vibes aren’t likely to stick to Apple’ over Real’s Harmony mess – July 30, 2004
The Motley Fool: Real’s Harmony ‘is a slap in the face for Apple’ – July 29, 2004
RealNetworks issues statement about Harmony Technology and ‘creating consumer choice’ – July 29, 2004
Apple ‘stunned’ that Real broke into iPod with ‘Harmony’ – July 29, 2004
BusinessWeek writer: Apple needs to firmly squelch Real’s Harmony – July 27, 2004
RealPlayer Music Store announces iPod harmony – July 26, 2004


    1. Except for there is no need for a fix that would allow RealNetworks files to be played on iPods. Hardly anyone cares (and it was the same even back then seven years ago).

  1. An RDF might be nice at a time like this.

    It’s not that I think Apple has abused their monopoly, but an activist judge might have an ax to grind against this big, evil corporation.

  2. As fast as Mexican justice system!

    By the way: A monopoly is not bad per se nor illegal. The question here is: Is it illegal for a company to withdraw support for a different file format than that from oneself?

    Shit happens, sometimes®

    1. First the trial has to establish that Apple is *monopoly* in this case, and, second, they have to prove that withdrawal of a competitive file format was *abuse* of monopoly’s power that *harmed* users/competition.

      So theoretically Apple can lose this trial (though it is not very much probable because RealNetworks players were so little thing that hardly real harm was done).

      1. Thanks, you are right.

        Ihad been woven into a discussion about whether monopolies are good or bad by themselves or only if there is abuse, so I got confused with the threads.

        Stupid is as stupid does®

  3. If Apple and Beatles would not settle their dispute about “Apple” TM recently, I would not be surprised that Jobs could have been ordered to answer questions about original 1979 lawsuit.

  4. American way of Justice is antiquated. It favors those with deep pockets. Better to favor the stronger/faster. I say we go back to justice in the 1800’s – draw at 30 paces! That would settle these inane suits a lot faster. 😉

      1. It might be worth considering. Way back when, gentlemen wore swords. You’d think twice before looking at his frilly lace and calling him a pansy. (Ever see the movie HIGHLANDER ?)

  5. If anymore can present a clear explanation of Apple’s operations and intentions, it’s Steve Jobs.
    This should put the matter to rest.
    I think it’s a good thing.

  6. RealNetworks?!?!?!?


    If you can’t win in the public square, then litigate until you do.

    I’ll *never* use a RealNetworks product again. Evah. Fsckers.

  7. I could be wrong, but wasn’t it in violation of Apple’s contract with the music industry to allow others to tap into Fairplay?
    Realnetworks illegally used a software workaround to not pay any fees to Apple.

    1. The whole thing is irrelevant since Apple ditched DRM on music trax years ago.

      Are they gonna sue Android for not playing Netflix as well?
      Did the Zune play Realnetworks files?


  8. Microsoft used to spend a lot of time making things not work for their competition. True, they were convicted for that behavior, although no penalty was ever imposed.

  9. So, if Toyota doesn’t allow Ford Transmission on Toyotas, is that illegal? Parts is Parts. The judge may be getting into water much deeper than he can imagine. Johnny Cash wrote a song about this. I think it was called the 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 Cadillac Automobile. You can get it on iTunes.

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