“The late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., led the company to violate antitrust laws by restricting music purchases for iPod users to Apple’s iTunes digital store, an attorney for consumers suing Apple said in court,” Dan Levine reports for Reuters.
“Opening statements began on Tuesday in an Oakland, California, federal court in the long-running class action, which harks back to Apple’s pre-iPhone era. The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, are seeking about $350 million in damages from Apple for unfairly blocking competing device makers. That amount would be automatically tripled under antitrust laws,” Levine reports. “Plaintiff attorney Bonny Sweeney showed the court emails from top Apple executives, including Jobs, discussing a challenge in the online music market from Real Networks, which developed a rival digital song manager. When it was developed, music purchased on Real’s store could be played on iPods.”
“The trial evidence includes emails from Jobs, as well as video deposition testimony the former Apple chief executive gave shortly before he died in 2011. In July 2004, Jobs wrote to other Apple executives with a suggested press release about Real Networks. ‘How’s this?’ Jobs wrote. ”We are stunned that Real is adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker and breaking into the iPod,”” Levine reports. “‘I like likening them to hackers,’ Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller responded.”
“During his 2011 deposition, Jobs displayed some of the edge he was known for, according to a transcript filed in court,” Levine reports. “Asked if he was familiar with Real Networks, Jobs replied: ‘Do they still exist?'”
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MacDailyNews Take: This lawsuit should target those who demanded DRM on music to “protect” it, not Apple which was forced to develop and use FairPlay by the music cartels.
Steve Jobs said Apple took pains to protect record contracts – December 3, 2014
Star witness in Apple lawsuit is Steve Jobs – December 1, 2014
How to kill the DRM in your old iTunes Store music purchases – March 18, 2014
Apple asks judge to dismiss FairPlay lawsuit following Steve Jobs’ deposition – April 19, 2011
Apple’s iTunes Store goes DRM-free and 3G via iPhone; variable pricing coming soon – January 6, 2009
Major music cartels demand concessions from Apple before inking DRM-free iTunes Store music deals – December 15, 2008
RealNetworks ‘Harmony’ stops working on iPods but nobody notices for a month and a half – December 15, 2004
Real’s online petition for music ‘freedom’ backfires bigtime – August 17, 2004
Real cracks Apple’s Fairplay; to sell iPod-compatible songs without Apple’s authorization – July 25, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: Go pound sand – April 16, 2004