Steve Jobs said Apple took pains to protect record contracts

“Steve Jobs defended Apple Inc.’s use of software for the iPod and iTunes that blocked compatibility with a competing digital music store as necessary to protect licenses with major record labels,” Joel Rosenblatt reports for Bloomberg. “Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former chief executive officer, was questioned six months before he died in October 2011 by lawyers for consumers who sued the company over claims it tried to thwart rival music stores to maintain a monopoly over digital players. A video recording of his testimony may be played this week for a jury in federal court in Oakland, California, where a trial of the case got under way yesterday.”

“‘Apple’s point of view was, you know, we were the only big company involved in this stuff at that time, the one with the deepest pockets,’ Jobs said in the 2011 testimony, according to a transcript made public yesterday. Apple had ‘black-and-white contracts’ with record labels that would be violated if consumers could strip licensed songs from iPods and install them on other devices, he said,” Rosenblatt reports. “‘So I remember we were very concerned about that,’ Jobs added. ‘And we went to great pains to make sure that people couldn’t hack into our digital rights management system because if they could, we would get nasty e-mails from the labels threatening us to — you know, that they were going to yank the license.'”

Rosenblatt reports, “Attorneys for Apple told the jury in their opening statement yesterday that the company created its own software, FairPlay, to safeguard contractual agreements with the record labels.”

Read more in the full article here.

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.

Related articles:
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


  1. Isn’t it common knowledge that the record labels are the ones that wanted DRM? Why is Apple going to court for it? Wasn’t Steve Jobs the person who wanted to get rid of DRM as soon as iTunes and the public had some leverage against the record companies? This seems like just a big waste of time and just money for lawyers.

    1. Here is what is even more of a joke about this lawsuit. Real Networks. I remember Real Networks from back when I was running OS 9. Their software mapped all file types to their programs whether they could play them or not so that nothing but their own file types would load properly from the finder. It was a big pain in the neck to fix this properly even after uninstalling their software which left little bits hidden through the system. The software was also riddled with the worst memory leaks I’ve ever experienced. It would destroy the user experience even when it wasn’t being actively used. You might try to fix the problem by uninstalling just to find the leaky junk ware still hiding in you system. It’s no wonder Steve Jobs didn’t want anything made by Real Networks running on their iPods.

    2. There seems to be confusion about what’s at question here. It isn’t whether DRM as a concept was good or bad for consumers. It’s whether Apple illegally used its position in the player market to squelch competition in the media sales market. When another seller developed a Fairplay-compliant DRM flavor, Apple would change the device software to break that compatibility.

      The defense, according to this Jobs statement, seems to be that they did so because if someone could create Fairplay-compliant content then that implies they could strip the DRM from Apple’s content, exposing them to action from the labels.

  2. What’s amusing here is that it is all wrapped up in the media corporate oligarchy’s vicious abuse of ALL customers by treating them as default criminals.

    That’s what DRM is about.
    That’s what ACTA was about.
    That’s what TTP (TTPA) is all about.
    That’s what SOPA/PIPA were all about.

    So go bite the media companies, dear customers. Apple had to play their self-destructive, customer-abusing game in order to sell their media. It’s that simple. Don’t blame Apple for the media oligarchy’s sickness. They are NOT one in the same, obviously.

  3. Funny how when it comes to IP and theft, Samsung are treated one way and musicians and creatives are given a different rule. “Don’t you dare steal or copy us but if anyone rips *you* off well, sorry, but that’s tough luck.”

  4. Yes MDN “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.” but you know this sort of stuff has been happening ever since the “aim for Bin Laden hit Saddam Hussein” guidance system has been developed. The only thing apparently safe these days are the broad sides of barns.

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