“Apple deleted music that some iPod owners had downloaded from competing music services from 2007 to 2009 without telling users, attorneys for consumers told jurors in a class-action antitrust suit against Apple Wednesday,” Jeff Elder reports for The Wall Street Journal.
“When a user who had downloaded music from a rival service tried to sync an iPod to the user’s iTunes library, Apple would display an error message and instruct the user to restore the factory settings, Coughlin said. When the user restored the settings, the music from rival services would disappear, he said,” Elder reports. “Apple directed the system ‘not to tell users the problem,’ Coughlin said.”
“Apple contends the moves were legitimate security measures. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia testified that Apple did not offer a more detailed explanation because, ‘We don’t need to give users too much information,’ and ‘We don’t want to confuse users,'” Elder reports. “Farrugia told the court that hackers with names like ‘DVD Jon’ and “Requiem” made Apple ‘very paranoid’ about protecting iTunes. Updates that deleted non-Apple music files were intended to protect consumers from those system break-ins. ‘The system was totally hacked,’ he said.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple did, in effect, warn consumers via a widely-reported statement:
We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods. – Apple, July 29, 2004
And, besides, although removed from iPod, the songs purchased via rival services remained in iTunes, did they not? All songs are removed from an iPod after a restore to factory settings.