“Jurors were presented this week with two images of Steve Jobs — one deriding competitors as hackers, the other failing to recall those details — as they consider evidence about whether Apple Inc. broke the law by refusing to open the iPod to rival music downloads,” Karen Gullo reports for Bloomberg. “A federal jury in Oakland, California, yesterday saw a thin, pale and graying Jobs say in testimony videotaped six months before his death that he didn’t recall drafting a press release in 2004 likening RealNetworks Inc. to a hacker after it released a software program for buying songs that would run on the iPod.”
“Lawyers for consumers, who are seeking more than $1 billion in damages, spent much of the first week of trial trying to make the case that Jobs spearheaded the company’s effort to thwart competition to the iPod and maintain a monopoly,” Gullo reports. “The [plantiffs] claim Apple modified iTunes software so music downloaded with RealNetworks software couldn’t be played. Locking iPod owners into iTunes stifled competition for downloading services and enabled Apple to charge more for iPods, they claim.”
MacDailyNews Take: Plantiffs who never bought an iPod during the period covered in the lawsuit.
“Senior Apple executives who were called as witnesses said the company’s technological tweaks to the iPod were genuine product improvements rather than intentional obstacles to competing software,” Gullo reports. “Jobs gave his testimony in April 2011, half a year before he died of pancreatic cancer, and during about 30 minutes of clips that were presented yesterday, he said more than 30 times he couldn’t remember or recall details from the 2004 period. Rubbing half-closed eyes, Jobs said he didn’t remember whether Apple ever concluded that RealNetworks was violating its digital rights management software for iTunes and later said he didn’t recall whether he rebuffed a request to meet with RealNetworks to talk about a license. ‘I’m sorry I don’t remember more of this for you, but there’s been a lot of water under that bridge in seven years,’ Jobs said.”
Gullo reports, “‘Not only are they hacking,’ Eddy Cue, the chief of the iTunes Store, said when asked about RealNetworks, the much more important issue was ‘breaking that eco-system that we had… We did not want anything that would actually jeopardize that and cause problems for customers,’ he said.”
Read more in the full article here.
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