Steve Jobs, aggressive then frail, looms large at Apple iPod trial

“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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Steve Jobs’ video testimony transfixes courtroom – December 5, 2014
Apple punches holes in plaintiff’s purchases, asks for dismissal of iPod class action suit – December 5, 2014
Apple’s Eddy Cue explains why DRM for music was a necessary evil – December 5, 2014
Apple iPod judge asks if lack of plaintiff dooms trial – December 5, 2014
Apple on trial: Were iTunes updates really an anti-consumer scheme?
Steve Jobs on RealNetworks in 2011 deposition: ‘Do they still exist?’ – December 3, 2014
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


      1. Why, then, did they not do a retake when John Glenn muffed his scripted lines whilst stepping on the lunar soil?

        It should have been “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

          1. Yeah, Glenn came down with bronchitis, so Neil Armstrong was the stand in. A tight budget, not much time to learn his lines, but they still should have done a retake. Your sloppy government at work.

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