Apple goes on offensive in iPod antitrust trial

“Apple went on the offensive Wednesday with its own witnesses in the class-action antitrust trial in federal court in Oakland, California,” Mark Berniker reports for CNBC.

“Apple brought its first witness: John Kelly, a former University of California at Santa Barbara computer science professor, who has his own technology consulting firm,” Berniker reports. “Kelly was very well-versed in the innards of the Apple iTunes software iterations, and spoke directly to the jury about how Apple had to innovate its software code to keep up with music pirates and sophisticated hackers.”

“By changing the iTunes software, the plaintiffs claim Apple effectively blocked consumers from playing music on their iPods that they may have downloaded from competitive music software providers, like RealNetworks’s Harmony,” Berniker reports. “Sources within Apple’s legal team told CNBC it will call several more witnesses, and expect to rest by Tuesday. Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is expected to rule on a still-to-be-filed motion that would make an iPod-using ice dancer the sole named plaintiff for the class action.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Tango-loving ice dancer recruited as plaintiff to save increasingly-ludicrous Apple iPod suit – December 10, 2014
Apple’s lawyer accuses the media of asking to see ‘a dead man’ in Steve Jobs video testimony – December 10, 2014
News organizations fight to release Steve Jobs deposition video – December 9, 2014
Judge: Apple iPod trial will continue despite no plaintiff in case – December 9, 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. Gee this is an interesting statement “However, no one from RealNetworks, including founder Rob Glaser, was called by the plaintiffs as witnesses.”

    Maybe Apple should call them in.

      1. He he he, thanks for the smile. I always liked “we’re sorry this number is undialable.”

        Ah I took a bit of reality and looked him up on Wiki “Since June 2010, Glaser has been a partner at global venture firm, Accel Partners, focusing on digital media technology, social media, and mobile service investments”

        More cannon fodder for someone who truly deserves it. Real Networks should be the one on trial.

  2. ‘Icy Dancer’ has been approved by all concerned at this point, including the judge. There’s an article about her up on ArsTechnica:

    Billion-dollar trial against Apple loses all plaintiffs—then gets a new one
    An avid Ars Technica reader steps into a lawsuit that needed a new plaintiff.

    The fact that this trial started without ANY qualifying plaintiffs points out the ridiculousness of today’s lawsuit system. WHO exactly are the suing lawyers representing, if THEY don’t even know? Bloodsuckers sniffing down a trail to nothing but the RIAA.

    1. It seems Apple wants a plaintiff, regardless. However the experiences described by the plaintiff, not referenced by ARS, does not match the complaint.

      IE: She purchased CDs and had to import them into iTunes. It remains questionable that her songs either were deleted from her iPod, which doesn’t matter, because they are backed up in iTunes, or weather she purchased songs from Rhapsody at which point they were deleted. Again, these songs are probably still in iTunes, and most certainly in the Rhapsody App, library.

      There is no loss, only inconvenience. I hardly see inconvenience as a sue-able loss, meant to be made whole.

      Can we sue the DMV for waiting in line? How about sue for credit at Safeway, because they didn’t open enough lanes? They certainly have a monopoly of registers at Safeway. Maybe I can open up my own registers there and start taking cash or selling my own groceries.

  3. This case boils down to a couple of things.

    Should Apple have been forced to give official support to a competing music store such as Real that had provided a hacked work around to make its music compatible.

    Name one other company in the world that has proprietary IP, or formats that is required by law to support a competitor that has hacked a work around for that proprietary tech.

    If generic printer cartridges that are not officially supported, stuff your printer, is it the manufacturers fault? No, your warranty is voided.

    The whole notion that it was Apple’s job to stay compatible with Real’s Harmony is ludicrous. The responsibility falls on Real Networks. The fact that Real is not involved & no Real execs are being called speaks volumes.

    The damages part of this case also has nothing to do with costs incurred by consumers in switching music formats.
    The plaintiffs lawyers know there wherefore solutions available at the time, so they can’t claim damages there.

    The alleged damages come from some clown economist that wrote a BS report using make-up figures. The report alleges that DRM lock-in allowed Apple to overcharge for iPods by 7.5%. Somehow by some convoluted logic, locking out Real made iPods more expensive.

    Lets just completely ignore the fact that Apple has always been a premium brand. Apple has always charged more than competing products for Macs, iPods, iPads, iPhone and soon the Apple watch.

    People bought iPods because everyone wanted to be seen with white earbuds. I bet those plaintiffs have long been satisfied with those iPod purchases, they are just now coming forward, because they think they will get a payout.

    1. The Attorney Plaintiffs (order of words intentional) didn’t dare put Barbara Bennett on the stand to voice her complaints about her iPod experience because she would have spilled the beans about her ability to get the rare Hungarian tango music she loved on her iPod that simply wasn’t available on iTunes. Nor, under cross examination it would have come out, was it available on RealNetwork’s DRM music downloads either and found out she was putting music on like 80% of iPod users put music on their iPods by ripping their own purchased CDs. That would NOT have forwarded their myth of iPods not allowing any music except expensive iTunes purchased music.
      Secondly, the Attorney Plaintiffs are trying to put forward the myth that Apple was using this lock-in to raise iPod prices. However, my distinct recollection from this period is that within each model category of iPod, and indeed, across the entire product line, over the period in question, Apple REDUCED prices, while adding functionality and capacity to each of their iPod models. A chronological chart showing the progression of capabilities and capacities with pricing would demonstrate this graphically for the jury and refute the entire premise of the Attorney Plaintiff’s affirmative case.

      A good example would be the iPod Shuffle. . . the 1GB introduced in 2005 for $149 (512KB model for $99) was only $79 for the 1GB version of the 2nd edition a year later in late 2006. Then in 2008, Apple increased the capacity to 2GB for the same $79. By the time the 3rd model came out in early spring of 2009, Apple jumped the capacity to 4GB, added controls, all for the same $79, meanwhile the second generation iPod shuffle was still in the line up at a $49 and $29 price point. (all prices from historical data at WHERE are these mythical price increases?

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