Apple Deleted iPod Owners' Songs Downloaded From Competing Music Services Between 2007 and 2009

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Between 2007 and 2009, Apple stealthily deleted content that iPod owners had downloaded from rival music services, reports The Wall Street Journal. The information came to light during an ongoing class action iPod lawsuit that Apple is fighting in court this week, where the Cupertino company is accused of having violated antitrust law by locking its original iPods to the iTunes ecosystem.

    According to plaintiff attorney Patrick Coughlin, a user who downloaded music from a competing music service to iTunes and then tried to sync the content to an iPod would receive a nondescript error message. The vague message would advise the iPod owner to restore the device to its factory settings, deleting the music that had been downloaded from a rival service and preventing it from being played.

    Apple security director Augustin Farrugia defended the vague error message, stating that Apple didn't want to "confuse users" by providing them with too much information. Farrugia also said the company's efforts to delete music acquired from third-party sources was done in an effort to protect consumers from hackers and malicious content.

    Yesterday, lawyers for the plaintiffs shared both a videotaped deposition and emails written by Steve Jobs as evidence that Apple had deliberately stymied competing music services after the launch of the iPod. In the correspondence, the former Apple CEO hatched a plan to accuse competing music service RealNetworks of hacking the iPod when it offered song downloads that could be played on the device.

    The class action lawsuit began on Tuesday of this week and is being heard in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. Both Apple marketing head Phil Schiller and iTunes chief Eddy Cue are expected to testify during the court proceedings.

    Article Link: Apple Deleted iPod Owners' Songs Downloaded From Competing Music Services Between 2007 and 2009
  2. timshundo macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2009
    San Francisco, CA
  3. WolfSnap macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2012
    iTunes content is licensed, not sold. Same with other services. Each user agreed to the license conditions.

    Apple also had documentation on how to REMOVE the DRM from its music, how to rip from CD's, and more. If others are upset over licensing music from other services that did not allow the content's DRM to be removed, that's not Apple's fault.
  4. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    Good thing iPods are pretty much dead now. Online music streaming is where it's at.
  5. timize macrumors regular


    Aug 13, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Kind of a misleading title... its not like Apple went in and deleted those specific songs without the owner knowing (essentially like hacking). The iPod was restored, which coincidentally erases the entire contents of the iPod.
  6. jontech macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2010
    No playing my library on the phone I already own is where it's at
  7. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    What? You can play your library on every device you own, not just your phone.
  8. dmylrea macrumors 68030


    Sep 27, 2005
    More Big Brother behavior from Apple. We now need them to decide for us when and how to protect us from hackers and malicious content? And to use that excuse is ridiculous. If they got caught doing this, what else do they do?
  9. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    How does one download music from a competing service to iTunes? Or do they mean it was downloaded elsewhere and then imported into iTunes?

    I must say though this security director isn't doing Apple any favors:

  10. BryanElliott macrumors newbie


    Jan 9, 2014
    Los Santos
    1. Shame on Apple for doing this if it is true.

    2. Why does it take THIS long for someone to throw a fit about an issues ?
  11. movie-mac macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    iPods are not dead. Apple sells hundreds of millions every year nowadays. Granted, most of them are "built into" iPhones and iPads…
  12. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    I don't know what's worse.
    What they did or their awful comeback:


    Glassed Silver:mac
  13. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
  14. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    You know what I meant :rolleyes:
  15. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    Double-plus good! Also, no ads.

    Make a relationship with your music and you'll be a better person. Online streaming is good for people like me who have a wife that requests christmas music while we do the tree stuff. I don't have a ****ing christmas music, nor do i want any. Stream away!
  16. figgnuttan macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2004
    Class. Action NO CLASS!

    These comments are wimpy at best.

    People don't seem to get it. Why should Apple have let another company into its ecosystem.
    If I own a grocery store, you can't come in and tell me you are going to put your stuff on my shelves! And if you do, I would most certainly throw you and your stuff out on the curb.
    After Apple wins this, and they will, I hope they take each an every individual in this sham of a class action to court and sues them into abject poverty.

    haha....the true American way. :)
  17. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    This is about the iPod, not the iTunes Store (ie. an iPod isn't a store). A similar analogy would be Apple taking "unapproved" groceries out of your car or house.
  18. 8CoreWhore macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
    Shame on Macrumors for link baiting, treating this lawyer's silly accusation as true without explaining what is really happening.
  19. gnasher729, Dec 3, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014

    gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    This is very misleading.

    You never could download directly onto on iPod from any service other than iTunes. It was possible to download music onto your Mac or PC from other services, and some created software that would move that music onto on iPod. However, the music would then still be present on your Mac or PC, and if you didn't do anything stupid, or if you did the clever thing and backed up your computer, you would have these files forever.

    It is obviously possible that badly written software that moves music to an iPod might damage things. Worst case, it might make the iPod incapable of playing any music. So what is Apple supposed to do? They assume quite reasonably that any music would still be present on your Mac or PC. So fixing corruption of the data on the iPod by resetting it and copying all the music back from the Mac or PC to the iPod is quite reasonable.

    On the other hand, if you use Amazon's download application (which downloads music onto your Mac, not your iPod), they take the official route and it works perfectly: They drop the music into the "Add to iTunes" folder, and iTunes picks it up automatically and then you can put it onto your iPod without any problems at all.


    Third party software corrupted the contents of an iPod. So how can Apple distinguish between incompetently written software and malicious software?

    Like Amazon does it: Hidden deep inside your iTunes folder is a folder named "Automatically Add to iTunes". All a competing service has to do is move music files into that folder, and iTunes will import them. That's what Amazon does, and it works just fine.
  20. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    This is back when Real figured out how to Fairplay-encrypt their own content so they could sell it (which back then required DRM or the labels wouldn't license it) and have iPods/iTunes be able to play it. They called it Harmony. Apple of course didn't like that.
  21. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    The question is, did the iPod delete non Apple approved content occasionally, or did it report an error and ask to reformat itself every single time you attempted to move competitor bought music to it?

    If it's the former, you have a point. It could very well be an issue with 3rd part software not doing its job well. If it's the later, that's a little low, and kinda hard to defend.
  22. brdeveloper macrumors 68020


    Apr 21, 2010
    There will be a day when people will get tired of closed ecosystems. But I can't see this day in the near future.
  23. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    So what is the problem here? Users expect Apple to support music that was purchased from other stores? Why would Apple do that? Do users expect Ford parts to work on a Chevy? A fake K-cup in a coffee maker? The wrong cartridge in a printer? Lots of companies insist on using their parts and consumers accept that as reasonable - why pick on Apple? Is it because they have the deepest pockets?
  24. itr81 macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2010
    Umm if you don't know that resetting your iPod just returns it to its factory settings then you probably shouldn't be operating one. Anyone with basic computer experience would know this. He might have even put the files on there like a hdd. Our gov will let anyone sue for any dang thing..
  25. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Everyone is evil! I'm gonna throw away all my computers, and go live out in the woods!

    I think this whole "x is evil" thing is getting way out of hands. Unless Apple, Google, or MS are actively killing orphans, and grinding up their souls to power their cloud platforms, I wouldn't call any of them evil. Cheesy? Sure. Occasionally creepy. Why not? But evil? Nah.

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