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Federal Judge Tosses Apple's Theft Claims in Ongoing Epic Games Legal Fight

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A California federal judge on Tuesday dismissed some of Apple's counterclaims against Epic Games in its ongoing antitrust battle over Apple's App Store fees (via Bloomberg).


Apple and Epic have been in a legal fight since August, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app, defying the App Store rules. Epic Games promptly filed a lawsuit against Apple, accusing the company of anti-competitive actions.

In September, Apple filed a counter suit to stop the game maker from using its own payment system for Fortnite. Apple also accused Epic of theft and sought extra monetary damages beyond breach of contract.

In October, Epic filed a motion ahead of Tuesday's hearing seeking the dismissal of Apple's counterclaims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and conversion, along with its punitive damages bid.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted Epic Games' motion for judgement, throwing out Apple's two claims for lost App Store fees and other monetary damages.

"This is a high-stakes breach of contract case and an antitrust case and that's all in my view," Gonzalez told Apple's lawyers, according to Bloomberg. "You can't just say it's independently wrongful. You actually have to have facts," the judge said, adding that the rest of the breach-of-contract case moves forward.

Apple told Bloomberg that it disagreed with the judge's decision, adding that it was clear that Epic breached its contract with the company. Epic in October had a preliminary injunction dismissed by the same judge, meaning Fortnite will remain unavailable on the App Store for the duration of the lawsuit, assuming that the app remains in violation of the App Store Review Guidelines. The case continues.

Article Link: Federal Judge Tosses Apple's Theft Claims in Ongoing Epic Games Legal Fight
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,010
4,883
Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
 
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WiseAJ

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2009
720
1,802
PDX
Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
Epic can end this anytime their CEO wants to stop being a child.
 
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ElitistWhiner

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2020
31
8
Epic suit is about a “ rent” Apple have built into users’ hardware products that they own which use its OSS Darwin and proprietary API’s that Apple rightfully charges third party developers a fee to sell on Apple’s AppStore.

Users buy Apple products. They own them. Users buy software that they own for a one-time fee. In that fee is Apple’s “rent”. SO the onus will be upon Apple to prove that the developer fee is not sufficient to actually develop third party software it is free to sell. Who owns the developer work product?. IF Apple insists that 30% transaction fee is owned by its license to use its API’s, then the court must address limitations in its third party license that effectively promote use of its AppStore. THUS forced “rent” and maybe trigger of monopoly statutes. That’s my understanding...

Perhaps someone can explain subscription software scheme.
 
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iBluetooth

macrumors 6502
Mar 29, 2016
335
716
Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
You know Apple has always offered Epic to come back to the Appstore if they follow the contract. Epic could end this tomorrow.
 
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Karllake

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2012
145
186
Wait, Apple were actually suing over lost app store revenue?! They're showing their true colours here.
I'd say the theft is the money Epic made while they had linked to their own payment system and prior to being shut down, and it's less about the actual value and more about the legal principle that that money (in apples eye) is rightfully Apples.
 
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4jasontv

macrumors 68040
Jul 31, 2011
3,791
4,069
Perhaps someone can explain subscription software scheme.
Sure.

Subscription software is a scam where developers try to convince customers to continuously pay for software in order to trick them into thinking they don't own said software. It relies heavily on the idea that the user is paying for access to the software and that the investment they retain is the experience they had with it and not the product itself. By ensuring the developer does not have to compete with a secondary market it can develop the software at any pace it wants, leaving bugs and promised features for as long as necessary while continuing to charge customers. Not owning the software makes right to repair nearly impossible, and some developers even introduce 'anti-cheat' measure that permanently brick the software if the customer attempts to fix it on their own. Meanwhile, the customer is left in a stressful state where they rely entirely on the developer seeing value in their own software else it is shut down and the software is disabled for the customer.
 
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az431

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2008
1,993
5,777
Portland, OR
Epic suit is about a “ rent” Apple have built into users’ hardware products that they own which use its OSS Darwin and proprietary API’s that Apple rightfully charges third party developers a fee to sell on Apple’s AppStore.

Users buy Apple products. They own them. Users buy software that they own for a one-time fee. In that fee is Apple’s “rent”. SO the onus will be upon Apple to prove that the developer fee is not sufficient to actually develop third party software it is free to sell. Who owns the developer work product?. IF Apple insists that 30% transaction fee is owned by its license to use its API’s, then the court must address limitations in its third party license that effectively promote use of its AppStore. THUS forced “rent” and maybe trigger of monopoly statutes. That’s my understanding...

Perhaps someone can explain subscription software scheme.
Yeah your “understanding” doesn’t square at all with contract or antitrust law, or the facts or logic for that matter.
 
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az431

macrumors 68000
Sep 13, 2008
1,993
5,777
Portland, OR
Sure.

Subscription software is a scam where developers try to convince customers to continuously pay for software in order to trick them into thinking they don't own said software. It relies heavily on the idea that the user is paying for access to the software and that the investment they retain is the experience they had with it and not the product itself. By ensuring the developer does not have to compete with a secondary market it can develop the software at any pace it wants, leaving bugs and promised features for as long as necessary while continuing to charge customers. Not owning the software makes right to repair nearly impossible, and some developers even introduce 'anti-cheat' measure that permanently brick the software if the customer attempts to fix it on their own. Meanwhile, the customer is left in a stressful state where they rely entirely on the developer seeing value in their own software else it is shut down and the software is disabled for the customer.

No consumer, from the beginning of time, has ever “owned” software. Software, like music, is intangible intellectual property that is licensed for use under the terms of the license. Whether the consumer pays a one time fee or a recurring fee makes no difference.
 
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phobos512

macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2012
187
157
Alexandria, VA, USA
Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
Guess you missed the part where they said you could download software from the web. It's not just the Mac App Store. They realize that would be a nonstarter.
 
Comment

bennyf

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2011
178
257
USA
No consumer, from the beginning of time, has ever “owned” software. Software, like music, is intangible intellectual property that is licensed for use under the terms of the license. Whether the consumer pays a one time fee or a recurring fee makes no difference.
You could just as easily say that no person has ever owned any software, even of their own creation. They may have statutory rights to prevent others from using the same list of instructions, but that doesn't equate to "ownership" in the same way we use that concept with physical goods.
 
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Psychicbob

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2018
244
552
Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.
The new StrongARM processor 😁
 
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dannys1

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2007
2,892
5,215
UK
Apple could have ended this yesterday.

Instead, I’m worried that they’ll bring their same draconian restrictions to the new ARM Macs.

On a related note of the inability to run software Apple hasn’t approved, it was super disappointing that they chose to revive the PC character but it wasn’t to reassure people that the ARM Macs could boot into Windows 10.

Well obviously they can't - Windows is complied for x86.
 
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Duane Martin

macrumors 6502
Oct 15, 2004
400
896
Calgary, Alberta
Guess you missed the part where they said you could download software from the web. It's not just the Mac App Store. They realize that would be a nonstarter.
They didn’t miss anything, their “statement” is pure trolling and not at all based on facts. In this modern Orwellian age it has become acceptable to make claims loudly and frequently without providing facts to back up the claims. It is a sad state of affairs that unites certain people. Much of the world will see what I did there.
 
Comment

paradox00

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2009
1,137
318
Apple should release an "AppleTV Arcade" device... a small white "AppleTV" with a gaming controller and demand they are treated like other console manufacturers.

Epic is OK to pay Nintendo and others the "fee" they require.
Why do you think they are ok with consoles? First they created a competing store on PC, now they want to do that on phones, what makes you think they would stop there?

Regardless, the phone market is orders of magnitude larger than the console market. It's pretty twisted logic that Apple is entitled to 30% of all software sales on their platform until the end of time. Yes Apple created the platform, but at this point it's basically a general purpose computing platform like Mac or Windows, both of which give developers other distribution options. Without third party apps, there's no way that Apple sells even 30% of the iPhones they do now. At this point, Apple needs competition to keep them honest, otherwise we'll get more decisions like the game streaming one where they are blatantly protecting their inferior Apple Arcade subscriptions from competition.

Rent seeking behavior aside, Apple should be selling an Apple TV with a controller like you suggest. There's a big gaming play that they could make with apps now compatible with the Mac as well.
 
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Hessian

macrumors newbie
Jul 18, 2004
11
45
Epic is clearly the Villain.

They can easily revert back to the contractual approach to billing (either Apple Store or not at all in app). They could easily just release the app without any in app purchasing.

I wonder if they truly believe they are the victim, or if it is just their tactic. They sent me an email this week to lure me back with the offer of providing additional v-bucks to my current bank of them just sitting there.
 
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