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Apple and Epic Games lawyers are continuing to plan for their upcoming May 3 bench trial, and in a preparatory conference held today, the judge overseeing the case said that attendance will be limited due to the ongoing global health crisis (via Law360).

fortnite_apple_featured.jpg

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has been planning for an in-person trial because she believes that the case is significant enough that the court should hear it in person. She has also said in the past that Apple and Epic Games witnesses in the case will be less likely to lie when sworn in in a physical courtroom.

COVID-19 cases are dropping in the San Francisco Bay Area and people are getting vaccinated, which means the courtrooms are able to open up. Regardless of whether attendees have been vaccinated, however, masks will be required.

Epic Games and Apple will each be limited to six people in the courtroom at a time, and the press and the public will not be able to attend in person, but live audio will be provided. All testifying witnesses will be given a clear mask so that the judge is able to clearly see responses, and legal teams will be able to wear cordless microphones to make them easy to hear.

Unused rooms in the courthouse may be able to be used for legal team meetings, but Gonzalez Rogers recommended that Apple and Epic Games rent office space across from the courthouse in case it's needed.

The trial is set to take place on May 3, and each side will have 45 hours to present their case. Each side is also allowed to submit 100,000 words that can be split up among experts for reports, and the deadline for exchanging reports is April 27.

Apple and Epic Games are expected to call a number of high-profile witnesses. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, and Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi will all be attending to defend the company's App Store practices.

Cook will be directly examined for one hour, with a one hour cross examination also included. Federighi will testify for two hours with a one hour cross examination, while Schiller, who is in charge of the App Store, will testify for a total of 10 hours. Apple last week said that its senior executives are eager to share the impact that the App Store has had on economies around the world.
Our senior executives look forward to sharing with the court the very positive impact the ‌App Store‌ has had on innovation, economies across the world and the customer experience over the last 12 years. We feel confident the case will prove that Epic purposefully breached its agreement solely to increase its revenues, which is what resulted in their removal from the ‌App Store‌. By doing that, Epic circumvented the security features of the ‌App Store‌ in a way that would lead to reduced competition and put consumers' privacy and data security at tremendous risk.
Epic Games witnesses include Epic Games‌ CEO Tim Sweeney and other Epic employees, and third-party witnesses will include executives from Facebook, Microsoft, Nvidia. Epic Games also intends to call on iTunes chief Eddy Cue and former iOS software chief Scott Forstall, who was involved in the App Store's launch.

Apple lawyers today said all but one witness will testify in person, and Epic too plans to have most of its witnesses appear in person.

The May 3 trial will focus on Epic's accusation that Apple is a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation" by imposing "anti-competitive restraints" against App Store developers and employing "monopolistic practices in markets." Epic Games' most popular title, Fortnite, has been out of the App Store for months now as the two companies await the trial.

Epic Games plans to argue that the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from apps is "oppressive," as is the rule that requires developers to use in-app purchases. Apple recently lowered the 30 percent commission rate to 15 percent for developers that make under $1 million in a given calendar year, but this does not apply to major developers like Epic Games.

Apple will argue that its App Store prices are fair and in line with other competing software marketplaces, and that its App Store policies offer important protections for consumers.

Article Link: Judge in Upcoming Epic v. Apple Trial to Limit In-Person Attendees
 
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countryside

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2016
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Go Epic! Thanks for fighting the fight, for the fairness and dignity of all developers big and small, and for an OS that allows installing everything we want, as it should be.
Go to FortniteRumors.com with that opinion. EPIC is lucky to even have the option to sell their game on the App Store. Apple can do what they want, they are a private company. They can ban Parler, they can charge 80% commission for all I care. Nobody makes EPIC sell an app. Follow the rules or get lost.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
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That OS already exists, its called Android.

And it will soon be called iOS, if common sense and fair regulations are applied.


Go to FortniteRumors.com with that opinion. EPIC is lucky to even have the option to sell their game on the App Store. Apple can do what they want, they are a private company. They can ban Parler, they can charge 80% commission for all I care. Nobody makes EPIC sell an app. Follow the rules or get lost.

Sorry it hurt you, I know it must be difficult but just as you can I also can share my opinion on this forum.
 

grahamwright1

Cancelled
Feb 10, 2008
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Sorry it hurt you, I know it must be difficult but just as you can I also can share my opinion on this forum.
...and your opinion differs from many of us who want to retain the current App Store where we can be pretty sure we aren't downloading malware. Have you tracked the sheer number of Android app's that have been found forwarding user information from Android devices to corporate and individual websites?

After 40 years using everything from mainframes, through mini's, micro's, Windows, and Mac systems, I truly appreciate the approach and care that Apple take with iOS. Clearly you don't, so why not just switch over to one of the many Android devices readily available?
 

WiseAJ

macrumors 65816
Sep 8, 2009
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And it will soon be called iOS, if common sense and fair regulations are applied.

It will be called iOS if government overreach succeeds. It will eliminate the only closed OS system and that feature is one that many many many people buy iPhones for. There already is a fair freedom of choice in the market with iOS (Closed) vs Android (Open). Common sense is to leave it alone and not punish Apple for having a financially successful ecosystem.
 

Ferc Kast

macrumors 6502
Sep 26, 2012
337
256
Ohio, USA
I say that this ends on some sort of legal technicality
I can’t see any technicality at all. Epic knowingly premeditated breaking Apple’s App Store rules they agreed to for hosting Fortnite to the point they even made a video announcement of doing this beforehand. Which in turn led to Apple pulling the app for Epic to bring it back in compliance with their rules. But, instead, Epic is dragging this crap out claiming to be the victim in the whole scenario that they orchestrated.
 

MacLawyer

macrumors demi-god
Aug 1, 2009
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In principle I don’t care if the Judge orders Apple to allow side loading. What concerns me is that apps that can be side loaded may be cheaper than if purchased in the App Store. That could kill the App Store and I definitely don’t want that. I, for one, want the option of purchasing apps that have been curated and checked by Apple.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,705
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Its interesting. Epic stopped updating their Mac version of Fortnite - which was installed by installing Epic's game store installer from their website (not Apple's App Store). If you launch the game Epic literally lies to the user and says Apple won't allow them to update it (which is totally untrue) - since it's not an Mac App store App, its a direct installer from them.

Over on a windows PC where you can install whatever you want (very libertarian that way) you can see how Fortnite is presented to users from Epic. Now quite a while ago you could just download Fortnite and run it from Epic. But then Epic decided they wanted to make their own Game Store. So they forced Fortnite installs to go through that (so you had to install Epic's Game Store on your PC to install Fortnite). But that wasn't enough, because then Epic made it so you couldn't launch Fortnite (the .exe) by itself (if you do now, it fails to launch) you had to launch it through Epic's Store Program - which always starts up blasting you with advertising for other games. After resetting the Store to Library and launching Fortnite, after exiting the game the Store App is brought back up and set to the Store (not the Library where you left it) blasting you in the face with advertising.

It's a terrible user experience over on the PC and don't want Epic allowed to import that onto our iOS devices (which they most certainly would if allowed). We'll see how it pans out.
 
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subi257

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2018
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Go Epic! Thanks for fighting the fight, for the fairness and dignity of all developers big and small, and for an OS that allows installing everything we want, as it should be.That is not how it should be.
Go Epic! Thanks for fighting the fight, for the fairness and dignity of all developers big and small, and for an OS that allows installing everything we want, as it should be.
That's not how it should be. If you want to do that, start your own company...but I am sure you would take the same stand as Apple is taking. Not trying to be an ass, but Apple is a private company (in the sense that it is not government) It is their system, their hardware, etc. Epic signed a contract with Apple (which, most likely, made them the multi million dollar company that they are) and now they are violating the contractual agreement. I think cost wise, there should be a sliding scale based your sales on the app store. Epic seems to have an issue with Google too as it seems that Google is not happy with them going around the agreed contractual rules either.

This is not about "fairness and dignity" as there is not much fairness and dignity is signing a contract and then violating it when you not longer like it.

Lie I said, I'm not trying to be a D**k here, just talking about "fairness and dignity" If you sign an agreement and no longer like, then approach the other party and try to renegotiate the agreement. Or leave the store. Working in television alone with some IT server stuff, I will say that I can't even begin to comprehend the cost of running Apple's app store, Google's play store or Amazon's AWS. It's got to cost 100's of millions per year between hardware, engineering and utilities.
 

GeoStructural

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2016
863
2,776
Colombia
...and your opinion differs from many of us who want to retain the current App Store where we can be pretty sure we aren't downloading malware. Have you tracked the sheer number of Android app's that have been found forwarding user information from Android devices to corporate and individual websites?

Yes, because no app in the App Store has ever contained malware or trackers. You guys are so innocent.
 
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gnasher729

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Nov 25, 2005
17,980
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The restrictions, of course, make sense. It will be interesting to see if this trial rises to the level of the OJ Simpson trial in terms of hubris... "the game company that took out Apple."
I just read that TenCent, Epic's Chinese owners, are stopping to sell virtual people wearing Burberry clothing in one of their games. Burberry apparently has been protesting about stuff going on in China, so there needed to be a bit of retaliation...
 

Rob_2811

Suspended
Mar 18, 2016
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United Kingdom
That's not how it should be. If you want to do that, start your own company...but I am sure you would take the same stand as Apple is taking. Not trying to be an ass, but Apple is a private company (in the sense that it is not government) It is their system, their hardware, etc. Epic signed a contract with Apple (which, most likely, made them the multi million dollar company that they are) and now they are violating the contractual agreement. I think cost wise, there should be a sliding scale based your sales on the app store. Epic seems to have an issue with Google too as it seems that Google is not happy with them going around the agreed contractual rules either.


That's all great, none of it has anything to do with Apples anticompetitive behaviour though.

You are talking about Apples aribtary nonsense as if its the law. It isn't, that is why regulators exist to ensure companies with huge scale like Apple aren't abusing their position.

Nothing 'fair or dignified' about Apples rent seeking.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G5
May 16, 2015
12,845
6,814
Well. Per usual arguments full of xxxx. In-person could create some interesting drama, televised or not. Would love to see the trial in action if I got the chance.

Apple surely has hired the best lawyer in US, so I seriously doubt Epic can do anything here, even if they somehow manage to assemble a strong case and can technically win the trial.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,560
Go Epic! Thanks for fighting the fight, for the fairness and dignity of all developers big and small, and for an OS that allows installing everything we want, as it should be.
They have really taken you in. Epic just does what their Chinese masters TenCent tell them, and there is nothing that TenCent cares less about than fairness and dignity for all developers. All they care about is selling worthless digital rubbish to impressionable kids at a maximum profit.
 
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