Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,190
13,832
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png


104212-itunes_4_icon.jpg


Bloomberg reports that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been instructed to provide testimony in the form of a deposition regarding an ongoing antitrust case targeting Apple's FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) technology. The deposition, not to exceed two hours, will cover software changes Apple made in 2004 to prevent digital music files from RealNetworks from playing on the iPod.
"The court finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, firsthand knowledge about the issues at the center of the dispute over RealNetworks software," Lloyd wrote.
The class-action suit was filed in January 2005 by a customer complaining about the exclusive nature of Apple's digital music offerings encoded with FairPlay, preventing users from playing music purchased from the iTunes Store on other companies' music players and other music stores' digital offerings from being played on iPods. In particular, Apple's efforts to thwart RealNetworks' reverse engineering of FairPlay with its own "Harmony" technology served as the impetus for the lawsuit.
RealNetworks, a Seattle-based competitor in the digital- music market, announced July 24, 2004, that it would sell music from its online store that could be played on iPods on a technology it called Harmony. Just five days later, Apple announced software updates to its iPod FairPlay software that would render RealNetworks' Harmony product again inoperable on iPods, according to Lloyd’s order.

By October of that year, when users were forced to update their iTunes applications and iPods, the digital-music files from RealNetworks' online store were no longer interoperable with Apple’s iPods, Lloyd wrote.
Apple of course no longer sells DRM-encoded music through the iTunes Store, but the lawsuit argues that Apple sought to build monopolies in the digital music and portable music player markets by integrating its products and services while preventing interoperability with competitors' products.

Article Link: Steve Jobs Required to Provide Deposition in 2005 iTunes Antitrust Case
 

levitynyc

macrumors 65816
Aug 19, 2006
1,105
3,275
This lawsuit is still going on? I guess we can assume Amazon.com will use App Store for the next 7 years.
 
Comment

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
6,904
3,935
There & Back Again
Man, you work hard to build a store to sell music, build machines to put that music that you provide on, you spend time with record companies, getting deals etc, and working hard to turn a company around.

Then some jack knobs create a software service to hijack your sales and use your devices without putting any of their own sweat into the hardware, you close them out, and they sue.

That's like Ford suing Toyota because Toyota only allow Toyota engines to go into their cars.
 
Comment

bdkennedy1

Suspended
Oct 24, 2002
1,275
528
In the end, it's going to come down to that there were plenty of other music players and ways to download music besides the iPod and iTunes at the time.
 
Comment

Pachang

macrumors regular
Dec 17, 2009
236
0
I don't get it. What did apple do that was illegal?

Aren't they allowed to do whatever they want with the music they are selling?
Aren't they allowed to do whatever they want with the digital music player they are selling?
 
Comment

AaronEdwards

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2011
729
1
Man, you work hard to build a store to sell music, build machines to put that music that you provide on, you spend time with record companies, getting deals etc, and working hard to turn a company around.

Then some jack knobs create a software service to hijack your sales and use your devices without putting any of their own sweat into the hardware, you close them out, and they sue.

That's like Ford suing Toyota because Toyota only allow Toyota engines to go into their cars.

No. First, Real isn't suing Apple, people who bought the iPod are. Secondly, the engine isn't to the car what songs are to the iPod.

This would be like if Toyota owners sued Toyota for only allowing their cars to run on gas sold by Toyota.
Which they should if that ever happened.
 
Comment

spillproof

macrumors 68020
Jun 4, 2009
2,028
2
USA
Apple made its money from the sales of iPods. Why would they want people to go buy cheaper (and sometimes with more features!) music players?

I think understand why Stevey did what he did, but I would love to hear his deposition.
 
Comment

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
That's like Ford suing Toyota because Toyota only allow Toyota engines to go into their cars.

Terrible Analogy. Any engine can go in any car. Miata's have Ford 5.0's in them, Lotus/Pontiac/Celica/Toyota all run the 2ZZGE engine developed by Yamaha for Toyota, Chevy Cavalier was essentially a Corolla, Mitsubishi/Hyundai shared engines, etc etc etc. Can't compare.
 
Comment

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,600
5,564
Canada
Man, you work hard to build a store to sell music, build machines to put that music that you provide on, you spend time with record companies, getting deals etc, and working hard to turn a company around.

Then some jack knobs create a software service to hijack your sales and use your devices without putting any of their own sweat into the hardware, you close them out, and they sue.

Which is fine, as long as you don't break any laws... which is the point of this case - and is - tbd.
 
Comment

jmcrutch

macrumors regular
Jul 27, 2010
249
78
The old logo seems so ... refreshing.


Sometimes the original logo is simply better ... see MelloYello and DrPepper as two small examples.
 
Comment

CylonGlitch

macrumors 68030
Jul 7, 2009
2,947
263
SoCal
In the end isn't it obvious that it was the music industry that was pushing for the DRM? I mean it wasn't until Jobs posted his message online saying that they can't do away with the DRM until it was allowed by the labels that pushed the labels to drop the DRM. Under contract, Apple was obligated to aggressively defend attempts to thwart the DRM or lose the labels business.

So what does this lawsuit hope to accomplish?

I'm not an Apple fanboy, but sometimes bullcrap has to be called out.
 
Comment

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,473
124
Mpls, MN
Apple of course no longer sells DRM-encoded music through the iTunes Store, but the lawsuit argues that Apple sought to build monopolies in the digital music and portable music player markets by integrating its products and services while preventing interoperability with competitors' products.
So, lawyers, tell us. Does the highlighted word really carry that much weight?
 
Comment

notabadname

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2010
1,425
497
Detroit Suburbs
Actually, if you have enough time, knowledge and money, you could put a Ford engine in a Toyota and Toyota wouldn't give a damn.

They would if it were being done at the point of sale, and as a capability of the vehicle. That's what RealNetworks was trying to do. Sell a alternative product with intellectual "engine" of a competitor to use that competitor's developed market presence (music library) to sell it's own product.

Neither Ford nor Toyota would get away with that.
 
Comment

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,115
418
Hate to say it, but I'm not sure I want Apple to win this. DRM is anti-consumer garbage, and I'd love to see a legal precedent against DRM lockouts.

Thing is, I actually believe Apple that it was the music labels that required DRM of them, because their competitors (which had little motive to use DRM) all used it too. So really, I'd like to see the RIAA on the end of this lawsuit.
 
Comment

venusboy

macrumors regular
Mar 22, 2011
111
167
I don't get it. What did apple do that was illegal?

Aren't they allowed to do whatever they want with the music they are selling?
Aren't they allowed to do whatever they want with the digital music player they are selling?

They deliberately removed functionality of their product to make fewer filetypes work with it. This provides less choice for consumers, and can be deemed anticompetitive.

The answers to your last two questions are no, not if they hold a monopoly. Let's not forget Microsoft's € 1.4 bn fine by the EU.
 
Comment

JGowan

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2003
1,765
22
Mineola TX
RealPlayer,... wow... now that's an icon I haven't clicked in a long time! Glorious!

On to business... Apple had a contractual obligation to the Music Companies to thwart any persons (basement hackers/giant corporations) who were circumventing the DRM that was protecting the music. So you give it a name, "Harmony", and that makes it ok?! No. If you hack it, Apple has a right to patch it. And it seems to me, Apple and the whole lot of music companies should've sued RealNetworks back to the stone age when they started pulling that crap.

About keeping competitors off the iPod: first of all, as you engineering software, stuff breaks. This happens all the time, even legitimately. If you're the hardware/software company that Apple is, you can't get hung up with all of the stuff in the wild that might break if you change your code. It would be impossible for you to do so. Secondly, RN had no business trying to piggyback on the success of the iPod by backward engineering Apple's DRM. Wrong, plain and simple. Although now it's a moot point with DRM nowhere on the music front: Amazon and others can sell MP3s to be used on the iPod.

Of course, this isn't RealNetworks behind the lawsuit... or is it ?! :)
 
Last edited:
Comment

monaarts

macrumors 65816
Jan 16, 2010
1,164
50
Kennesaw, GA
What is the difference between this and Microsoft not allowing PS3 games to play on the Xbox 360? Or the Wii not playing Xbox 360 games? I hate how everyone can sue for everything because they don't like the way it is.

RealNetworks should be required to build an almost equivalent MP3 player before being allowed to sue for this. Most of the time a company sues for something like this it is because they want undeserved money. Enough said.


- Joe
 
Comment

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,600
5,564
Canada
In the end isn't it obvious that it was the music industry that was pushing for the DRM? I mean it wasn't until Jobs posted his message online saying that they can't do away with the DRM until it was allowed by the labels that pushed the labels to drop the DRM. Under contract, Apple was obligated to aggressively defend attempts to thwart the DRM or lose the labels business.

So what does this lawsuit hope to accomplish?

I'm not an Apple fanboy, but sometimes bullcrap has to be called out.

Apple was being investigated in Europe and the states, so the choice of dropping DRM was probably a forced decision. IMO - the timing of Apple's open letter was a strategic one - to make Apple look favourable - "Hey, we are dropping DRM, isn't it fantastic".

If Apple didn't drop DRM could have resulted in them being forced to license it out to other companies. Of course, music companies would have been apart of this decision too - to remove DRM. In fact, initially, it was only one or two music companies that dropped DRM - the rest followed suit afterwards.

http://www.boingboing.net/2006/09/14/us_justice_dept_to_e.html
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.