Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The iPod/DRM/iTunes/Holy-Shit-It’s-December-2014 Trial Begins

Dan Levine, Reuters:

Opening statements began on Tuesday in an Oakland, California, federal court in the long-running class action, which harks back to Apple’s pre-iPhone era. The plaintiffs, a group of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from 2006 to 2009, are seeking about $350 million in damages from Apple for unfairly blocking competing device makers. That amount would be automatically tripled under antitrust laws.

Levine’s description of the suit is a bit off. Even the description in the lawsuit itself (PDF) is wrong:

In July 2004, an Apple competitor in the online music market, third party Real Networks (“Real”), introduced a new version of its own digital-song manager, RealPlayer. RealPlayer included a feature called Harmony. Harmony made songs downloaded from Real’s online music store mimic FairPlay, and thus made music purchased from Real playable on iPods.

Music wasn’t required to use FairPlay to play on iPods; non-FairPlay AAC and MP3 files play just fine on any iPod.

Levine, again:

In July 2004, Jobs wrote to other Apple executives with a suggested press release about Real Networks.

“How’s this?” Jobs wrote. “‘We are stunned that Real is adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker and breaking into the iPod.'”

“I like likening them to hackers,” Apple marketing chief Philip Schiller responded.

During his 2011 deposition, Jobs displayed some of the edge he was known for, according to a transcript filed in court. Asked if he was familiar with Real Networks, Jobs replied: “Do they still exist?”

I don’t understand how this suit still exists.