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The Apple Rodeo: Silicon Valley & The Wild, Wild West

Apple finds itself once more in it’s familiar territory: the courthouse.
The Apple Rodeo: Silicon Valley & The Wild, Wild West © 2017 Flickr - Dru Bloomfield

The suit claims that Apple intentionally deleted songs from iPods that did not originate from the iTunes Store.

Apple once again found it’s name in headlines earlier this week. This time there is a $350 million class-action lawsuit against them over iPod music. The suit claims that Apple intentionally deleted songs from iPods that did not originate from the iTunes Store. From September 2006 to March 2009, whenever an iPod was synced to iTunes, if there was music from a service competing with iTunes, a dialogue box would appear to report an error message, which asked users to restore to factory settings, which erases all songs from outside sources.

Individuals and businesses filed for the action and are claiming that the California giant abused its position as digital music leader to launch a monopoly that disallowed for rivals on the market. Apple, for its part, is claiming that it was a legitimate security measure. Security director Augustin Farrugia said “he company's attempt to keep iPods clear of any non-iTunes music was done to protect consumers from hackers and malicious content”, as reported by the BBC. He also mentioned that “the error message that appeared when users tried to sync the content of an iPod to an iTunes account was vague because the firm did not want to "confuse users" with too much information."

 Claims that Apple managed to inflate iPods by $350 million. Which means Apple would pay $1 billion in damages, because the money would be tripled as an antitrust classification.

In court contents is an email from former CEO Steve Jobs circa 2005 stating that “we may need to change things here”, in response to a notice than a rival company would let users buy songs from anywhere and play them on iPods. Additionally, the plaintiffs apparently are prepared to also present a decade-old, unseen video of Jobs, as well.

A Stanford economist claims that by locking out other companies from the market, Apple managed to inflate iPods by $350 million. Should the case win, it’s likely that Apple would pay out about $1 billion in damages, because the money could be tripled as an antitrust classification.

However, on Tuesday, all parties headed into the California federal courthouse. By Wednesday, however, Apple lawyers discovered that the two main plaintiffs in the case, Marianna Rosen and Melanie Wilson, had purchased iPods outside of the class period, with their serial numbers from July 2009. This is a devastating blow to case, and in the mean time, lawyer that assembled the case Bonnie Sweeney, is now scrambling to find a solution before the entire case is dismissed .

 

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