AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple sued for DRM practices

Written by Dave Horvath @ 04 Jan 2008 16:51 User comments (23)

Apple sued for DRM practices Ringing in the new year with another lawsuit wasn't high on Steve Jobs' list of things to accomplish, but one frustrated iPod user thought it was the perfect gift.
Stacy Somers and her team of lawyers filed a federal anti-trust complaint in the Northern California District Court in San Jose on New Year's Eve because she's upset that her iPod will not play Microsoft encoded or Apple encoded DRM songs. The details of the suit alleges that, "Apple has engaged in tying and monopolising behaviour, placing unneeded and unjustifiable technological restrictions on its most popular products in an effort to restrict consumer choice, and to restrain what little remains of its competition in the digital music markets."

To be more specific, the lawsuit points at the PortalPlayer media chips that the iPods use to Decode MP3 and WMA files. Since Apple intentionally turns off the WMA encoding on these chips due to the fact that they refuse to pay Microsoft's licensing fees, the complaint states that Apple is crippling her system intentionally. The complaint goes on further to state that Apple is abusing their market share by only playing music that is encoded in their own FairPlay DRM.

Apparently the irony that Somers is suing one monopoly because it doesn't support a competing monopoly's file structure is lost within the transcript of the lawsuit.

Details of the court filing can be found here.

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23 user comments

14.1.2008 17:35

What an effing n00b... She obviously didn't read the instruction manual.

"Apple is crippling her system intentionally"

Yes, because they are out to destroy her :P

24.1.2008 19:29
WierdName
Inactive

Hmm, so I wonder if there's any way for the end user to enable the WMA part.

34.1.2008 20:50

Quote:
Apparently the irony that Somers is suing one monopoly because it doesn't support a competing monopoly's file structure is lost within the transcript of the lawsuit.

Isnt that like suing McDonalds because they wont sell you a Whopper hamburger? Sue Coca-Cola for not being Pepsi?

44.1.2008 21:25

Companies really don't like to compete. They prefer to create a vendor lock where once a consumer buys into a product they are dependent on the company for maintenance... be it lenses on camera, auto parts, water filters, razors, whatever. DRM is just another tool to trap consumers and I won't polerate it. I tried to play it straight using iTunes but about 50% of what I was looking for they didn't have. So I held my nose and bought some songs from Real only to be also trapped in their DRM monopoly. That was my breaking point.
So I dumped them both. Out of principle if I paid a market price for a music file then I wanted the right to do with it as I may. All these music services with their proprietary DRMs schemes also LIMIT consumer choice. Rather than have one decent music service with ALL the available music... we left with numerous competing inferior music services. Screw them all. Competition doesn’t always offer choice, it limits it.

54.1.2008 21:42
SamNz
Inactive

ooo ive got it, get a job and stop suing, and get ur legal music and then get a DRM free version illegally ur not really doing any wrong then are u. or u could just say F*** it and get the illegal version w/out the legal one :P

64.1.2008 23:20

Apple + woman = douche.

74.1.2008 23:35

Hey, Apple!
If I were you, I'd be asking myself how this nobody gets herself a TEAM of lawyers. Who's behind her? Who's paying them? Or is that obvious, given the RIAA's tactics?

84.1.2008 23:53

Of course she is a retard for this suit because it is, as someone previously posted, just like suing McDonald's because they refuse to sell the Whopper.

However, it is also analogous to the commie libs who sued Microsoft for embedding Explorer into their system and offering Media Player for free.

Ironic so many think it is okay for Apple to be anal about what their Ipod will and won't do, but totally wrong for Microsoft to offer free products with its operating system.

Plain and simple. If you like Apple, buy Apple. If you like Microsoft, buy Microsoft. If you like Bill Bob's OS or product, buy his. Stop suing people for not liking what you either knew you were buying, or were too stupid to read and comprehend.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Jan 2008 @ 23:56

95.1.2008 0:27

Originally posted by hankchill:
What an effing n00b... She obviously didn't read the instruction manual.

"Apple is crippling her system intentionally"

Yes, because they are out to destroy her :P
That cracked me up, I couldn't stop laughing for like 10 minutes when I read that.

105.1.2008 4:57

Thats it My BRAND NEW Xbox 360 i got for xmas wont play ALL of my old XOBX games I am sewing!!! Maybe i can throw on the fact that it wont play PS3 games either WTF! Damn M$ locking there XBOX! or is it Sony for not letting M$ play there games??? OOH i can sew both! Next will be my HD DVD player due to its upcoming useless because it wont play Blu Ray! GET INFORMED before you guy something!!!

115.1.2008 5:36

Quote:
or u could just say F*** it and get the illegal version w/out the legal one :P
now thats more like it. hey wait just a minute, i thought drm was dead ... http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/12362.cfm

125.1.2008 6:52
ali2007
Inactive

Isnt that like suing McDonalds because they wont sell you a Whopper hamburger? Sue Coca-Cola for not being Pepsi?

remember the victim is right in the way she interpret herself although she is wrong ,the regular consumers don,t know the difference in what they buy, , the regular consumers don,t care abc of tech they want click play make sure it works, you and i on the other hand know somehow the abc of technology , because the way have design the proprietary drm of their own is killing themselves and consumer victim together , we on other know not to touch drm related products

but they way she explained is totally wrong , but once again regular consumers don,t even know difference btw mp3 and wma , they even don,t care about drm

135.1.2008 9:28

That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Instead of just dealing with it she will now be the laughing stock of any computer literate ipod owner.

145.1.2008 10:27

Originally posted by Deadrum33:
Quote:
Apparently the irony that Somers is suing one monopoly because it doesn't support a competing monopoly's file structure is lost within the transcript of the lawsuit.

Isnt that like suing McDonalds because they wont sell you a Whopper hamburger? Sue Coca-Cola for not being Pepsi?
Lol! Deadrum, you had me cracking up.

Just a note on this woman's "suit" if one wishes to call it such. I'm reminded of a quote i heard once,

"There's always one more imbecile that what you counted on."




155.1.2008 11:28

Quote:
Quote:
Apparently the irony that Somers is suing one monopoly because it doesn't support a competing monopoly's file structure is lost within the transcript of the lawsuit.

isn't that like suing McDonald's because they wont sell you a Whopper hamburger? Sue Coca-Cola for not being Pepsi?
Now that's funny!!! I kinda want to go to McDonald's and cause a big frenzy because I want a whopper.

165.1.2008 12:40
duckNrun
Inactive

So I guess most people here support Apple's marketing design to lock in their customers in pepertuity...unless these customers have the money to rebuy their mp3 collections in a different format.

Essentially this could allow Apple to begin to make crappier iPods for cheaper, sell them for even more than they do now and people will still be locked into them because of the music investment.

Just a thought: They could license MP3 but now WMA? The lawyers will argue that this decision was not based upon finances or costs but due to MP3 license holders not being a competitor.

Here's another one:

This doesn't seem to be so much about Apple locking in their customers, nor does it appear to be about Apple DRM. It seems to be about a company that has.. what... an 80% market share(?) using tactics that not only essentially force (based upon the cost invested in the music)to continue to support them with future purchases but also to force (through not supporting alternative DRM which is available to be supported had they not deactivated that support) said consumer to continue to feed the monopoly that is iTunes due to the (up until recent) insistance by the Music Industry to not license music without DRM.

Of course now that DRM is dead any current or future music purchased from competing stores will play on iPods... so that argument is now null and void and all that the lawyers have left to them is the anti-trust created by Apple by locking the store with the vast majority of sales (iTunes) to their devices via DRM as well as the argument that the deactivation of protected WMA content was more about anti competitive behavior as opposed to the fee to license MS DRM. (sorry run on sentence lol)

Ultimately IMHO DRM free music may be the simple tactic that overtime will reduce iTunes hold on market share as people become free to buy from anywhere and still play the music on their iPod. Unless of course Apple stops supporting MP3 due to the licensing costs.

175.1.2008 15:19

Originally posted by duckNrun:

Ultimately IMHO DRM free music may be the simple tactic that overtime will reduce iTunes hold on market share as people become free to buy from anywhere and still play the music on their iPod. Unless of course Apple stops supporting MP3 due to the licensing costs.
I wouldn't worry about iTunes losing market share too much.
1. People are creatures of habit and convenience. Most people plug their iPods into their PCs to recharge and sync. The store's right there.
2. Most people aren't tech-savvy. They'll only know one way to get music.
3. The majority of iPod owners are like Mac users. They like stuff that just works. Even though they know other ways to get what they want, if the quality's the same and buying music means actually buying it, and the price remains reasonable, they'll probably get most of their music from the iTunes store.

185.1.2008 16:11
ali2007
Inactive

why don't they create a free and friendly market based upon our demands ,something related upnp plug a device it works automatically
although i am a tech savy, i like technology to be plug and play for regular people

195.1.2008 17:13

Originally posted by ali2007:
why don't they create a free and friendly market based upon our demands ,something related upnp plug a device it works automatically
although i am a tech savy, i like technology to be plug and play for regular people
Absolutely.
It sounds like maybe they're finally realizing that's what they should have done in the first place.
To their credit, though, Apple has gone further than anyone else, except maybe SanDisk, toward that goal.
It's the recording companies and etc. that got in the way.

205.1.2008 19:49

I am going to get my team of laywers together and sue Sony because my PS3 doesn't play my XBOX 360's version of the same game

216.1.2008 7:18
duckNrun
Inactive

Originally posted by jcur31:
I am going to get my team of laywers together and sue Sony because my PS3 doesn't play my XBOX 360's version of the same game
If the PS3 held the vast majority of sales as to be considered a near monopoly (if not one) AND the chips used have the built in ability to play Xbox games AND they disable that function while allowing other formats to remain enabled AND they make it so you can not sell your PS3 games to others to insure that if you switch consoles you lose 100% of your investment AND they refuse to license the DRM technology to other consoles to insure that yo cannot switch (or recoup investment if you switch) THEN you may find a lawyer willing to sit down and talk about taking your case.

226.1.2008 8:10

All she needs to do is find a converter and she will be fine. Or yes read the compatibility first if ur a newbie just go with something that u can drag and drop and use as easy as that.

236.1.2008 12:38
ali2007
Inactive

All she needs to do is find a converter and she will be fine. Or yes read the compatibility first if ur a newbie just go with something that u can drag and drop and use as easy as that.

that's is a good point but explain to me would be able to transfer drm licence because i know how to convert the file
and if that is possible it is awesome

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