AfterDawn: Tech news

Apple sued over iTunes-iPod tie

Written by Jari Ketola @ 06 Jan 2005 10:02 User comments (38)

Apple sued over iTunes-iPod tie An unsatisfied customer has sued Apple Computer Inc. for "forcing" iTunes customers to buy an iPod player if they wish to listen to the music purchased from iTunes on a portable device. The customer, Thomas Slattery, is seeking an unspecified amount of damages. Apple uses their own FairPlay DRM protection on iTunes which is only playable using either the iTunes software or an iPod player.
Antitrust experts see the lawsuit as a long shot. The key would be to show that iTunes is a market of its own with no real alternatives. There are, however, several competing digital music stores in the market that provide the same or similar content.

"Apple has unlawfully bundled, tied, and/or leveraged its monopoly in the market for the sale of legal online digital music recordings to thwart competition in the separate market for portable hard drive digital music players, and vice-versa," the suit charged.

Finding the case against Apple would pretty much outlaw all proprietary DRM schemes. Obviously it's highly unlikely that the customer will win the case, but at least the issue with iTunes' DRM is brought to wider attention.

Source: Yahoo

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38 user comments

16.1.2005 10:49

Even if they lose, i think this is a step in the right direction. It is good that this topic is finnaly being brought to a higher attention.

26.1.2005 11:27

To quote Nelson from the Simpsons, "HA HA!!" Take that apple!

36.1.2005 13:57

Ipod and Itunes are for the brain dead!

46.1.2005 13:58

Because of Apple's economic and industrial leverage over(Non-Ackowledged of course) the government, it's not likely the case will be won. However in all reality Apple has blatently formed a monopoly over one of the largest if not ultimatly the largest supplier of online music download sites. Because of a peer induced stupidy Apple has also cornered the digital music player industry as well, even though far superior players are availible (wirless LAN, 100GB+, 40GB same dimensions etc.). Personally I think Apple can shove their inferior computer products, and people ie teens, should be less moronic in driving a not that great MP3 player to a social status level, simply because the name caught.

56.1.2005 14:31

With the courts these days, I would never use a term like , "long shot". That's what Microsoft was probably thinking when they got sued because of internet explorer and I'm guessing that that ruling will play a key in this issue.

66.1.2005 15:25

That would be great if Apple did lose, though. And they wonder why some people still don't want to pay for their music.

76.1.2005 16:08

It is their iTunes service and they should be able to do what they want. If you are upset that you can't use the songs elsewhere, don't use iTunes. There are many competetors out there now. I feel that apple is not a monopoly. Having iTunes music work only with the iPod could quite possibly hurt any other company, but not Apple because of popularity of the iPod. It just a plain and simple smart business decision.

86.1.2005 16:27

It's a compatibility Monopoly MXGZX. To certain extent most companies do it, but not to this extent where an internet purchase download can be encoded/secured for use in only an ipod, just stop and think about it. And yes I know you can download other places, but corporation like pepsi or something had a free itunes download promotion, whereas you had to buy an ipod to "claim" the prize. Frigg it's a d@mn monopoly people!

96.1.2005 16:51

Not true. The person who won a free 'Pepsi' song (or whatever) could burn the song to a CD using free iTunes software, then rip the CD like any other. Seems like a big hassle to get a DRM-free copy of a song, but it IS possible. I agree that it's stupid of Apple to (once again) ostracize a well-designed, elegant product like iPod by crippling it with proprietary software. HOWEVER, the fact that this moron Slattery is even able to get a lawsuit like this to be considered is why normal people like us can get sued over sharing music. Just my .02 -- besides, as if anyone that is reading AD gives a crap about iTunes?? Please.

106.1.2005 17:19

Fair Enough, I didn't bother even using the caps, much less your work around. No one wants to hear personal insults however, and you have your opinion too, that's nice but you have to look at the big picture. I don't care about downloading music either, but I would like nothing more than Apple to burn for what they have set-up, a friggin monopoly (or form thereof), Sure it's not like their isn't other site/MP3 Players, but people get loopped in without knowing, just like what the case is about! Saying something is "moron slattery" doesn't make it true. I felt I had to post becase it's absolutley true, I'm actually going tru Trusts, Monopolies, and anti-trust laws right know in college, and the case is legitiment, but not solid. Let's stop with the personal comments, especially if you don't actually know what your talking about, please people. Keep up the Apple bashing, except for all you nay sayers, who will stop at nothing to go at me and my opinion.

116.1.2005 17:40

Sorry, you're right - I don't know Slattery... he may not be a moron. I'm not bashing you personally, I just disagree with some of what you say! No big deal.

126.1.2005 23:20

cmmnsense is right. People only hear about iPod because of Pepsi or TV. They go get iTunes and download their music. They try to play it on their MP3 players and it doesn't work. It basically tells them, if you want your free music to go with you, you have to spend $300+ first. It is awful what is happening. It is because nobody gets informed about this stuff. Average people don't realize until it's too late. Somebody should make some "Down with iPod" bumper stickers or something and setup a website informing them of what they are doing when they download music on iTunes.

137.1.2005 4:13

Check this out guys..... Don't know if wht the video says is true, but DAMN, if it is, it's just another downside to an iPod!!! After using one yesterday, i have to admit they are pretty cool, but waayyyy to expensive compared to alternatives. C'ya guys.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Jan 2005 @ 4:15

147.1.2005 10:24

that video is hilarious. I don't doubt it. I know many idiots who have payed for ipods, to only have their batteries, hard drive, or lcd display die right after the warranty expires.

157.1.2005 10:52

Well being braindead is one thing in America if you choose to buy Ipod, and not the better alternative "Creative". Lets consider the even bigger idiots than Americans.....The Brits! They pay 350 pounds for Ipods, just to show off what "upper class" people they are, and what prestige they have to buy an Ipod and Itunes. The current exchange rate of dollars to pounds is 2 dollars = 1 pound after you deal with these Brit "bank fees" etc. Hence for 750 dollars, you can own the same damn Ipod, and for one pound you can download one Itune....----That my friends is braindead!

167.1.2005 12:21

yeah that video made me laugh too :-) I don't think Brits buy them to be "upper class" at all. They buy them for whatever daft reason everyone else in the world buys them for. As for the monetery difference, unfortunately that's out of our control. As with the itunes store, if you try to buy from the states they forwrd you back to the UK site. We could buy from Ebay or such like, but then on the very real chance it has problems, you have to sort them yourself. Or if we're really lucky, we can send it back to the country we managed to buy it from cheaply, and incure shipping charges, which makes a very expensive ipod become a stupidly expensive ipod. We're just screwed when it comes to cheap goods :-( C'ya guys.

177.1.2005 14:54

Thats the kind of thing I'm talking about how we need more of in America.

187.1.2005 19:27

Ha, you guys are great. However that video I can't, or rather opt not to watch because it requires quicktime player which I don't have, neatly enough the free quicktime player is bundled with, ironically the itunes software, lol. I get the jist of the video though, product quality enough to stand up to warranty and not much else. I refuse to download the apple software, especially bundled with itunes software. The ipod is considered a social status "cool" thing primarily world-wide among certain groups ie morons, which tends to be alot of people, because most people don't know much about computer/devices quality and how cheap all media players and storage (it's a damn piece of silicon) actually is to produce compared to what it sells for. Is Afterdawn going to update the results of this case?

197.1.2005 19:51

Yeha, I got quicktime qithout the itunes bundle p.o.s. That video is great, more people should do just that, and it is true, my friend told me about that awhile ago, he justified it somehow because he was foolish enough to buy one. I love that video, it's about time someone told the truth.

207.1.2005 19:51

Yeah, I didn't download the Quicktime w/ iTunes, I just got the one with only quicktime for Windows 2000 and it works as it should. I don't understand why only the XP 'version' has iTunes, though. The funny thing is, at the end it displays "Edited on a Macintosh, using Apple's iMovie." I thought that was a nice touch.

217.1.2005 23:28

Yeah the end credits on that video were great! Has anyone tried the quicktime alternative software on this site? I'll be honest, Ive not tried it so I cant really recommend it, but it's one way not to put their software on your PC. C'ya guys.

228.1.2005 10:56

If its anything like Real Alternative, then I would recommend it. I'll try it now...

2311.1.2005 11:00

Apple should be free to do what they want. If people are so frustrated they should just buy an ipod or find another site to get music from. Suing people over stupid things is ridiculous. Unfortunately that's sometimes the only way to get a major company's attention.

2411.1.2005 11:37

Apple should be free to do what they want and Monopolize over the competition by creating files only iTunes and iPods can play? I don't think so... Thats immoral, even for a shitty company like Apple.

2511.1.2005 12:19

...and it's all legal, thanks to your friendly neighborhood RIAA board member!

2611.1.2005 12:37

Think in a business point of view. Apple is just trying to make more money. And if you owned the company you would just give in to consumer demands and lose millions. Yeah, sure, whatever. People are so self-centered...both Apple and you!

2711.1.2005 12:47

Don't they make enough money off of iTunes by itself, without making people buy an $300 iPod in order to take it with them? And then replace the battery for $250 after 18 months? I really can't understand how you can think any of this is right. Oh, by the way, the QuickTime Alternative works fine and the plugin works fine with FireFox.

2811.1.2005 12:58

Obviously there is a difference of opinion. My $400 DVD player broke right after its 12th month. I didn't whine about it. If you guys are so sick of being unable to download from iTunes then just go download from somewhere else. It's NOT a monopoly.

2911.1.2005 13:06

The point is Apple is greedy and trying to force people to buy iPods in order to listen to iTunes music on the go. Any other music site you can download and play on other players. It seems that Apple is the only company dumb and greedy enough to expect their customers to keep shelling out money for their inferior products. And I've never downloaded from iTunes, and never will.

3011.1.2005 14:09

Apple's products are not inferior, at least not the iPod. Eventually people are going to stop downloading from iTunes, but it doesn't seem so in the next couple of months. You're missing out on some good stuff.

3111.1.2005 16:00

It's not that we want to download from iTunes, it's that the average person will go with hype and get iTunes, only to find out that in addition to their monthly fees, they have to dish out $300 in order to take their digital music with them, which is one of the main points in digital music. I don't see myself as "missing out" because I can get the same music, most of the time more music, and it will be playable whenever and wherever I want it to be. Apple is monopolizing via hype.

3211.1.2005 17:50

From Kinza's logic, it is obviously a woman. And if I'm wrong it's even funnier, sorry but your the only person here to support Apple, especially when their ipod is specifically designed to last the duration of the warranty and maximize profit. Encrypting publically downloaded music for use in your own companies media player, is monopolizing, it's a compatability monopoly to a certain extent, Apple just hasn't quite sealed the deal by (this is probally going to happen someday) designing the next installment of the ipod series to only play itunes. They would make money doing this because the ipod is already established amoung homosexuals like alton john, preppy go-getters, and people that just didn't know any better, sorry all those who paid $350-500 for 18 months with a plastic P.O.S.

3311.1.2005 18:36

Finally some common sense, thanks to...cmmnsense...

3412.1.2005 11:46

How many men does it take to screw in a light bulb? One-He just holds it up there and waits for the world to revolve around him. Get someone else to revolve around your opinion.

3512.1.2005 12:28

kinza i have to disagree with you companies should never make products that stop working right after the warranty is up. It is dishonest to the customers. It would be one thing if something like that only happened every once in a while, that is understandable. But from what i've heard, this is not the case. and its unfortunate that the majority of their customers won't realize this until its too late.

3612.1.2005 12:36

it's rated a 4/5 from consumers themselves. anyways, let's close this arguement. I have to admit that the iPod Shuffle is definately a ripoff as well as a piece of trash.

3712.1.2005 16:05

It's funny how you can tell the women from the men, just from their comments, men are naturally more mentally apt. it's amazing how often it's proven and identified. Quote "I have to admit that the iPod Shuffle is definately a ripoff as well as a piece of trash." Then when proven wrong they lay down and take it.

3812.1.2005 16:22

the ipod and the shuffle are two different products. there are reasons the shuffle is a piece of trash and there are reasons the ipod is not. and i thought women were thrifty.

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