Apple Wins in iPod Case with Real

Posted by at 11:45 am on December 16, 2014

ipod_classic_views A jury has decided that Apple did not use DRM (Digital Rights Management) to block songs sold by competing music stores from playing on the iPod so that it could secure a monopoly over the digital music market. The jurors determined Apple had used a version of the iTunes software which supported DRM that it issued eight years ago to deliver genuine improvements for iPods sold between 2006 and 2009. The jury rendered its verdict on Tuesday after about three hours of deliberation, wrapping up a class-action antitrust suit that had kicked around in various courts and in various forms for 10 years before it finally went to trial here in federal court in early December. The lawsuit involved iPods sold between September 2006 and March 2009, which played songs sold in the iTunes Store, or those downloaded from CDs — not music from some competing stores. Apple was accused of violating antitrust law by using a copyright management system to lock people into buying iPods rather than cheaper alternatives. Apple applauded the verdict in a statement. “We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music,” a spokeswoman said. “Every time we’ve updated those products — and every Apple product over the years — we’ve done it to make the user experience even better.” The substance of the plaintiffs’ claims were also cut down during the trial. The jury was initially instructed to assess whether two versions of Apple’s iTunes software were genuine product improvements. But the judge tossed out a claim about the second iTunes version after an economist testifying for the plaintiffs, Roger Noll from Stanford University, conceded in court that he had not assessed any impact made by that version of the software.

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