iPod Lawsuit Against Apple Given Class-Action Status

Apple customers who purchased an iPod between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009 are being informed via email that they are being included in a class-action lawsuit filed against Apple in 2004. The lawsuit was granted class-action status by the courts last year and includes millions of customers who purchased any of a broad number of iPod music players. Notices are being distributed to customers covered by the class, directing them to the lawsuit's webpage.


The class-action suit was filed in January 2005 by a customer complaining about the exclusive nature of Apple's digital music offerings encoded with FairPlay, preventing users from playing music purchased from the iTunes Store on other companies' music players and other music stores' digital offerings from being played on iPods. In particular, Apple's efforts to thwart RealNetworks' reverse engineering of FairPlay with its own "Harmony" technology served as the impetus for the lawsuit.

In 2011, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs was instructed to provide a deposition in the case. Apple of course no longer sells DRM-encoded music through the iTunes Store, but the lawsuit argues that Apple sought to build monopolies in the digital music and portable music player markets by integrating its products and services while preventing interoperability with competitors' products.

Three individuals who bought iPods have sued Apple seeking to recover money for themselves and other people who bought iPods. The lawsuit claims that Apple violated federal and state laws by issuing software updates in 2006 for its iPod that prevented iPods from playing songs not purchased on iTunes. The lawsuit claims that the software updates caused iPod prices to be higher than they otherwise would have been.

The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the case is known as In re Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation, C-05-00037-JW.

The list of affected iPods is extensive, including all 5th generation iPods; the iPod Classic; the U2 Special Edition iPod; first, second and third generation iPod Shuffle models; first and second generation iPod Touch models; and, first, second, third and fourth generation iPod Nano models.

Customers who wish to be excluded from the class must inform the court by July 30, 2012. Members of the class who wish register with the court can sign up on the lawsuit's website.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
108 months ago
I rather lose out on 5 dollars, and be done with it. Plus, we know who's getting rich out of this lawsuit, and it ain't you or me!
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
iPod Music

This suit is crap.
There was never any limitation that you could not play other music on your iPod. An iPod just didn't support other DRM. You could always rip your music and play DRM free music.

You could always play your music on other players by, burning a CD them re-ripping to MP3. The argument in specious because other players didn't support AAC encoded music at the time.

Plain bull.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Can't wait to fill out 30lbs of paperwork to collect my $2.47
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
I always assumed DRM on iTunes music was imposed by the recording industry, and not what Apple would have preferred. If that's the truth, it seems like this lawsuit shouldn't go much of anywhere.

Source: I used to watch Law and Order as a kid.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Wow, what a waste of time, money, and effort.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Breaking news

In other news, a new class action lawsuit has been filed charging Sony with not letting Xbox users play Xbox games on their PlayStation systems.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...