Steve Jobs Deposition Video Shown in Ongoing iPod Class-Action Lawsuit

jobs_poseApple is in court this week dealing with an ongoing class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of purposefully crippling competing music services and inflating prices by locking iPods and iTunes music to its own ecosystem.

Evidence from Steve Jobs, in the form of a series of emails, has played a large role in the case so far, and today, the former Apple CEO was featured in the trial again, when a deposition videotaped in 2011 was shown in court. CNET has been attending the trial since it started earlier this week, and has relayed what Jobs had to say.

In the deposition, taped six months before his death, Steve Jobs echoed much of what Eddy Cue said earlier in the week, suggesting Apple's contracts with record companies forced it to maintain airtight Digital Rights Management (DRM) policies that locked out music from other sources.

"We had pretty much black and white contracts with the labels," Jobs said in the deposition. Those contracts stipulated that if people violated Apple's FairPlay digital rights management system, a technology that would detect other music stores' song files and prevent users from loading them onto the iPod, "... that would be in clear violation of the licenses we had from the labels and they could cease giving us music at any time."

Jobs went on to say that Apple was "very concerned" with RealNetwork's efforts to bypass Apple's DRM. In 2004, the competing music store reverse engineered the FairPlay DRM, gaining access to the iPod. Apple was unhappy with the move, painting RealNetworks as a hacker and later updating iTunes to once again prevent RealNetworks music from playing on the iPod.

According to Jobs, preventing the iPod from playing music from competing services was "collateral damage" caused by record companies confusing demands asking Apple to both open its platform to competitors and prevent hacking via DRM.

During the case, the plaintiffs have argued that Apple had an obligation to allow third-party companies to load music onto the iPod, and that its move to block competitors created a monopoly. Apple, meanwhile, has argued that pressure from record companies and a desire to protect customers from malicious content kept it from making iTunes and the iPod more accessible to third-party companies.

Apple has also suggested that it did not have a monopoly in the market at the time as there were several other MP3 players available, including Microsoft's Zune. As noted by CNET, Jobs' deposition may somewhat undermine that argument, however, as he told the court "We were the only big company involved in this stuff at this time, the one with the deepest pockets."

The iPod antitrust lawsuit, which seeks $350 million in damages, is expected to last for several more days, though Apple is currently attempting to get the case dismissed entirely, as one plaintiff has been removed from the lawsuit and another's iPod purchase dates are in question. The plaintiff's lawyers are fighting Apple's dismissal request and have asked the judge to add a new plaintiff -- a Michigan man who bought an iPod touch in 2008.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
74 months ago
its always kind of confounded me why this was a big issue? it was pretty clear at the time that it was the label's insistence that resulted in having DRM, there would have been no way of getting them onboard otherwise... I think its pretty obvious Jobs was against cumbersome and limiting copy-protection mechanisms and his testimony would somewhat back that up. And it wasnt like it was a huge deal to get around if you were in the least bit tech-saavy. lastly, i seem to recall that at the time period, everybody's players were pretty much locked down to their own content stores.

----------

This might all fall apart, the plaintiffs might not have, you know, actually bought iPods in the right time period to be valid plaintiffs...

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30343686


eeeeexactly. this whole thing kinda stinks to me as a shameless moneygrab really.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago
What a waste of time and money this thing is. Seriously.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago
After the 9th article about this, I would love to see the Jobs video.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago
I would love to see the video!

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago
This might all fall apart, the plaintiffs might not have, you know, actually bought iPods in the right time period to be valid plaintiffs...

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30343686
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
74 months ago

Apple should ask if a Zune would play music from the iTunes Store


...Of course, to find that out, they would have to find someone who owned a Zune!

(ZZIIINNNGG!!) :D
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

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 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-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...

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...

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 ...

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...

Phil Schiller Moving on to Become 'Apple Fellow,' Greg Joswiak Taking Over as Marketing SVP

Tuesday August 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Apple's Phil Schiller is moving on to become an "Apple Fellow," Apple announced today, while Greg Joswiak will take over as Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events, but will no longer be in charge of marketing. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is "thrilled" that Joswiak will be leading the marketing team, and that his...

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 ...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

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...