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Apple will go to court for 'locking' iPod owners into its iTunes ecosystem

Apple will go to court for 'locking' iPod owners into its iTunes ecosystem

October 4, 2014

An anti-trust lawsuit against Apple is set to go to trial after a U.S. district judge denied Cupertino’s motion for summary judgement, a recent report explains.

According to Ars Technica (via AppleInsider), the ruling against Apple came from U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers last week, and the case originally dates back to 2004. A class of customers who purchased a range of Cupertino’s iPods between 2006 and 2009 could secure part of up to $350 million in damages if their day in court goes well.

The publication explains:

According to plaintiffs, Apple allegedly stifled competition in the digital music space by implementing FairPlay DRM protocols that supposedly “locked” iPod users in to the iTunes ecosystem. By making songs purchased through competing services unplayable on iPods at the time, Apple is said to have dissuaded users from switching over to other platforms, specifically those built by RealNetworks.

As rival platforms were updated to gain compatibility with Apple’s line of iPods, Cupertino issued updates to iTunes which recurrently blocked such third-party platforms, like RealNetworks’ Harmony. “This allegedly incurred discouraged users from switching to iPod competitors when upgrading hardware, as they would have to repurchase the same music, convert tracks to a non-DRM format using iTunes 7.0’s built-in CD burning technique, or let go of the protected music altogether,” the report adds.

The trial is scheduled for Nov. 17, 2014, though we’re expecting Apple to settle with plaintiffs in advance of this date. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Best new games of the week: Asphalt Overdrive and Joinz, AppAdvice Daily: Tetris-like action and ’80s racing with our best new games, and Tim Cook reflects on the third anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death in an email to Apple employees.

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