Apple Sued for iPod Monopoly, Defective iBooks

It seems that the stock scandal wasn't enough for Apple; the Associated Press is reporting that the company is facing several lawsuits. One of them, filed July 21, alleges that Apple is monopolizing the digital music market with the iPod and iTunes. Media purchased on iTunes is meant to be played exclusively on iPod hardware while other DRM media is not easily playable on iPods. On December 20, Apple's motion to dismiss the case was denied by the courts. Another lawsuit, filed on Nov. 7, claims a high failure rate of the logic board in the iBook G4. Not wanting to be left out, PhatRat Technology accuses Apple of patent infringement for its iPod-Nike product.

News source: DailyTech

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I can't say i'm a fan of all the constant lawsuits, but Apple are asking for it with the iBook logic board failure; almost every other post on the Apple Discussion board for iBooks is someone with board failure.

Wait, so it's illegal for a company to sell an MP3 player (the iPod) that people buy willingly knowing that iTunes is the only thing they'll ever be able to use to buy music? Sure, you could argue that consumers don't know or whatever, but come on. People need to be responsible for something that they do.

Suing Apple for having a successful LUXURY product is the most ridiculous prospect ever devised in the history of mankind.

The tight hardware-software integration is one of the main reasons for the iPod's success, so Apple will obviously try to maintain that for as long as they can. Opening it up to other players will only dilute the user experience. In the meantime, it's up to consumers to find out the facts and make an educated choice.

As an aside, Microsoft's backflip with the Zune makes PlaysForSure the misnomer of the millennium!

omg its bad to be a market leader with a monopoly isint it. Microsoft suffer from this so now its apple.

Anyways its just in america...

and wasn't the french government considering forcing apple to open up its format or something too? I don't think this is a "just in the US" issue even if the French one hasnt resulted in anything other than words.

I don't understand what the issue is here, it's not as if Apple are preventing other software from allowing their songs to work on it, it's not their problem if their products don't work on other pieces of software etc.

It's like Microsoft saying, "Oh ****, the Zune doesn't work for WinAmp, let's spend our time and money on trying to make it work on this!"

The problem is that the mp3 player with 90% of the market is being used to lock people into the iTunes store while the largest online store (iTunes) is at the same time being used to lock purchasers into buying an iPod. I agree in as much as the Zune is doing something very similar but as has been shown in many of MS's lawsuits it's really an issue when the company in question has a dominent share of the market. Currently Zune doesnt have the market share and iPod does and those sueing Apple will claim that now that they have this marketshare they are using their hardware and software to lock the consumer into Apples products (unless a user wants to loose all their tracks).

If and when the Zune takes off then it could have an issue unless it allows support for their older WMA play for sure protection that other stores currently use.

well it would be less an issue if fairplay was licenced. But everybody and there dog whent the microsoft way. And play for sure is not compatible mac ensuring that apple will never consider using it on it's own.

About time someone came along and tried to sue Apple for being monopolistic with the iPod and iTunes Store. Although, you don't HAVE to buy from the iTunes store. Not one of the songs on my iPod came from the iTunes Store.

You know what's funny? The ipod/itunes lawsuit directly contradicts everything the RIAA has been trying to force upon us. Maybe after this, companies will actually look for anti-piracy methods that don't harm the consumer.

I'm unsure if it completly contradicts. It depends what they are trying to get out of Apple. I think the reasonable result would be that Apple is made to allow the licensing of its DRM so that other hardware vendors can make compatible hardware. If that happened in the end you still have the DRM there which as far as im aware is what the RIAA would be happy with.

I just hope they FINALLY let the iPod work with more programs, and not just iTunes. It is my biggest gripe on the excellent iPod line.

Darkinspiration said,
there is a lot of other program support for the ipod beside itune. Please let that fud rest.

Examples (good ones, please)?

hoginhaze said,

Examples (good ones, please)?

Anapod Explorer. Allows you to plat your iPod on anything else. And, only $25.00

This is silly. Consumers should do their 5 minutes of research and realize that iTune songs will only play on iPods. The result of that research should be "Oh, ok, so I can *choose* to use iTunes and have the songs only play on iPod or I can buy an MP3 player where I can drag and drop the files I want (with or without DRM) that I purchased or acquired anywhere (except iTunes). Hhmmm, which should I buy?"

Let Apple do what they want and let consumers make their own choices and face the consequences of those choices.

Well, in Australia we have either iTMS, or a PlaysForSure store (and probably the zune), all of which are laden with drm, the only songs i don't have to worry about are the ones i rip myself, and they will play fine on any device which supports them (which the iPod is one of)

Personally I think it would be damn fine if iTunes supported other mp3 players, better to consumers an all that stuff. I have a feeling though that if Apple lost this case, the record companies would probably ask for a price raise (or just more money paid for them), being the *******s they are. Not that it's an excuse for having iTunes Ipod only, of course.

All of this is strictly IMO, so don't verbally rape me please.

The suit about the ipod/itunes monopoly thing and blocking other DRM stuff sounds legit to me. I don't know about the others.

Disjunto said,
isn't ms doing the same with the zune and zune store?

The difference is the Zune and the Zune store do not have a 90% market stranglehold or whatever ridiculous percent the iPod and iTMS have. If the Zune ever got close to those numbers, then yes, it would be in legal trouble as well.

I think the argument against the iPod and iTMS is completely legitimate, in fact I have been saying the same thing for nearly a year now. It's ridiculous the crap that Apple gets away with when any other company (such as Microsoft as we have all seen) would have a lawsuit against it. This BS about airline adapters is a perfect example. That is some serious BS right there.

Let's ignore the factory installed copy of iTunes on every Mac (for your little iPod) and yet Microsoft can't include WMP in Windows (for a wide range of mp3 players). That makes sense doesn't it? :confused:

Finally Apple is getting what it deserves.

what other drm ? te play for sure one ? The zune one ? All other drm music scheme are not working on the mac. Why should apple make some effort to unable support on it's music player for drm that is not even compatible with it's primary platform ?

You must not forget that the ipod was and still is a mac mp3 player. Sure now it support windows. But why would apple shoot itself in the foot to add feature to it's players that are not even compatible with macos ?

xxdesmus said,

The difference is the Zune and the Zune store do not have a 90% market stranglehold or whatever ridiculous percent the iPod and iTMS have. If the Zune ever got close to those numbers, then yes, it would be in legal trouble as well.


So, in principle, Microsoft and Apple are both doing the same thing, but Apple is getting punished because their product is more popular? People can choose what they want to buy, there's no fault for Apple here. If Apple gets sued for this, any other company with a similar product should as well, popular or not.

Darkinspiration said,
what other drm ? te play for sure one ? The zune one ? All other drm music scheme are not working on the mac. Why should apple make some effort to unable support on it's music player for drm that is not even compatible with it's primary platform ?

You must not forget that the ipod was and still is a mac mp3 player. Sure now it support windows. But why would apple shoot itself in the foot to add feature to it's players that are not even compatible with macos ?

What?

Disjunto said,
Let's ignore the factory installed copy of iTunes on every Mac (for your little iPod) and yet Microsoft can't include WMP in Windows (for a wide range of mp3 players). That makes sense doesn't it? :confused: :blink:

I'm a fan of both parties because both do their own thing pretty well. However that's a bit of an unfair comment.

A user should be able to choose what software they install. In reality, WMP is (was?) difficult to REMOVE from a default Windows installation. However on a Mac, all a user need to is drag iTunes to the trash can. No depencencies or file association issues necessary.

As for the iPod ecosystem, I'm undecided. If they open it up, will this just allow the DRM to be cracked?

mp4 said,
So, in principle, Microsoft and Apple are both doing the same thing, but Apple is getting punished because their product is more popular? People can choose what they want to buy, there's no fault for Apple here. If Apple gets sued for this, any other company with a similar product should as well, popular or not.

Hold on, so by that logic, Apple should be forced to release a version of MacOS X sans itunes and any media garbage, because despite how low in popularity the mac really is, it uses the SAME bundling technique as Windows, yet it can bundle everything under the sun w/o any repercussions, but Microsoft bundles what could be considered a natural combination and get their pants sued off.

As you said, any company with a similar product, popular or not should have to suffer the same treatment. Unfortunately it doesn't work this way, retards only sue for this reason for the free money.

Ideas Man said,
Hold on, so by that logic, Apple should be forced to release a version of MacOS X sans itunes and any media garbage, because despite how low in popularity the mac really is, it uses the SAME bundling technique as Windows, yet it can bundle everything under the sun w/o any repercussions, but Microsoft bundles what could be considered a natural combination and get their pants sued off.

Precisely. The hypocrisy is just mind boggling. Who did Apple sleep with to get such wonderful immunity? ...

GreyWolfSC said,

What?

sight

the only form of music drm supported on macos is apple fairplay. You cannot play protected wmv or wma on a mac.

apple is facing a lawsuit where they are accused of being a monopoly. This lawsuit imply that apple is a monopoly because it's not fairpaly is the only drm allowed on an ipod and that fairplay is not licenced to other player.

Now Think for a bit. What other player support fully (meaning with drm support ) ? The answer is easy: The IPOD.

Apple as realised that people where interested by the ipod, people other than mac users. So the openend the thing to windows. And it work.

But see apple is it's own software maker, it's own hardware maker and it has an os: mac os. Now if they allow the ipod to accepte drm comming from other source than fairplay, how will this feature transfer to mac os? The likely answer is it will not. Now why would apple add feature to it's player but only for the windows version. when they are trying to make people switch?

do i need to draw a graph ?

xxdesmus said,

Precisely. The hypocrisy is just mind boggling. Who did Apple sleep with to get such wonderful immunity? ... :blink:


Don't forget that the rule change when you have a monopoly. Don't forget to pay attention to wording as well. Microsoft was dragged to court because the software it bundle with windows could not be remouved and it was integrated with the os to ensure that the user would not use anything else.

In this case apple is graged to court because the ipod does not support other form of drm

the integration ipod - itune is not a stake here.

xxdesmus said,

The difference is the Zune and the Zune store do not have a 90% market stranglehold or whatever ridiculous percent the iPod and iTMS have. If the Zune ever got close to those numbers, then yes, it would be in legal trouble as well.

I think the argument against the iPod and iTMS is completely legitimate, in fact I have been saying the same thing for nearly a year now. It's ridiculous the crap that Apple gets away with when any other company (such as Microsoft as we have all seen) would have a lawsuit against it. This BS about airline adapters is a perfect example. That is some serious BS right there.

Let's ignore the factory installed copy of iTunes on every Mac (for your little iPod) and yet Microsoft can't include WMP in Windows (for a wide range of mp3 players). That makes sense doesn't it? :confused:

Finally Apple is getting what it deserves. :D

Go read up on the difference between legal and illegal monopolies (hint, not all monopolies are illegal), then come back and tell us what you've learned.

xxdesmus said,
Let's ignore the factory installed copy of iTunes on every Mac (for your little iPod) and yet Microsoft can't include WMP in Windows (for a wide range of mp3 players). That makes sense doesn't it? :confused: :blink:

Don't you think it's a bit unfair and hypocritical to dismiss the comparison of the iPod to the Zune based on market share, and then bring it up for iTunes versus WMP when the former is of a similarly small number, relatively speaking? In other words, iPod:Zune::WMP:iTunes, so how can you dismiss one comparison and not the other? (Oh, and your supportive comment about WMP being compatible with more MP3 players is akin to, say, an Apple supporter saying that it's okay for the iPod to be so dominant because it's a better MP3 player than the rest. Again, it's completely backward.)

AlasdairM said,

I'm a fan of both parties because both do their own thing pretty well. However that's a bit of an unfair comment.

A user should be able to choose what software they install. In reality, WMP is (was?) difficult to REMOVE from a default Windows installation. However on a Mac, all a user need to is drag iTunes to the trash can. No depencencies or file association issues necessary.

As for the iPod ecosystem, I'm undecided. If they open it up, will this just allow the DRM to be cracked?

It's already been bypassed, I think. I forgot where, but I know that was reported here on neowin somewhere.

Darkinspiration said,
sight

the only form of music drm supported on macos is apple fairplay. You cannot play protected wmv or wma on a mac.

apple is facing a lawsuit where they are accused of being a monopoly. This lawsuit imply that apple is a monopoly because it's not fairpaly is the only drm allowed on an ipod and that fairplay is not licenced to other player.

Now Think for a bit. What other player support fully (meaning with drm support ) ? The answer is easy: The IPOD.

Apple as realised that people where interested by the ipod, people other than mac users. So the openend the thing to windows. And it work.

But see apple is it's own software maker, it's own hardware maker and it has an os: mac os. Now if they allow the ipod to accepte drm comming from other source than fairplay, how will this feature transfer to mac os? The likely answer is it will not. Now why would apple add feature to it's player but only for the windows version. when they are trying to make people switch?

do i need to draw a graph ?


They are NOT accused for BEING a monopoly (there's nothing wrong with that). They're being accused for ABUSING their monopoly (not licensing Fairplay to any other companies).

Chad said,
Go read up on the difference between legal and illegal monopolies (hint, not all monopolies are illegal), then come back and tell us what you've learned.

No thanks Chad, I don't have the time nor the desire. Why don't you enlighten the rest of us simple folk with your all mighty knowledge of monopolies. (hint: I never said all monopolies are illegal)

Ideas Man said,

Hold on, so by that logic, Apple should be forced to release a version of MacOS X sans itunes and any media garbage, because despite how low in popularity the mac really is, it uses the SAME bundling technique as Windows, yet it can bundle everything under the sun w/o any repercussions, but Microsoft bundles what could be considered a natural combination and get their pants sued off.

As you said, any company with a similar product, popular or not should have to suffer the same treatment. Unfortunately it doesn't work this way, retards only sue for this reason for the free money.

If you want to remove iTunes from OS X, you can. Same goes for Quicktime, Safari, or any other bundled app. You can remove them by simply dragging the application to the trash. And this won't break your system. The reason MS was sued because there was no way to remove the bundled apps from Windows. You cannot remove IE or WMP from Windows.