Apple Sued in U.S. Over iTunes-iPod Link

Apple Computer faces a U.S. lawsuit, which follows charges in Europe, over tying its iTunes music store to the iPod digital music player. Apple revealed the suit, submitted in July to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week. The suit was filed by a user, Melanie Tucker, and seeks class-action status. It alleges that Apple violates antitrust laws by refusing to allow music bought in its iTunes store to be played on any digital music player besides the iPod. It also charges Apple with not making it clear to customers that music from the iTunes store and the iPod are incompatible with music and devices offered by other companies.

The suit asks that Apple be forbidden to continue to support the exclusive tie-in between iTunes and the iPod and that Apple pay damages to anyone who has bought an iPod or music from the iTunes store after April 28, 2003. In November, Apple filed a motion with the court to dismiss the suit but on Dec. 20 the court denied that request.

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News source: PCWorld

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The Zune can play music bought from other stores just involves an extra step by burning it to a cd then ripping it to MP3. Not sure about the Ipods since I never considered purchasing one because you mus use Itunes. Creative makes much better players and i don't understand why anyone would buy an Ipod.

Yes, you can burn a CD with itunes and then just rip the CD. As for why people buy ipods it is because the iPod is simple and innocuous looking and Apple was pretty much one of the first companies to make an MP3 player and music store that pretty much worked right out of the box and was pretty to look at. Look at most of the other non-apple mp3 players that sell well and what do you know...they just so happen to resemble the ipod or have slowly evolved into looking more like the iPod with simplified controls, sleeker lines, etc

WTF?! This whole thing is stupid as hell. iTms is Apple, iPod is Apple. ITS THEIR ****! They can do whatever the flying pigs they want with it. Why does this not sink in?

Dont like it? Dont buy it! Simple as that. Go get the CD, go download it from some other service, rip it from your friend, pirate it... just for christs sake stop bitching about this stupid stuff. You have other options.

Stop wining like little bitches that only want money.

If something is only available on iTunes, then that creates an unfair advantage to Apple over consumers who decided not to buy an iPos, lock into their restrictive DRM (if you purchase the "right" to listen to something, how you listen isshould be irrelevant) and wander around with just audible low quality crap playing on their hardware that screams "mug me, I'm rich and stupid".

WTF?! This whole thing is stupid as hell. WMP is MS, IE is MS. ITS THEIR ****! They can do whatever the flying pigs they want with it. Why does this not sink in?

Dont like it? Dont buy it! Simple as that. Go get linux, go download it from some other service, rip it from your friend, pirate it... just for christs sake stop bitching about this stupid stuff. You have other options.

Stop wining like little bitches that only want money.

Incompatability? For the most part, no. I can take my napster music, burn it to a CD, rip it into i-tunes and put it on my I-pod. I have also taken i-Tunes music, burned it to cd and ripped it to Windows Media Player for transfering to my kid's Sony-Ericcson Walkman/Phones.
The only people making money from these types of frivolous claims and law suits are the lawyers. Would anyone care to guess who foots the bill?
That is what we should be upset about. Not Apple, not Microsoft, but the lawyers who's fees add probably 5 to 10% to the cost of everything we buy.

Incompatability? For the most part, no.

Aha....
You can record movie from cinema with your camera.
Then copy it to VHS.
Then import via TV tumer to PC.
Then convert to iPod video format.
Then copy to iPod.

Whoaaaaa!!!!! Mah ePot ist campatible wis teh CINEMAAA!!!111

The funny thing is that a similar class action case has been in progress for a year, Charoensak v. Apple Computer, Inc., which was filed January 3, 2005, and now the PC press is finally noticing it because they are finally reading financial statements because they hope Apple gets burned (yeah, yeah, just looking out for the investors, maintaining the law ... but backdating isn't illegal and the total options (80+ million) is less than the amounts that Apple has lost in the market as a result of reactionary folk not reading financial reports and reading the same rehashed info -- somehow each new article in every different source repreesented new info or greater concern even though there have only been like 2 revelations in the entire matter for many, many months) in the option backdating issue even though Apple has done more to resolve any concerns than the 200 other companies who have backdating issues where the CEOs have been implicated (Brocade, et al).... A similar case has been going for even longer in France... and people here are like: "Finally! Get them *******!" Uhh, read a financial report please....

i suppose turnabout is fair play, as ms gets hit every week with some new anti-trust suit. BUT...

no one's forcing anyone to use itunes/ipod. you don't like it? buy something else. i'm sick of all these ****ing lawsuits. **** melanie tucker and **** her lawyers and **** her parents and **** all of her unborn children. what an *******...

shmengie said,
i suppose turnabout is fair play

haha! nice pun (even if you didn't mean to make one)...

fyi - fairplay is the name of apple's DRM standard

Its funny that when its Microsoft is getting clamped down on by the EU everyone says how they deserve it because they are a monopoly abusing their influence in the market place, yet with Apple it doesn't seem to matter. I hope this goes through and makes a difference. Its about time the iPod monopoly was cracked down on and music formats are the best way to achieve this.

It should be pointed out that when you purchase songs off of iTunes you do not own the rights to that song, but instead a license to listen to that song. The license gives guidelines for usage under this license. If you are not happy with the license then you are free to purchase from any of Apple's competitors where the license seems reasonable and fair to you.

Apple won't lose this lawsuit because they don't have a monopoly in the music distributor business and they are really not in the wrong here.

Still, I hope they do lose because that is what would be best for consumers.

Does this mean I get money for the items I've bought on iTunes?

I've paid around £10, this should be exciting.

I don't get it; how is the music not playable on another device? Burn it, rip it, and put it anywhere. I do this all the time, so why is it so difficult for everyone else to comprehend?

Me too. But it's difficult to "comprehend" for two reasons. First, this is a run-around. Consumers should be able to purchase music and just play it. And if you have iTunes with iPod you can. Or, if you have any other music service and pretty much any other MP3 player, you can too. (Consumers: Take your pick) Secondly, since that method circumvents DRM, the music stores are not quick to explain how to do it Remember, music stores are all about restrictions and protection of copyright, not about customer freedom and rights.

MioTheGreat said,
Yeah! Let's a burn a lossy file to a cd, then rip it to yet another lossy format!

agreed! i cannot tell you how many times i have had to explain this to people. the ONLY way you can burn a file and re-rip it without quality loss is if you are burning it from a LOSSLESS audio file to begin with. hence the term "lossless" aka "no loss". when you burn an AAC (or mp3) to a CD and then rip it back to mp3. you have compressed the file twice and frankly, it sounds like ass.

so, ogman, please stop spreading this mis-information. thanks!

Well since they're the "best" they have to carry the burden that comes with it.

The problem is that Apple is purposely trying to make money off people buying their music legitimately, when it's supposed to be the right thing to do.

Moral implications aside, the real issue is that your legal music comes with expensive strings attached. The DRM doesn't just identify your music as legal, it specifies that it can only be played on an iPod music device, which you have to pay for.

It also charges Apple with not making it clear to customers that music from the iTunes store and the iPod are incompatible with music and devices offered by other companies.

lol that is BS it is stated several times in itunes that music bought on itunes will only work with MP3 players from Apple.....and it is NOT incompatible with music from other companies! Some like Zune Marketplace will not work but a lot of them do...buying music online from itunes is not the only way to go....

Also I thought those anti trust laws are to prevent people from having a monopoly and getting an unfair advantage..... How is Apple, doing what all the major players in the MP3 market do creating an unfair advantage? They just happen to be the best at it....and there is no law at being good at something

Mac OS has bundled media player.
Windows has bundled media player.
Linux distros have bundled media player.

I thought those anti trust laws are to prevent people from having a monopoly and getting an unfair advantage..... How is MS, doing what all the major players in the OS market do creating an unfair advantage? They just happen to be the best at it....and there is no law at being good at something

Zune tells his users that PlaysforSure Devices are incompatible and so the music.
I think there were glitches in Apple's way of communicating this clearly to the consumers.
The service, as conceived, is flawless. Yet is still an utopia 'cause it denies the pre-existence of other players and promotes the iPod/Zune as an unique form of entertainment, when we all know that is not true.

The main purpose of these 'ecosystem models' is to attain a service bound to the device, and not a device independent of the service (freedom of choice). The fact that the concerned record labels are ignoring that if they don't loose the leash a bit more, piracy will keep rising, is certainly sad. Apple and Zune (and many others) did well in bringing a way to 'get that one single hit song you were looking for' to consumers and I think it also made the bands rip their asses off trying to get out with a great album to keep it competitive. The game must open, or the system will collapse. There's rights of ownership on anything one exchanges for money. That's capitalism.

BTW I personally think that we're at the beginning of the end of any 1HitWonders alive.

They deserve it to be honest, the main problem being if you own an iPod and buy 1000 songs from their music store (or even if you don't own an iPod and just buy music), you're forced to purchase an iPod and continue to purchase one unless you want to re-purchase the music.

To me that's just nuts, but I'm sure the music industry is partly to blame as they allow their music on iTunes because it's got DRM on it and I'm not sure if there is an 'industry standard' DRM that everyone can use.

They don't deserve it at all. If you think for a minute that anyone but apple rivals are funding this your out of your mind. These companies are attempting to get apple with pitiful claims such as Apple not being upfront about the music/videos downloading from itunes not being able to be put on other devices....well if anyone bought an Ipod and didn't notice the fact that everywhere in itunes that it mentions playing the media it says "Can be played on your PC/Mac and then synched to your iPod to go!"...then that person deserves it. Not Apple.

I'm not an apple fanboy or anything of the sort, but when individuals and companies sue other companies just out of rampant jealously it is nothing but a waste of time and money, and keep in mind your taxes are paying for the months and months of court time BS lawsuits like this generate.

A major factor in this lawsuit is going to be the fact that Apple does not have a monopoly in the legal sense of the term. Ipod users are not forced to use Itunes, I know many many Ipod users who have never even installed Itunes. They manage their ipods usually with EphPod and they get thier music from other stores that don't have restrictive DRM, their ripped CD collections, etc.

Virgin Mega already tried this same thing in france against Apple in front of the French Competition Council. The council found that there was nothing wrong with iTunes and the apple FairPlay encryption because there were easy workarounds (You can just burn the CD from Itunes and then rip the CD), and the main reason "There is sufficient availability of portable players that support Microsoft's WMA DRM as a viable alternative and choice for consumers."

You hear that. Its not a monopoly because there is competition, it just so happens that most people do not want to use the competitions crappy product. MS is attempting to change this with the Zune and more power to them, but as it stands Apple cannot be sued for being a monopoly in the online music market because there is clear competition, it just is not liked by consumers.

I'm glad I don't pay for digital music files so that I don't have to deal with crap like this. I just buy the CD, and then I rip it into a format, with the quality that I prefer.

Just out of interest, who pays for class action suits?

It will be very interesting to see the outcome of this suit.

Market share, market share, market share. It's the same reason why Microsoft always comes under fire for bundling things with Windows, whereas Apple does not.