Jury finds Apple not guilty in iPod antitrust lawsuit

In the iPod class action lawsuit, the jury found Apple not guilty of being anti-competitive when it blocked third-party music players from iTunes and deleted non-iTunes songs from iPods.

It was argued that Apple was trying to build iPod's market dominance when it introduced its FairPlay DRM. Songs sold via iTunes were encoded with FairPlay which meant third-party music players could not play the songs, while non-FairPlay songs were deleted from iPods.

Apple argued the measures protected the user experience and also reflected the digital music landscape at the time. Apple said the music labels demanded the use of DRM on songs sold via iTunes, while also forcing Apple to keep the iPod secured.

The complaint originally asked for $350 million in damages to pay the 8 million people who bought certain iPod models between September 2006 and March 2009. However, due to antitrust laws, the damages could have potentially been more than $1 billion.

During the two-week trial, a former iTunes engineer, Rod Schultz, testified that it was Apple's goal to block third-party music players and songs from iTunes and iPods. Schultz said he was an unwilling witness after being subpoenaed, and that he didn't want to talk about his work on iTunes.

The lawsuit was close to dismissal at one point due to the lack of plaintiffs, however, lawyers involved in the case found an eligible person to represent the class action suit at the 11th hour.

Source: The Verge

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