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  • Apple Chief Steve Jobs Ordered to 'Answer Questions' in iTunes Antitrust Suit


    Few people boss Apple Chief Steve Jobs around, but the iconic 56-year-old CEO has been ordered by a judge to "answer questions" in the class-action lawsuit alleging that Apple's iTunes represents a "music store monopoly." According to Bloomberg News, US Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd will allow "limited questioning" of Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave from Apple, by legal representatives and attorneys for the group that brought the complaint.

    The deposition can’t exceed two hours and the only topic allowed is changes Apple made to its software in October 2004 that rendered digital music files engineered by RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) inoperable with Apple’s iPod music player.
    “The court finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, firsthand knowledge about the issues at the center of the dispute over RealNetworks software,” Judge Lloyd wrote, effectively obligating Steve Jobs to participate in the legal skirmish. Although Apple is no stranger to courtroom showdowns, rarely has Steve Jobs been publicly involved. This particular instance, however, is - in some ways - more serious than other issues that have brought Apple within the legal system's cross-hairs.

    Thomas Slattery, an iTunes customer, brought suit against Apple six years ago seeking class-action status on behalf of "consumers claiming the Cupertino, California-based company illegally limited consumer choice by linking the iPod to its iTunes music store." The basis of Slattery's argument is that Apple is violating antitrust laws by encoding its digital music files with proprietary software dubbed FairPlay. As a result, music files downloaded from iTunes can only be played on sanctioned Apple devices, like the iPod.

    The case is Apple iPod, iTunes Antitrust Litigation, C05- 0037JW, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

    Source: Bloomberg
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Chief Steve Jobs Ordered to 'Answer Questions' in iTunes Antitrust Suit started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 51 Comments
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      Interesting. I had thought that converting from one lossy format to another wouldn't lose quality.
      Thanks for the explanation.

      Oh back before downloadable distribution we didn't really have these "why can't my media play on this device" problems. A CD or a DVD just worked in a CD or DVD player

      I do agree that you shouldn't have to pay extra to get non-DRM versions of the music you've already paid for in iTunes. Yeah you're also getting a better quality file at 256kbps, but why can't Apple just give you a non-DRM 128kbps version. Surely Apple have a magic button that could just take off the DRM from your existing file too.
      It's like you paid 99˘ to "rent" the song, now you have to pay an extra ˘30 to own it.
      Exactly! The ability is there, and they charge $0.30, per song to remove it, when they could do it free... I'd rather spend that money on songs I don't have yet.

      I don't have a problem paying $1.29/song now, but that's the new pricing scheme. The DRM songs were $0.99 and that was the agreed price, I shouldn't have to buy a third of them again to get them all DRM-free, especially considering iTunes has loads of music, DRM-free, for $0.99.

      On the conversions: if you do a straight conversion from AAC to MP3 (or vice versa) it won't lose quality, provided you use the same bit-rate. When you go to CD though, it's expanding the file for CD players to understand. Once you try to bring it back to a song file, the converter has to chop information to re-shrink it, thereby losing even more sound data.
    1. letmusicring's Avatar
      letmusicring -
      First off, most, if not all, of the songs on iTunes are DRM Free. Yes, they are associated with your account, but Apple gives you the opportunity to convert them to MP3 that can be played anywhere.

      Second, when you "purchase" a song, you are not buying the song itself, you are buying the rights to listen to that song in whatever format you purchased it. It is not your music.

      iTunes has provided a nice interface to purchase songs through Apple. However, you can (almost) just as easily purchase songs from Amazon MP3, Walmart Music, or even the physical copy. If you buy it from iTunes, you agreed to get it in the format that Apple provides and the price that they set.

      Read the fine print.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Has Apple ever represented that iTunes would work with other file formats or other mp3 players other than idevices? Cause I'm pretty sure they haven't. So if that's the case then where is the antitrust part?

      Quote Originally Posted by CynicalDriver; View Post

      I could get a newer stereo, but that's another $800+ I don't want to spend.

      And don't suggest a cheap-@$$ radio either... If I'm going to do something, I do it right. My car deserves better than a Sony Xploder.
      for $800 you get the ability to watch movies and navigation in your car. Those are duplicate features of the iPhone and features that most cars(yours included) don't have. So, no, you don't have to spend 800.

      I spent 250 on sale with crutchfield which included 3 adapters needed since my car has a factory sub and amp and I acquired aux input, Bluetooth, iPhone integration, steering wheel controls, many more display features, remote control, and better sounding music. All of this over the already factory installed 9 speaker system.

      To answer the question above. The reason a cd or DVD works in a cd or DVD player is because those are standardized by the industry. Same reason xbox 360 games won't play in a ps3 and vice versa because they are specficially coded to only run on the OS they were designed for so that you have to buy their console. We accept that. Why won't we accept that apple offers drm free music for a higher cost and that we can choose to purchase our music elsewhere an import it? We should be so lucky to have that same kind of ability with video games.
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by alexevo View Post
      Has Apple ever represented that iTunes would work with other file formats or other mp3 players other than idevices? Cause I'm pretty sure they haven't. So if that's the case then where is the antitrust part?



      for $800 you get the ability to watch movies and navigation in your car. Those are duplicate features of the iPhone and features that most cars(yours included) don't have. So, no, you don't have to spend 800.

      I spent 250 on sale with crutchfield which included 3 adapters needed since my car has a factory sub and amp and I acquired aux input, Bluetooth, iPhone integration, steering wheel controls, many more display features, remote control, and better sounding music. All of this over the already factory installed 9 speaker system.

      To answer the question above. The reason a cd or DVD works in a cd or DVD player is because those are standardized by the industry. Same reason xbox 360 games won't play in a ps3 and vice versa because they are specficially coded to only run on the OS they were designed for so that you have to buy their console. We accept that. Why won't we accept that apple offers drm free music for a higher cost and that we can choose to purchase our music elsewhere an import it? We should be so lucky to have that same kind of ability with video games.
      Why do people constantly quote me, argue with me, and not READ what I say?

      As for the stereo... Dude, if I wanted an adaptor to control my iPhone, I can buy one for $50. I want to ELIMINATE the phone from the equation. Therefore, I need a full-featured deck, which will also work with my steering-controls, and take up a double-din slot.

      I drive a Saab, not a Chevy, I'll not have giant black plastic crap surrounding my stereo. So, yes, $800 at least.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by CynicalDriver View Post
      Why do people constantly quote me, argue with me, and not READ what I say?

      As for the stereo... Dude, if I wanted an adaptor to control my iPhone, I can buy one for $50. I want to ELIMINATE the phone from the equation. Therefore, I need a full-featured deck, which will also work with my steering-controls, and take up a double-din slot.

      I drive a Saab, not a Chevy, I'll not have giant black plastic crap surrounding my stereo. So, yes, $800 at least.
      Dude I have Pioneer double din that I have an ipod connected to and it works with my honda steering wheel controls ($65 adapter) and the deck only cost $300 and it plays video from the ipod, usb hdd and dvd.

      As for making it look good in your dash they sell "Beauty kits" for $20-$50 to make it look good
    1. CynicalDriver's Avatar
      CynicalDriver -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rob2G View Post
      Dude I have Pioneer double din that I have an ipod connected to and it works with my honda steering wheel controls ($65 adapter) and the deck only cost $300 and it plays video from the ipod, usb hdd and dvd.

      As for making it look good in your dash they sell "Beauty kits" for $20-$50 to make it look good
      $300 for a stereo
      $50 for a "beauty kit"
      $150 for an iPod
      $65 for the steering wheel kit
      $45 for a wiring kit, or hours of time figuring out wiring, so it all works.

      $610 so far... And that's with a pioneer stereo. I much prefer Alpine, or Clarion, they are just more intuitive for me.

      Then there's the issue of matching the out-put to the Harman/Kardon speaker system, or buying all new speakers too.

      There's more to getting proper audio than slapping a head-unit in the slot and turning it on, or adding crappy subs and an amp. Changing the stereo requires many other changes. I want loud and crisp, not loud and waffly. I don't care about impressing the homies on the corner, just my ears.

      The iPod has to be bought to replace the iPhone in the equation... Not exactly a "progressive" movement. I don't want "iPod controls," I want an iPod replacement!
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by CynicalDriver View Post
      $300 for a stereo
      $50 for a "beauty kit"
      $150 for an iPod
      $65 for the steering wheel kit
      $45 for a wiring kit, or hours of time figuring out wiring, so it all works.

      $610 so far... And that's with a pioneer stereo. I much prefer Alpine, or Clarion, they are just more intuitive for me.

      Then there's the issue of matching the out-put to the Harman/Kardon speaker system, or buying all new speakers too.

      There's more to getting proper audio than slapping a head-unit in the slot and turning it on, or adding crappy subs and an amp. Changing the stereo requires many other changes. I want loud and crisp, not loud and waffly. I don't care about impressing the homies on the corner, just my ears.

      The iPod has to be bought to replace the iPhone in the equation... Not exactly a "progressive" movement. I don't want "iPod controls," I want an iPod replacement!
      My Pioneer Runs off an HDD most the time, I only use the ipod sometimes. Its cool because I can stream Sirius radio through my phone (Unlimited Data ) to my deck and on pay the internet subscription fee to sirius.

      My honda has a full bose 6 speaker set. and 2x1000 wat fosgate mono block amp and 2 fosgate 12 inch subs. I wish I could show you the sound man its perfect at all listening levels. I know car audio, I know there is more to it than meets the eye but if configured correctly you can integrate any speaker system in to a decent head unit. If you are at all interested send me a message and Ill send you a link to my head unit bro.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Cynical - unfortunately it takes more than a lowly Saab to pull off being a **** and not get called out on it. I only replaced my head unit which is a single DIN with a regular price of $400. The adapters needed to not have to cut the wiring harness are included free when you buy a head unit from crutchfield as are the trim rings/appearance packages or "beauty kits" as you call them. Your steering wheel controls end up going through the stereo's wiring harness at some point and every compatible head unit will include an adapter for it that you merely plug in between the head unit and the harness.

      These guys have been doing this for years so they've got it down pretty well.

      So your steering wheel control adapter, beauty kit, and wiring harness adapters can be removed from your price. Furthermore, if you just spent some time to research the head units you will find one that works the same as the current one you have as far as speaker compatibility and your factory installed amp which your car does have.

      Lastly, it took me less than 2 hours to install my head unit start to finish including hiding/neatly securing the wires and installing the Bluetooth mic in a good position such that it works well and can barely be seen. That time also included adjusting all the audio and display settings for the most optimal experience.

      Now you're down to $300 bucks for whichever head unit you selected.

      Have a coke and a smile.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Oh yeah to address you having to buy an iPod. You can either use a flash drive up to 64GB plugged into the back or plug in your phone, control it from the stereo OR the phone, and charge your phone at the same time.
    1. blwallace5's Avatar
      blwallace5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CynicalDriver View Post
      Why do people constantly quote me, argue with me, and not READ what I say?

      As for the stereo... Dude, if I wanted an adaptor to control my iPhone, I can buy one for $50. I want to ELIMINATE the phone from the equation. Therefore, I need a full-featured deck, which will also work with my steering-controls, and take up a double-din slot.

      I drive a Saab, not a Chevy, I'll not have giant black plastic crap surrounding my stereo. So, yes, $800 at least.
      This is blatantly stupid. Maybe research stereos for awhile before you talk about them, and lol @saab
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      Quote Originally Posted by CynicalDriver View Post
      $300 for a stereo
      $50 for a "beauty kit"
      $150 for an iPod
      $65 for the steering wheel kit
      $45 for a wiring kit, or hours of time figuring out wiring, so it all works.

      $610 so far... And that's with a pioneer stereo. I much prefer Alpine, or Clarion, they are just more intuitive for me.

      Then there's the issue of matching the out-put to the Harman/Kardon speaker system, or buying all new speakers too.

      There's more to getting proper audio than slapping a head-unit in the slot and turning it on, or adding crappy subs and an amp. Changing the stereo requires many other changes. I want loud and crisp, not loud and waffly. I don't care about impressing the homies on the corner, just my ears.

      The iPod has to be bought to replace the iPhone in the equation... Not exactly a "progressive" movement. I don't want "iPod controls," I want an iPod replacement!
      Forgot to add...your "ipod replacement" is your iphone. It is completely unnecessary to have an ipod and an iphone in your car at the same time if you can do everything from your phone as well as make calls and still have it be charged by the time you get to where you're going. I don't see your need for an ipod in that equation at all.

      The only reason I actually own an ipod is when I go snowboarding where I won't be near a charger for a good 6-8 hours and I want to be able to listen to my music while I do so. Otherwise 2-4hours of music on your iphone won't kill the battery if you're at the gym or somewhere else not near a charger. The car/home(given the fact that you can charge it at either place with a simple setup) are the LAST places you'll have to worry about killing your battery or otherwise needing an ipod so as not to have to use your iphone.

      Why the F did you buy an iphone in the first place if you're not going to use it for all its features?