Apple ebook bench called out as 'offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary'

Apple ebook bench called out as 'offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary'

The Wall Street Journal began the year making me wonder if they'd thrown journalistic integrity out the window in an effort to ride the Apple is Doomed train into clickbait history, and now they're ending it with about as pro an Apple editorial as possible. In the piece, which appears without byline, the WSJ calls Judge Denise Cote "abusive" and the special prosecutor a "friend" who is "besieging" Apple in an arrangement that's "flatly unconstitutional". And that's not the worst of it:

Judge Cote backed off her plan for secret communications with Mr. Bromwich when Apple objected, but otherwise she is giving her friend whatever he wants. The Second Circuit where her ruling is on appeal should remove her from the case. Her condominium with Mr. Bromwich is offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary.

To see the backstory and understand some of the context, check out this overview by Roger Parloff in Fortune:

But what may have started as a routine spat between posturing litigators appears to have escalated into a weighty legal dispute, destined for the appellate court, about the limits of a court's power to interfere in the internal affairs of a corporation. And one of country's most admired, powerful, and illustrious corporations, at that.

Whatever the WSJ's motivations are aside, the danger with insane levels of rhetoric, pro-Apple or con- is that it often obscures or makes easy to dismiss real issues. The fire blots out the stars. This much is clear: Apple is taking issue with how it's being treated by the bench, and it has legal recourses available.

As for the rest, grab your popcorn and spicy drink and grab a seat, it looks like the ebook case is far, far from over.

Source: WSJ, Fortune

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple ebook bench called out as 'offensive to the rule of law and a disgrace to the judiciary'


Apple was wrong and was punished for it. However, the punishment was overly harsh and too open to abuse. That is my take on things.

It seemed odd from the start with the Judge issuing an pre-judgement statement. I personally never saw the reason for the uproar.. I bought from ibooks from start.. and kindle.. I never noticed any 'price hike' .. Prices in general have gone down over the last few years. I always wondered how they came up with the proof of price increases. Never understood that part.

As for NFN clause.. it's used in a lot of markets.. funny how it's singled out as bad here. in any case, as another article pointed out, that had been dropped a few years back .. so the case was really over a behavior that had changed / auto-corrected on it's own. Yay free market.

Enough with the pre-judgement statement. The facts of the case were layed out and the judge wrote her opinion on them prior to arguments. It is not "odd", it is standard practice.

Next I suppose we're going to have to hear about the music cartel going after Apple for "price fixing" of music, because ¢99 a track - many of them from CDs that sell in $5 bargain bins - is just not enough for 23 new yachts this year.


Apple and several publishers were accused by the US Government of collusion in fixing prices of ebooks. I'm making a cynical and hate-soaked comment about how RIAA cronies are probably thinking about how they can get their pets in Congress to pressure the DoJ to do the same thing in regards to music sales.

Accuse Apple of "hurting the industry through predatory pricing" or some such bull.

Thanks for reading, tips are accepted.

Ah yes. When Apple refuses to follow the judge's directives and has to be repeatedly dragged back to the court like an unruly child, woe is Apple. I sincerely hope they are paying for every penny of taxpayer money their arrogance is costing us citizens. This case, frankly, is a bit ridiculous. It's not by happenstance that all the other co-conspirators took deals. Apple refuses to take responsibility for their actions, and the end result turned rather minor sanctions into increasingly disruptive ones. Which is exaclty the way things should work. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

To be fair, the Wall Street Journal taking a pro-business, anti-government stand is hardly surprising.

Wow! Interesting read. Sometimes you just don't know all of the back story with these cases.

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