Early iPod touch buyers invited to join class-action antitrust suit against Apple
Anyone in the U.S. who bought a first or second-gen iPod touch between September 12, 2007 and and March 31, 2009 are eligible to get in on an antitrust lawsuit against Apple. The two complaints state that Apple broke federal and state laws by charging for iOS updates and prevented iPods from playing anything that wasn't bought through iTunes. The litigating class membership includes just about every iPod model, including classic, shuffle, and nano.
Although I was peeved when Apple had the gall to charge for an iOS update on my first-gen iPod touch, just so that users could get email and other apps that came for free with the iPhone, it was easy enough to work around. Apple's story about GAAP vs. non-GAAP accounting methods and reasons for insisting on the charge were overly complex and ultimately user hostile. Which is probably why Apple stopped charging for iOS software updates entirely.
I'm still not sure why the lawsuit is claiming that iTunes wouldn't allow outside music sources; from the sounds of it, that situation was isolated to a few types of incompatible DRM, but that's it. Basically, if you bought something from Real (remember them?) or something protected by Windows DRM, it wouldn't play on your iPod. If you had iTunes music with FairPlay DRM or DRM-free MP3s from any source, you were good to go.
Right now there's not much to do besides wait to see how the case pans out and collect what will likely be a five dollar refund for what you paid for the firmware update. You can get updates by signing up at the class-action suit site, or opt out of the case if you're crazy and intend on going after Apple separately for the same issue.
Apparently this case has been hounding Apple for awhile; do you guys see any legitimacy to it?
Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!