Steve Jobs: Competitors became collateral damage in business strategy with music labels

In a recorded deposition played in court Friday during the $350 million class-action suit filed against Apple over locking out competing services to iTunes from consumers' iPods, Steve Jobs echoed the same sentiments that were given as testimony by current executives earlier in the week. Jobs said that Apple had an obligation to patch holes and prevent hacks by updating its software continuously to protect its relationships with the record labels, which provided Apple with their catalog of music to sell on iTunes.

Apple was not being anti-competitive, according to the testimony Jobs gave three years prior, but rather it had to protect its business relationships, according to CNET:

"We had pretty much black and white contracts with the labels," Jobs said in the deposition. Those contracts stipulated that if people violated Apple's FairPlay digital rights management system, a technology that would detect other music stores' song files and prevent users from loading them onto the iPod, "...that would be in clear violation of the licenses we had from the labels and they could cease giving us music at any time."

Apple patched hacks that allowed users to load content purchased from iTunes rivals, like RealNetworks. The Verge reported:

Jobs then says that any competitors that got locked out by changes in security were "collateral damage," adding that Apple did not want the onus of trying to work with third-party companies in order to get their systems to work with the closed security they'd come up with.

The trial will continue into next week, but late this week Apple had filed a motion to dismiss the suit entirely because the representing plaintiffs in the suit did not purchase their iPods during the time frame from September 2006 through March 2009 when Apple rolled out constant updates to block music purchased from an iTunes rival.

Source: CNET; The Verge