Jury finds for Apple in iPod class-action suit

iPod Classic
iPod Classic (Image credit: iMore)

Apple has won the lawsuit brought against it by disgruntled iPod owners. The group alleged that the company behaved in an anti-competitive manner by keeping competing devices from using their music ecosystem. The jury found that Apple did not act improperly.

According to Reuters:

Apple Inc won an antitrust trial on Tuesday when a U.S. jury decided the company did not act improperly when it restricted music purchases for iPod users to Apple's iTunes digital store.

Apple had argued that they were under no obligation to make sure that their software and updates were compatible with competing products. The trial had recently restarted, and included emails and a video deposition from the late Steve Jobs.

Source: Reuters

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.

  • Took them that long to know that? Silly lawsuits.
  • Good that common sense has prevailed.
  • good thing this music blocking isn't a thing anymore Sent from the iMore App
  • Too bad. Illegal activity veiled in 'but we had to' and 'to protect the consumer'. That's a win for corporate America. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • STFU.
    Maybe one day you will come up with something you created and then when folks try to steal your ideal...?
  • Someone tried to steal Apple's idea of.... Selling digital music? Posted from the amazing whatever device I can afford because I'm a broke college kid.
  • This was a case that the plaintiffs attorneys had consistently failed to do due diligence in fact considering how long they had to prepare you would have thought they could have fact checked the information supplied by the plaintiffs! That immediately puts a seed of doubt into any jurors mind when they see that the two jurors were not qualified to be plaintiffs in the case. I feel it was the right decision to be made though I wonder if the plaintiff' attorneys had been prepared and they had made not has the missteps and if it was in a court outside California rather than one in Oakland, whether the case would have ended with the same result? Though that would be totally hypothetical but interesting all the same.
  • Weak case that should not have prevailed and didn't. Posted via my Nexus 6!
  • I only know what has been reported. It does seem the plaintiffs had a weak case. Still. The message from this is Apple can do whatever the hell it wants to. Remove songs from users devices without their permission. And without advising them. And suffer no consequences. My response is "And?".
  • To be honest though, since those songs were added using a 3rd party system that effectively hacked or by-passed iTunes, it could be said that since the music was not registered as part of a library on the iTunes application on the PC or Mac it made it equally difficult to 'reinstate' this music after an update was processed. Furthermore the iTunes system could not verify the authenticity of this data and the correct course of action would have been to force a factory reinstall followed by the restoring of the music that was known to be actual music ie anything that had been added either from CD or from the iTunes store itself. There will of course be an appeal and a second trial though this is now a tainted topic and while the Attorney's for the plaintiff's feel that they might have a better chance, I tend to think that if they go in with the same arguments and same lack of preparation they will lose again and I suspect that any attorney that failed to do their duty of fact checking the statements and details around the case that was used as a basis for the trial right down to obvious statements about ownership of the devices in question during the period in question is equally as likely to fail to do that simple and important act of "due diligence". This was a case that was not 'ripe' and not 'ready to be picked for trial' and I think it will be much harder to win a case that has already been lost because of poor preparation by the legal team.
  • You raised an interesting point about the users in question having added music using a 3rd party system. I thought maybe I had missed that. At least in the articles I have read, there are not a lot of details about this angle. I went back and read an article that appeared in the LA Times a day or so ago. And the only thing it mentioned was that the music has been purchased through RealNetworks. My assumption was that the users had added the music through iTunes but had not purchased it through iTunes. So I am thinking this could be mp3's purchased through RealNetworks as well as music ripped and imported from CD's. There has been a capability to import music into iTunes for as long as I can remember. Although in all fairness, I have not followed this closely enough to know if that is really the case. So did the users here really operate outside of the iTunes ecosystem? This appears to me to be an open question but perhaps I am just not well enough informed on this point. Part of my opinion here is coming from the fact that just about everyone I know has stories of music disappearing in iTunes. These type of cases are hard to win because the plaintiff's attorneys have to prove intent. That is really hard to do unless you have internal memos or a disgruntled employee. I don't feel super strongly one way or the other about this. While I do feel that Apple is under no obligation to make iTunes work with competitors products, when it comes to removing a users asset from their computer (i.e., music) they should at least inform the users that they are doing this. Of course if the music had been added totally outside of iTunes I think I would feel differently. I do agree that the appeal will probably not have a different outcome unless the plaintiff's attorneys are better prepared than they were this time. I do get the feeling they were blindsided when they had to find a new "damaged party" mid trial. I have never heard of something like this happening before.