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Print 46 comment(s) - last by Lord Evermore.. on Jan 3 at 7:57 PM

The hip computer maker battles with another headache

Shortly following news of Apple’s stock options backdating scandal, the Associated Press is reporting that the company is now facing several lawsuits, including one alleging that Apple is monopolizing the digital music market.

The lawsuit is over Apple’s proprietary iPod and iTunes software, which is generally incompatible with non-Apple products. Media purchased on iTunes is supposed to be playable only on iPod hardware, and songs purchased on other DRM systems are not easily playable on iPods.

Apple motioned for the courts to dismiss the case, originally filed July 21, but the courts denied the motion on Dec. 20. The plaintiff seeks unspecified compensation.

Apple is also facing a lawsuit, filed on Nov. 7, over the supposed high failure rate of the logic board in the iBook G4. Another lawsuit filed by PhatRat Technology accuses Apple of patent infringement for its iPod-Nike product.

While the iPod reigns supreme in the music player market, Apple’s success has not come without a price. Last year, Creative Labs sued Apple over patent infringement of the iPod interface, which eventually lead to a countersuit. The companies eventually settled on having Apple pay Creative $100 million for use of the patented technology.

The popularity of the iPod has drawn attention from hackers discontent with the proprietary nature of the device. Jon Lech Johansen, who cracked DVD encryption, has undone Apple’s protection scheme and plans to license his work to companies interested in opening up interoperability between iPod/iTunes and non-Apple devices.



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Amazes me
By viperpa on 1/2/2007 12:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
Just another lawyer trying to make easy money. There are plenty of other music players out there to choose from and other music sites besides ITunes. You don't have to buy music from ITunes, just buy a CD and rip it to an IPOD. I own 3 IPODS so I don't know what the issue is.

Maybe have a little cheese with that whine?




RE: Amazes me
By EglsFly on 1/2/2007 2:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
There are a lot of issues right now with music and portable players. iTunes only works with iPod, Microsoft's own "Plays for Sure" doesn't even work with its Zune music player, and so on...

I agree with viperpa, your better off buying your own CD and ripping it in the quality you choose and you don't have to deal with DRM issues.

This is your best choice until all the issues caused by implementing various forms of this DRM fiasco gets worked out.


RE: Amazes me
By encryptkeeper on 1/2/2007 2:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's DRM isn't even that strong though. You're allowed what, 7 computers to play the same ITune on? And how many players can you put it on? Jesus, the case has no merit just on the idea that you can rip the song again if DRM locks the first one. Just burn your ITunes to CD if it's something you downloaded, and then you'll never have any problems.


RE: Amazes me
By ghost101 on 1/2/2007 5:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
What if ive bought hundreds of albums from itunes. Now i want to buy a new player. Because Itunes is tied with the ipod, if i want to use my music, I will be FORCED to buy an ipod.


RE: Amazes me
By glennpratt on 1/3/2007 2:23:45 PM , Rating: 2
EXACTLY. This is the issue. People spend thousands of dollars on iTunes, so even if the DRM is weak and there is a burn option, most consumers (people not reading this website) are tightly locked to the iPod.

I usually consider myself conservative, so I'm scared to think exactly how a law correcting this would look, but it could be very good for the consumer and the industry to break up these lame DRM fiefdoms.


RE: Amazes me
By Lord Evermore on 1/3/2007 7:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
Guess what! You agreed to the license that said it was that way!

Pretty much every other music service has similar restrictions. You get a subscription to Napster or whatever, you don't OWN a copy of anything you download, you only have permission to listen to it as long as you've kept up your payments. As soon as your account is shut down, DRM kicks in and you have nothing for all your money. You download music from some other store which has Microsoft DRM, and hey, now you aren't allowed to put that music on an iPod, so they must be controlling all your choices because you can't choose the player that you want!


"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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