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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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I'm curious
By Spivonious on 1/2/2007 12:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious if Apple has used any anti-competitive measures to keep others out the market. I know that for my fiancee, the only reason she wants an iPod is because it's the only player that has an abundance of accessories. She admits that it's not as good as other players, but having the option of getting a dock, or a car player, or a choice of covers and cases is important to her. Is this a monopoly? I don't know, but it should at least be investigated.

RE: I'm curious
By Goty on 1/2/2007 1:14:18 PM , Rating: 1
The iPod has such a large assortment of accessories because it's popular. Companies are smart enough to realize that you don't make accessories for products that don't sell.

RE: I'm curious
By ghost101 on 1/2/2007 6:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
Nope shouldnt be investigated. This isnt the linking of two different products (music and music players in this case), but accessories for an ipod would be in the same sector.

If people really want an analogy, what apple is doing, is if a music label suddenyl said, all of its CDs/Albums will work with a certain cd player. People would be seriously annoyed because if all their CDs were published by Sony for example, theyd have to buy Sony products.

NB Sony dont do this by the way, and I dont have anything against their products. I simply used it for illustrative purposes.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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