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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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RE: Monopoly?
By therealnickdanger on 1/2/2007 4:06:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Apple should be forced (and maybe punished) to make its media playable on other devices and software.

I disagree with that one. I don't want own an iPod and probably never will, but I'm certainly not going to punish them or force them to do anything to prevent them further success. If millions of people are buying and using the iPod and iTunes, I can't see the negative. It's Apple's player, Apple's content, and Apple's software and consumers go into it willingly. As an FYI, the iPod has been hacked to death, so there really aren't any limitations on consumers...


RE: Monopoly?
By FITCamaro on 1/2/2007 5:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it has been hacked but legal consumers shouldn't have to commit illegal hacks to do what they want with the content they have purchased.

And just because millions of people are stupid enough to agree to it, doesn't make it right.


RE: Monopoly?
By TheLiberal on 1/3/2007 6:10:22 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure about the grounds of the lawsuit, but I do agree that having millions of stupid followers does not make you right. Just look at the 2004 election.


RE: Monopoly?
By therealnickdanger on 1/3/2007 10:07:26 AM , Rating: 1
Well... Tough sh*t. Apple is selling a good product that just happens to be the hottest item around. More power to 'em. They aren't doing anything shady and there are plenty of other options available to consumers.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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