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
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.
quote: Apple should be forced (and maybe punished) to make its media playable on other devices and software.