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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Other Companies are just Jealous!
By MacUserByDay on 1/2/2007 6:45:04 PM , Rating: 1
The only reason for the stupid lawsuit is because other companies with online download stores and media players are not getting sales because people prefer the iPod/iTunes experience. Buying anything from Apple is a "Choice", it's not a requirement by law. You don't even need an iPod to download music from iTunes and play it. Isn't this the same thing but now the tables are turned, people buy into Windows and ignore the Mac. Many companies make media players and download sights for music and none of them work on a Mac. If it weren't for Apple, Mac users would still be without MP3 players and paid for downloads. Apple does not stop any company from producing MP3 players and software that work on the Mac and yet several companies refuse to do it.
This is not a monopoly, Apple is quite fair on how it handles this whole thing. For example, if I wanted to download music from Rhapsody/Zune Marketplace/Urge or download Videos from Amazon's Unbox I'm out of luck, because I'm using a Mac. These companies have to open to Macs if they expect Apple to be open to everyone else. At least Apple's products work on both Macs and PC's.

RE: Other Companies are just Jealous!
By stevel114 on 1/3/2007 7:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
At least Apple's products work on both Macs and PC's
I am assuming you are talking about Itunes and Ipods not all Apple products! Both the iPod and Zune are designed make a profit for the hardware maker and the music provider. Which in both cases are the same companies. The person who produces the music is the one getting a raw deal since thier product is not being sold in all possible outlets. Wouldn't it be great if you went to Target and the only way you could buy anything is with a Target provided credit card. That why they would make a profit loaning you the money and on the sale. This is what the iPod and Zune players want. You buy thier hardware and then can only get the majority of the content from them.

By Lord Evermore on 1/3/2007 7:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
You are in fact free to get your content from other sources and put it on your iPod. Apple isn't required to make sure there are other good online music stores, or to make sure that other stores use DRM that iPod supports.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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