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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Monopoly?
By Lord Evermore on 1/2/2007 8:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft did prevent OEMs from changing the way the OS looks when it first boots for a user, or installing alternative software. They did make it a contract requirement that the OEM is paying for Windows for every machine sold, whether installed or not, and then a requirement that no machine be sold without some sort of OS installed/included (so now FreeDOS might come with them). This is what made them open to monopoly charges, because they made it nearly impossible for competing OSes to be sold.

A monopoly means that they've made it virtually impossible for anyone to compete through contract terms or government rules which prevent competition. AT&T's monopoly came about because they put up phone lines, wouldn't let anybody else use them, and made it impossible for anybody else to get licenses to put up their own lines. There are many competing media players and media formats, music stores and DRM formats. It's not a monopoly for Apple to simply have the most popular ones, they don't have exclusive control of anything. Anybody else is completely free to build a better one and make it become popular.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki