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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: Excellent!
By iamright on 1/3/2007 12:12:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is there any reason that this lawsuit would be bad for consumers?


Uh yeah, obviously when parasites attempt to take the wind out of the sails of the leading ship it slows the progress. People buy ipods because they are the best (based on consumers purchases). Apple continues to make good products that sell more than the competition. If Apple didn't have such a overwhelmingly popular product nobody could accuse them of monopolizing. It is VERY bad when the leader is forced to change because of whining special interest group parasites. If it was really so bad people wouldn't buy ipods. You don't need a doctorate degree in economics to know that apple doesn't have a monopoly. Nobody puts a gun to the consumers head and forces them to chose and ipod over an iriver or zen or zune. Consumers can buy CDs and they are not forced to buy drm music. It's the socialistic special interest groups that slow down innovation and stifle the growth of innovative companies like apple.


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