December 4, 2014

"Apple deleted music that some iPod owners had downloaded from competing music services from 2007 to 2009 without telling users..."

"... attorneys for consumers told jurors in a class-action antitrust suit against Apple Wednesday."

UPDATE: Apple wins.


MadisonMan said...

Assume that a corrupt music file is a legitimate threat to a system (I think that is likely). The customer should still be able to choose -- assume that risk -- to have their system infected.

Of course, users had probably already checked those pages-long incredibly dense user consent forms that pop up whenever you install software (Who has hours to read through them?) that allowed Apple to do this.

Moose said...

C'mon - you know it feels right when they force it on you...

Shanna said...

Apple would display an error message and instruct the user to restore the factory settings

MM, this is apparently what they did. I am very leery before I restore factory settings, usually.

Meanwhile, apple has apparently been a busy bee, and everything I ever put into itunes is now available for download in my songs list on my phone and I'm not sure how to remove it. It's cluttery.

madAsHell said...

I'm pretty sure that agreement you've never read, but you always click "accept" mentions this feature.

traditionalguy said...

A Class Action with no class.

YoungHegelian said...


Left Bank of the Charles said...

How was the value of your iPod diminished because you couldn't do something with your iPod that Apple never said you could do?

You could always rip CDs into iTunes and Apple had no problem with that. And you could drop MP3 files into iTunes you had downloaded from various places with no problem.

So what kind of files were in the competing music stores? Were they standard MP3s? Were they trying to mimic the Apple proprietary formats or did they have their own proprietary format? I think that's crucial to the case.

Fernandinande said...

"Apple deleted music ..."

No, dumb people* deleted their own music.

"When the user restored the settings, the music from rival services would disappear, he said."

I've never used any Apple anything - is it impossible to make backups? (i.e., copy music files from the little gizmo to a real computer, and then back to the gizmo).

*If it's impossible to make backups, the people are dumb for using the service. If it's possible, they were dumb for not doing it.

Sam L. said...

Them Apple guys are bad apples.

tim maguire said...

The whole notion of "licensing" needs to be revisited. Ownership ain't what it used to be.

tim maguire said...

Fernandinande said..."Apple deleted music ..."

No, dumb people* deleted their own music.

There's a difference between "dumb" and "not tech savvy."

John said...

One more reason why I will NEVER use anything from Apple.

I once made the mistake of installing I-Tunes on a Laptop. It fucked up a bunch of stuff and I could not remove it. I finally had to wipe the drive, reformat it and reinstall everything. There's a day of my life I won't get back.

If I had to use an I-Pod I'd go back to a Walkman and cassette tapes instead.

If I had to use a Mac or I-Pad I'd go back to typewriters and mail.

If I had to use an I-Phone I'd go tin cans and a string.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use Apple products.

John Henry

Dick Stanley said...

They're still sticking free music (as a lure to buy more) into my iPhone music app lineup without asking. All kinds of crap I would never listen to and, because the app just cycles through it along with everything else I have to go to the trouble of deleting it which ain't so simple as you might expect. Of course not. It's Apple. I'm gonna get a 'droid.

Rocketeer said...

This may perversely mark me as a luddite of sorts, but I love my Windows phone.

Sigivald said...

They're still sticking free music (as a lure to buy more) into my iPhone music app lineup without asking

Odd, I've never seen anything other than that (yes, stupid and infuriating) U2 album appear in either iTunes or my phone.

(Contra other people above, note that an iPod circa 2007-9 is fed only from iTunes on a computer - so anything deleted from it on a "wipe" is automatically already backed up.

I can't figure out what this suit is even supposed to be about, from what is presented. I don't know if it's the source mangling it, or just the suit being badly drafted or what.)

Steven said...

So what kind of files were in the competing music stores?

Since they specifically mentioned it's a decade-old suit, I assume it's about RealNetworks's 2004 "Harmony" technology, under which the RealPlayer Music Store sold DRM-protected music files compatible with Apple's "FairPlay" DRM. Apple denounced RealNetworks as having "adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod" and subsequently broke the compatibility of "Harmony" files.

The record labels didn't want to give up DRM, but given Apple's post-Harmony position as the monopoly store for iPod-compatible DRM, they eventually had to authorize DRM-free music downloads.

Mark said...

Steven has it right, this about Apple protecting their DRM (which the market forced them to drop after Amazon mp3 started taking market share).

Apple wanted to have their own method of being the music industry's toad and forcing people to re-buy music every time a format changed (and forcing them to remain within the iTunes system with locked files that only play on Apple stuff).

Apple deserves to lose this, though time and no Steve Jobs will likely take care of Apple.