Apple Worked to Block All iTunes Competitors

We have been talking for some time about the new trial that Cupertino’s people are facing regarding the DRM of their music and the iPod. In this class action the prosecution has used emails and even a recorded statement from Steve Jobs to go against the company, to which now we must add the statement of a former iTunes engineer who claims that Apple worked to block 100% any customer other than iTunes on the iPod .

This class action lawsuit is against the DRM used by the American company in its music for several years, a very restrictive digital rights management law that they decided to eliminate in 2009. On the other hand, through it Apple is accused of deleting music from the iPod without permission of users that had not been purchased through the iTunes Music Store , so they ask for a compensation of 350 million dollars for 8 million affected users.

Apple Worked to Block All iTunes Competitors
Apple Worked to Block All iTunes Competitors

As part of this legal process, former iTunes engineer Rod Schultz recently testified against the company he worked for until 2008. Schultz claimed that he worked on a project that had as its main objective to block customers other than iTunes and thus exclude third-party music providers so that users could not use that music on the iPod.

Apple wanted to completely block the competitors of the iPod

Thus, Rod Schultz testified last Friday in this antitrust case against Apple, at which time he stated that Apple intended to block 100% of customers other than iTunes . In this way, they wanted to keep out third-party services that competed with their iPod.

The former iTunes engineer was cited by the plaintiffs to demonstrate the moves Apple made in the past to block music that had not been purchased through its store and put it out of play. According to the plaintiffs, this attack on competition was made in order to increase the prices of iPods between 2006 and 2009 . On the other hand, despite their efforts they have not been able to get an academic paper by Schultz in 2012 detailing the operating systems that Apple blocked so that they could not use iTunes, admitted as evidence.

Rod Schultz told the court that the project he worked on was known by the code name “Candy” , but added that he doesn’t really want to talk about his iTunes-related work from 2006 to 2007.

Schultz reiterates the argument given by Apple in the trial

On the other hand, the former engineer even reiterated the argument given by Apple in this case for its defense , which makes us think that the security measures introduced in iTunes are a clear reflection of the music scene at that time. In their defence, Cupertino’s people claimed that the record companies feared that the store would give rise to piracy and demanded that DRM , forcing Apple to keep the iPod safe.

From MacRumors they point out that both Rod Schultz and Apple argued that the DRM in the music was designed to protect their system and the user experience , which could have been compromised by being open to third party music players and other file formats. However, the former engineer comments that this also led to the iPod dominating the market.

Schultz was the last witness in this case and Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said that she plans to send the case to the jury for deliberations next week , so we will be keeping an eye on what happens.

Do you think Apple will get off too lightly on this antitrust case?

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