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Apple is the new Microsoft. They're being sued.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
BY BETSY SCHIFFMAN, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK - As if its options woes weren't trouble enough, Apple Computer Inc. said Friday it is facing several federal lawsuits, including one alleging the company created an illegal monopoly by tying iTunes music and video sales to its market-leading iPod portable players.

The case, filed July 21, is over Apple's use of a copy-protection system that generally prevents iTunes music and video from playing on rival players. Likewise, songs purchased elsewhere aren't easily playable on iPods.

The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages and other relief. The court denied Apple's motion to dismiss the complaint on Dec. 20.

Another lawsuit, filed Nov. 7, alleges that the logic board of Apple's iBook G4 fails at an abnormally high rate. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages. In a filing with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple said its response to the complaint is not yet due.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also disclosed that PhatRat Technology LLC filed a lawsuit Oct. 24 alleging patent infringement. The Nike-iPod product in question, developed jointly with Nike Inc., allow runners to keep track of how far and how fast they've gone. The company's response to the complaint is not yet due.

Separately, Apple is facing a securities lawsuit accusing the company and some of its current and former officers of improperly backdating stock-option grants, failing to properly account for them and making false financial statements. Defendants responses to the complaint are not yet due.

The lawsuits, many of which seek class-action status, were disclosed in Apple's delayed regulatory filing with the SEC.

The company cleared Chief Executive
Steve Jobs and the rest of its current management of misconduct involving the stock-option practice, despite Jobs' awareness of favorable grant dates. The company restated past earnings Friday as a result of its three-month probe.

Apple shares rose about 4.9 percent to close at $84.84 Friday on the Nasdaq Stock Market following the announcement.
post #2 of 10
It seems success is followed by punishment, or when you grow tall, there are those who will want to trip you. But we don't live in a perfect world, there are those who just think we (us, them, everybody) should be perfect.
post #3 of 10
This shouldn't be in Portable Audio, no offense
post #4 of 10
lawsuits like this existed long ago... this isn't a new thing....

class-action lawsuits for failure are a good thing, however i don't agree with the fact that lawyers sometimes create these cases and look for plaintiffs....


the rule regarding iTunes is ridiculous because EVEN before Apple had any significant market share they have had a completely vertical business model.... they control every aspect of the experience because it allows them to produce a better product "that just works"

i don't think in this instance it is monopoloistic because they had this model well before they had market share.

i think the fact that they don't have FLAC support is monopolistic.... there was absolutely no need for a proprietary lossless format except to provide DRM and since there is nothing for sale in lossless with DRM there is no need.
post #5 of 10
i read about a couple cases in the zunescene forums where they won about this issue and its supposed to be "the end of drm" for that part of the world. if this goes through and wins then we wont have to deal with that crap

just sort of like the recent case of someone suing harddrive manufacturers over "false advertising" of the amount of space on the harddrives and that was successful. im sure there is going to be a shift within the next few months regarding the way harddrives are advertised but nothing thats going to be like...wow that was a change
post #6 of 10
i bet when they are forced the withdraw their copyritten files, the RIAA will sure them because their files have no copyright potection

is no one ever happy?
post #7 of 10
Everybody sues everybody. It's the American way.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by intlplby View Post
i think the fact that they don't have FLAC support is monopolistic.... there was absolutely no need for a proprietary lossless format except to provide DRM and since there is nothing for sale in lossless with DRM there is no need.
Can you elaborate on this please? I'm not seeing how the creation of Apple Lossless is a monopolistic action. (Not trying to flame, I'm really curious.)
post #9 of 10
How can they be sued for creating a monopoly with itunes and the ipod if pretty much every other company that makes an mp3 player does the exact same thing?? Is it apple's fault that they have the system that caught on?
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003 View Post
How can they be sued for creating a monopoly with itunes and the ipod if pretty much every other company that makes an mp3 player does the exact same thing?? Is it apple's fault that they have the system that caught on?
It's about market share. Windows has most of the desktops out there - well over 70% - so it's a "monopoly" even though there are other viable options out there such as OS X or if you like it, Linux.

Apple currently owns the portable DAP market. It will take someone a long time as well as deep pockets - even MS - to unseat Apple. Apple's iPod with its corresponding iTunes software, like MS with Windows and its APIs and things like Explorer, are considered a somewhat "closed" system.

So it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Quote:
i think the fact that they don't have FLAC support is monopolistic.... there was absolutely no need for a proprietary lossless format except to provide DRM and since there is nothing for sale in lossless with DRM there is no need.
Not supporting FLAC is not monopolistic. Hell, most DAPs don't support it (Zune, Kenwood's, Sony, etc.). Same for OGG. How Apple has gone about their business is the core of the issue, not codec support. Codec support is an easy target. The <insert player here> does not support <insert codec here>.
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