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Judge denies Apple motion to stay upcoming e-books damages trial

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
In yet another denial of Apple's attempts to halt an impending e-books damages trial, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote on Wednesday shot down two motions for a stay, making it clear she intends to kick off proceedings as soon as possible.

iBooks


Judge Cote's order denying Apple's motions was filed alongside letters from state attorneys general and class plaintiffs, both of which are opposed to further delaying a trial start date.

The jurist noted that the upcoming trial, slated to begin on July 14, was already pushed back once from May 2014 to allow for class notice and pre-trial procedures. She points out that Apple itself asked for class certification to be conducted after the case's liability trial.

In July of 2013, Judge Cote found Apple guilty of colluding with five major book publishers to falsely inflate the prices of e-books sold through its iBookstore. The antitrust case was leveled by the U.S. Department of Justice and resulted in an injunction against Apple and the appointment of external antitrust monitor Michael Bromwich.Plaintiffs in the joint damages case are seeking $280 million in damages, an amount that could be trebled to $840 million if Apple loses.

Following the DOJ action, a joint damages trial was scheduled to commence with plaintiffs including a class of consumers and state attorneys general representing their constituency. Judge Cote granted class status to the group of consumers in March, while the 33 states and territories were allowed in on the suit after Apple lost a bid to prove lack of standing earlier in April.

As for Wednesday's denial, Apple entered its own letter, with attorney Theodore Boutrous formally requesting a ruling on the company's motion to stay as the case is being appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Barring an order, Apple asked for an administrative stay to seek relief before the court disseminated class notice, something Boutrous said would irreparably harm the company.

Eric Lipman, an assistant attorney general for the state of Texas, filed a letter on behalf of state attorneys general suing Apple in a parens patriae capacity. In it, he said the present litigation will proceed regardless of Apple's appeal.

"And Apple has utterly failed to identify the irreparable harm that will arise from the dissemination of notice," Lipman writes, concluding that "the Court should not countenance Apple's latest effort to further delay a jury's determination of the damages caused by Apple's illegal conduct."

The class plaintiffs echoed Lipman in its letter to Judge Cote, saying

From Class Plaintiffs' opposition:

A stay of class notice will almost assuredly delay the July 14 trial. This is simply another
Apple delay maneuver (which the Court rejected previously) - or effort to further balkanize these
proceedings.


Later in the day, Apple sent a separate request to the Second Circuit asking the appellate court to intervene in the damages trial, reports Reuters.

From Apple's filing with the Second Circuit:

The district court is [...] pressing forward with class notice and a trial in both cases in July, despite the irreparable harm to Apple's reputation among its consumers if class notice is disseminated.


In the end, Apple's efforts were for not. Judge Cote will further flesh out her ruling in an opinion to be filed sometime in the near future.

post #2 of 26
Want some job security? Become a lawyer for Apple. They must spend double in legal fees whatever they throw at R&D these days.
post #3 of 26
I asked some of my lawyer friends about the intention of states asking for a damages trial before the appeal and how that would be a waste of taxpayer money.

The state prosecutors want to make a name for themselves and get re-elected
post #4 of 26
This is going to be verrrry expensive. ūüėē
post #5 of 26

There goes that terrible judge again, doing what they do best, ruling against Apple.

 

I don't claim to know much about the inner workings of the legal system, but if Apple loses the DOJ case, then they should take it to the next level and eventually all the way to the top, to the Supreme court, if that's even possible. This kind of case would probably get rejected, as it's probably not important enough for them to hear. E-books is not abortion or race or some other hot button issue. But what if it's government corruption?

 

At least there, Apple would have a better chance at being fairly judged, because there would be multiple judges, and not just get unlucky and get stuck with one particular biased judge, who might be terrible at their job. Not all judges are equally competent, and not all judges are honest or unbiased, just like in any other profession. 

 

I think that the judge should be investigated for possible corruption and conflict of interest, due to their ties with the person who was appointed to monitor Apple. The whole thing strikes me as being shady.

 

I also question the technical competence of the Judge and would like to know what phone they use and how much they know about technology and the internet in general.

 

Too bad that Apple can't cross examine the judge. That should be allowed, in my opinion. Judges have too much power and they shouldn't be immune from having to answer for their actions.

 

I also believe that a probe should be carried out to find out who exactly is behind the whole decision to go after Apple, because there might very well be illegal activity taking place. There has been various incidents taking place in multiple government agencies, where they have shown biases towards certain groups and individuals. The DOJ has been involved in numerous scandals. I can't say that I trust their intentions or their motives.


Edited by Apple ][ - 4/23/14 at 11:45pm
post #6 of 26
And much what you suggested could have been avoided if Apple had used some of that wonga pile for lobbying.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayz View Post

And much what you suggested could have been avoided if Apple had used some of that wonga pile for lobbying.

And what you're suggesting is the most pathetic, vile kind of tactic and thinking.  

 

Drain the swamp that is Washington, don't empower the corruption further.

post #8 of 26
Each time I read about this case I fear that I may suddenly wake up and realize that the price fixing was bad for consumers. It's more like a philosophy to understand that quality books can better be protected against an extortionistic e-monopolist by ensuring healthy profits. But these days everything must be free I guess.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Want some job security? Become a lawyer for Apple. They must spend double in legal fees whatever they throw at R&D these days.

 

Nope, nowhere near it.

 

Apple's lawyers have been extremely profitable based on judgements they have had overturned, judgements they have won and licensing agreements that have been entered into.

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post #10 of 26
In related news, dog bites man.
post #11 of 26

When will Apple remove DRM from iBooks? There's something just wrong about encrypting books, given their key role in advancing the human condition, vs movies, tv and songs, encrypt them if you want.

 

Distributing books is one of the most moral things Apple does.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

When will Apple remove DRM from iBooks? There's something just wrong about encrypting books, given their key role in advancing the human condition, vs movies, tv and songs, encrypt them if you want.

 

Distributing books is one of the most moral things Apple does.

 

When the content creators allow it.

 

Why not fill your library with torrented eBooks?

 

Other people are just slaves so you can get stuff for free, right?

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post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

When the content creators allow it.

 

Why not fill your library with torrented eBooks?

 

Other people are just slaves so you can get stuff for free, right?

You can fill your library with torrented eBooks anyway.  Likewise with movies.  If you want to do that then iTunes having DRM is not going to stop you in any way, shape or form.

 

The point of iTunes is that it's convenient and it's honest, and most (/many/enough) people will buy into that.  Adding DRM into the content just punishes those honest customers by giving them an inferior product.

 

Apple got past this with music, it'd be greatly appreciated if they put greater effort into a push-back on publishers and movie studios to stop wasting everyone's time with this DRM nonsense.

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post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

When will Apple remove DRM from iBooks? There's something just wrong about encrypting books, given their key role in advancing the human condition, vs movies, tv and songs, encrypt them if you want.

 

Distributing books is one of the most moral things Apple does.

 

Apple doesn't require DRM. The publishers are the ones that require it.

 

Don't believe me? Look up any Tor book on iBooks. There is no DRM on their books because, they as the publisher, decided that they didn't require it. Apple thus offers their books without DRM.

 

So, if you don't like DRM, don't get upset with Apple, get upset with the publishers.

post #15 of 26

What the hell, of course Denise Cote shot it down, she's the one who went out of her way to punish Apple. Apple should see if they can go over her head, see if the supreme court would take a look at it, or even maybe Obama.

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post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post
 

What the hell, of course Denise Cote shot it down, she's the one who went out of her way to punish Apple. Apple should see if they can go over her head, see if the supreme court would take a look at it, or even maybe Obama.

 

They are, but it takes time.

 

I'd like to know how the states arrive at these damages, given that $280 million represents a large percentage of the entire eBooks market at the time and that publishers have already sent out refunds to those affected.

 

Judge Cote has refused to listen to any of Apple's arguments and has shot them down at every turn.

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post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

You can fill your library with torrented eBooks anyway.  Likewise with movies.  If you want to do that then iTunes having DRM is not going to stop you in any way, shape or form.

 

The point of iTunes is that it's convenient and it's honest, and most (/many/enough) people will buy into that.  Adding DRM into the content just punishes those honest customers by giving them an inferior product.

 

Apple got past this with music, it'd be greatly appreciated if they put greater effort into a push-back on publishers and movie studios to stop wasting everyone's time with this DRM nonsense.

 

So DRM isn't an issue if you don't want it to be.

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post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post
 

You can fill your library with torrented eBooks anyway.  Likewise with movies.  If you want to do that then iTunes having DRM is not going to stop you in any way, shape or form......

 

 

 ....... Apple got past this with music, it'd be greatly appreciated if they put greater effort into a push-back on publishers and movie studios to stop wasting everyone's time with this DRM nonsense.

Doing something immoral just because you can is still immoral. Are you willing to cheapen your character over the price of a few books ?  If so, then  one must assume you don't think much of yourself ... and that is truly sad.

 

Apple does not, repeat, does not, get to decide what has DRM and what does not. That decision is made by the people who own the publishing rights to the content. Apple only gets to decide what content they are willing to licence and use. Please stop blaming Apple for something they have absolutely no control over. It only looks like trollish behaviour when we do that.

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post #19 of 26

This judge is so crooked it's not funny. She seems to have it in for Apple so much, you'd think Steve Jobs screwed her daughter before he passed or something. And on how many levels does this wreak of conflict of interest that the same judge who was biased against Apple in the original farce of the eBooks trial is now hearing the class-action in the same matter?

 

This is a joke, and just proves in the US there is no law and justice, only payouts and favours.

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post
 

 

Apple doesn't require DRM. The publishers are the ones that require it.

 

Don't believe me? Look up any Tor book on iBooks. There is no DRM on their books because, they as the publisher, decided that they didn't require it. Apple thus offers their books without DRM.

 

So, if you don't like DRM, don't get upset with Apple, get upset with the publishers.

I don't think that's necessarily the case, it's a negotiation, and Apple has some leverage, controlling one of the biggest digital reading platforms out there. They put technical restrictions on apps before they allow them on iTunes (such as sandboxing) and they could put technical requirements on books also (such as no DRM). If Apple wanted to make that stand they could. The publishers could all leave, but they could back down too. It's a negotiation.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post
 

 

When the content creators allow it.

 

Why not fill your library with torrented eBooks?

 

Other people are just slaves so you can get stuff for free, right?

If I had advocated stealing ebooks or forcing producers to remove DRM you could conclude that I don't respect producer individual rights, but I didn't advocate either of those things, I merely expressed a product preference. I wasn't saying Apple should unilaterally remove the DRM, it didn't even cross my mind that a big international company would unilaterally break a contract.

post #22 of 26
As someone who opposed apples actions in that other claim of cartel - the wage fixing - I am totally on their side here. I don't think I've ever heard a case where a vertical player ( one who buys from or is upstream from the other actors) has been accused of a cartel when not a monopoly. It's as if an local goods store was accused of cartel like qualities in a town where Walmart predominated because the store made an agreement to sell above walmart's price.

And why are all the states involved and where is their justification for their absurd losses ( especially as consumers have been reimbursed). It's a shakedown pure and simple.
Edited by asdasd - 4/24/14 at 12:10pm
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post #23 of 26
Why can't Apple request a non biased judge, like Koh?

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post #24 of 26
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post
Why can't Apple request a non biased judge, like Koh?

 

6/10, got a snort out of me.

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Even if [the 5.5‚ÄĚ iPhone exists], it doesn‚Äôt deserve to.
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post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

I don't think that's necessarily the case, it's a negotiation, and Apple has some leverage, controlling one of the biggest digital reading platforms out there. They put technical restrictions on apps before they allow them on iTunes (such as sandboxing) and they could put technical requirements on books also (such as no DRM). If Apple wanted to make that stand they could. The publishers could all leave, but they could back down too. It's a negotiation.

 

No they don't, Apple are blocked from negotiation en masse with the publishers due to this stupid cow of a judge.

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post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Why can't Apple request a non biased judge, like Koh?

A just judge would be even better.

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