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Class-action charges Apple with illegally tying iPods to iTunes

post #1 of 120
Thread Starter 
Apple Inc. in a new class-action lawsuit is charged with illegally tying iPods to its iTunes Store in order to forge a monopoly over the digital media market so it can inflate prices, exclude competition, and force consumers to continue to buy into its closed ecosystem.

The 19-page formal complaint, originally filed in a Florida circuit court back in August, has since made its way through a Florida district court to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California upon Apple's request, as similar cases have been pending before a judge in that court for over two years.

The suit was brought about by Florida resident Frederick Black on behalf of all Florida residents who have purchased an iPod or downloaded media from iTunes and faced restrictions, such that they cannot transfer content purchased from iTunes to a non iPod digital music player, nor can they download digital content from other online vendors to their iPods.

Those limitations are not only frustrating, but unreasonable and illegal under Florida's antitrust and unfair trade laws, Black alleges, as consumers who may lose or break their iPod are unable to transfer songs purchased from iTunes to a different brand of player. Therefore they are forced to either purchase another iPod or forgo their right to use content already purchased from the iTunes service.

Music and video content purchased from iTunes comes wrapped in Apple's copy protection layer dubbed Fairplay, which precludes its use on non-Apple hardware products. Although Apple could license the technology to other hardware manufacturers, it chooses not to so that it can continue to limit competition and maintain its monopolistic share of the digital media market, Black alleges.

Similarly, he says, Apple could have licensed the right to use Microsoft's widely deployed Windows Media format or negotiate inter-cooperative agreements to use a copy protection system that is industry-wide, but instead chooses to limit competition and maintain its dominant market share.

Black also charges Apple with intentionally disabling built-in support for the rival Windows Media format from chips used in its earlier iPod models -- such as those from PortalPlayer and SigmaTel -- in order to control what content is available to consumers. The Cupertino-based company's "sufficient economic power" also allows it to "influence the third-party companies who provide the digital content to the online retailers," he adds.

"[Apple], by controlling such a large part of the portable digital media player market, the online music market and the online video market, maintains sufficient economic power in these markets to control consumer pricing in these markets, which has resulted in consumers paying higher prices," Black's attorneys at Tripp Scott wrote in the complaint.

Apple is specifically charged with three formal counts, which include violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act, attempted monopolization in violation of the Florida Antitrust Act, and monopolization in violation of the Florida Antitrust Act.

Apple is "in possesion of monopoly power in the portable digital media player market, the online music market and the online video market and has the power to control prices in these respective markets and has been able to exclude competition from these respective markets," the suit claims. "Through its tying practices, Apple has conducted itself through unfair methods of competition, anticompetitive conduct, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in conduct of trade or commerce."

The suit adds that Apple has done all this with "the purpose of eliminating competition" and that its actions are "not for legitimate business purpose."

Black is seeking damages in excess of $15,000, a court order awarding treble those damages, attorneys' fees, and any further relief the Court may deem proper. He's demanding a trial by jury.
post #2 of 120
You can convert the files to use on any other MP3 players and also convert songs you downloaded from other sources into iTunes no?
post #3 of 120
For shame!!!

I've got an idea... Just don't get other mp3 players
post #4 of 120
So burn your songs to a cd and rip them into the format you choose.

Sue M$ for not selling songs that are compatible.

Apple has kept prices LOWER because of their position, they don't make you pay more - they let you pay less than the big guys want to charge you.

And, if all else fails... DON'T FRIGGEN BUY FROM ITUNES IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!
post #5 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by esp211 View Post

You can convert the files to use on any other MP3 players and also convert songs you downloaded from other sources into iTunes no?

exactly what i was thinking.

i hate how sue-happy america is.

"I'm in an incompetent douche that doesn't know how to hold my coffee so it spilled on my lap and burnt me, I need to sue McDonalds."

"I'm a fat pile of crap that ate a lot of food at a restaurant. It made me fatter and more unhealthy; which I had no idea food could do. I need to sue that fast food chain."

"Apple is succeeding at something and I'm incompetent as to what converting songs is. I need to sue Apple."
post #6 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

So burn your songs to a cd and rip them into the format you choose.

Sue M$ for not selling songs that are compatible.

Apple has kept prices LOWER because of their position, they don't make you pay more - they let you pay less than the big guys want to charge you.

And, if all else fails... DON'T FRIGGEN BUY FROM ITUNES IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!

While he's at it, why didn't he note that there were restrictions on the iPod, if you will? He activated his EULA without reading it? Or didn't know of the above suggestions for usage?

If any of the above are true, he is not competent to use an iPod.
post #7 of 120
What has always confused me about these "lock-in" lawsuits is that why has no one thought to go after video game console manufacturers. If I buy an XBox 360 and dump hundreds of dollars into it for games and Xbox live, then somebody steals the console or it gets toasted in a power surge, then I'm out literally hundreds of dollars in games unless I buy another Xbox 360, but if I decide I might want to try out a Wii, then I'm still out hundreds of dollars. So it's obviously the game manufacturers fault for not making their disks playable across multiple platform, right???

Back on the music side of things, since Apple offers a partially DRM-free catalog, only those songs restricted by the DRM apply to his argument. Also, since they're AAC encoded, wouldn't any player capable of reading the AAC codec play it?
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MacBook Pro 15" 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB HDD
Mac mini 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, 320GB HDD
iPod 5th Generation, 30GB
iPhone 4, 32GB
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post #8 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by dontlookleft View Post

"I'm in an incompetent douche that doesn't know how to hold my coffee so it spilled on my lap and burnt me, I need to sue McDonalds."

That was legit.
post #9 of 120
Oh God, Not this again.....


Once again, You can buy an iPod and put music on it from other online music stores (Not ALL other ones though) and you can play music you download from iTunes on the computer you downloaded it on or other computers with iTunes software. There is NO anti-trust issue here. Not to mention that Apple offers DRM-free music as well.
post #10 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

That was legit.

No one cares
post #11 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

That was legit.

i disagree.
Hard-Core.
Reply
Hard-Core.
Reply
post #12 of 120
I predict this ending in a settlement in which Apple sends out $5 iTunes gift cards to all the members of the plaintiff class, and the lawyers make enough money to buy Miami.

P.S. The McDonald's coffee lawsuit had at least as much merit as this one. But that's not saying much. Careless person + dangerously hot coffee = painful burns, but who is more to blame?
post #13 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShavenYak View Post

P.S. The McDonald's coffee lawsuit had at least as much merit as this one. But that's not saying much. Careless person + dangerously hot coffee = painful burns, but who is more to blame?

Obviously you're not aware of the details. Painful burns... try 3rd degree burns.
post #14 of 120
People who constantly bring up the McDonald' coffee burns incident need to read this page:

http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm
post #15 of 120
This crap again? It's not like Apple is the only company doing this where's the validity?

This is no different than if I were to sue Nikon or Canon because their respective lenses ONLY work on THEIR camera bodies! WTF?!!
post #16 of 120
I have a Zune and can't put my iTunes downloads on it. I'm suing Microsoft and Apple!*




*Complete sarcasm. A Zune? LMAO. Yeah, right.
post #17 of 120
I wonder if this is federal prosecutor Frederick Black that was fired from the Bush administration.
He needs cash !
post #18 of 120
Eh, I'm not worried about it. I'm sure Apple has a Plan A and B for this. I'm sure during iTunes development they took this into consideration.
post #19 of 120
"nor can they download digital content from other online vendors to their iPods."

That's a flat out lie. That's probably blatantly wrong enough to get the whole damn thing thrown out.
post #20 of 120
It never ceases to amaze me how the US system (no automatic payment by loser for winning side's legal expenses) encourages people to sue for being stupid. Not only can you do what he claims you can't do, but it's not even very challenging. The upside to such idiocy is that as the US economy slowly collapses and the US dollar becomes increasingly worthless, the rest of us will get to enjoy a lot more Made in USA labelled goods, which will be a pleasant change from Made in China.
post #21 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Obviously you're not aware of the details. Painful burns... try 3rd degree burns.

Dude. Hot coffee can not give you 3rd degree burns. 2nd degree, definitely, but hot coffee would not cause a charring of the skin, which is the definition of a 3rd degree burn.
post #22 of 120
has anyone spoken to apple tech support lately? Dude its like $ its defenally getting to their heads now, They are rude as hell now before it use to be a joy phoning tech support now its a nightmare, i mean new imac freezing up with sceen condensacion and airport extreme base station with access control letting anyone log to your network, its beginning to be to much for me know
post #23 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by crees! View Post

Obviously you're not aware of the details. Painful burns... try 3rd degree burns.

Then they deserve to only live in "assisted living" facilities and not have a home or an apartment, where you can get all sorts of third degree burns, poison yourself, break bones, fall down stairs, stab yourself with scissors, cut your fingers off with knives in the kitchen, scald yourself with boiling hot water, etc., etc., and etc. The "home" should be "outlawed" in that case -- with a "class action suit" against home-builders and banks and finance companies, rental agencies, apartment management companies (etc.), for even permitting such a thing as a "home" to be built and financed. The "home" is the "most dangerous place" that a person frequents, much less "lives in". "Homes" should be banned permanently...
post #24 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by amerist View Post

Dude. Hot coffee can not give you 3rd degree burns. 2nd degree, definitely, but hot coffee would not cause a charring of the skin, which is the definition of a 3rd degree burn.

Wikipedia defines it as charring, but more reliable sources list charring as only one possible appearance. You're basically saying that it's impossible to get a third degree burn, even from boiling water or steam (which can be even hotter). Call up your doctor and ask him, I'm sure he'd laugh at you if you insist that.
post #25 of 120
Class-action for creating a market where there was previously none? Talk about killing innovation.

Several years ago the Itunes Music Store did not even exist. How were people loading their iPods back then? Exactly. They were buying CDs just like people still do today. People still have that choice, and because they still have a choice there is no basis to the claims of monopolization.

Now the bundling of software and refusal to make it interoperable with other vendors' players is a matter of security for the digital rights management keys. If Apple allowed other vendors to decode fairplay, then the information would have a greater risk of getting in the wrong hands, and therefore, becoming worthless. I think where there is a security issue like that, then antitrust litigation should not even be allowed. that is strictly my opinion, however.

Altogether, I think this case is just another greedy lawyer trying to shake down another successful company who has an innovative product that fills a need and happens to make money at the same time.
post #26 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliakim View Post

Then they deserve to only live in "assisted living" facilities and not have a home or an apartment, where you can get all sorts of third degree burns, poison yourself, break bones, fall down stairs, stab yourself with scissors, cut your fingers off with knives in the kitchen, scald yourself with boiling hot water, etc., etc., and etc. The "home" should be "outlawed" in that case -- with a "class action suit" against home-builders and banks and finance companies, rental agencies, apartment management companies (etc.), for even permitting such a thing as a "home" to be built and financed. The "home" is the "most dangerous place" that a person frequents, much less "lives in". "Homes" should be banned permanently...

That made my day.
post #27 of 120
If you buy MP3s from Amazon.com and use their downloading utility, files will automatically go into iTunes. Therefore, Amazon.com is clearly able to access the iPod through iTunes.

Case dismissed.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #28 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

has anyone spoken to apple tech support lately? Dude its like $ its defenally getting to their heads now, They are rude as hell now before it use to be a joy phoning tech support now its a nightmare, i mean new imac freezing up with sceen condensacion and airport extreme base station with access control letting anyone log to your network, its beginning to be to much for me know

Unfortunately -- if that is happening -- I'm pretty sure I know what's been going on to cause some of that. With the prior group of Macintosh users, they were a pretty self-sufficient group of users, helping each other and figuring out ways to get things done or fixed in a great Apple community. And, now, with the very large "influx" from previous Windows users (who are dumber than dirt with some things) they are amazingly aggravating and idiotic in trying to get normal things taken care of that Macintosh users of old would simply help each other with and slog through those kinds of problems. So, after a person has been on the phone, all day long and weeks on end with such "dumber than dirt" users coming over the from Windows platform, where those "tech guys" want to "keep you dumb" so you can keep paying them money for fixing the idiotic Windows system -- after a while it gets overwhelming for those tech support people dealing with "dumber than dirt".

That's probably the unfortunate truth. It's going to take a while for those dumber than dirt users (those everyday users, not those tech people who get money for fixing things that Mac Users do themselves all the time) to get up to speed and get into the "Macintosh way" of taking care of yourself, independently and with community spirit, working together with one another.
post #29 of 120
Weren't the record labels trying to state that most music on iPods is stolen based on statistics that said, on average, there are only 20 iTunes purchased song on each iPod (presumably comparing numbers of songs sold vs number of iPods sold). Of course, we all know that's BS because for most of us the music came from CDs we previously purchased.

However, by citing those same numbers that there are only 20 iTunes songs on your average iPod, it become trivial that Apple does not have a monopoly on sources of music for your iPod. In fact, they are very much in the minority.

Saying Apple is an illegal monopoly in digital downloads is like saying BP has an illegal monopoly in selling BP gasoline and BP gas stations. The point being that, just like you can get your gas someplace else, you can get your music someplace other than iTunes. (Ok, not the best analogy, but the best I could come up with on short notice!)

If you fracture a market into small enough segements, you can show a monopoly in pretty much anything!
post #30 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by amerist View Post

Dude. Hot coffee can not give you 3rd degree burns. 2nd degree, definitely, but hot coffee would not cause a charring of the skin, which is the definition of a 3rd degree burn.

The whole point of the suit was that McDonald's used to, by policy, keep their coffee scaldingly hot, much hotter than any other industry, and also to use cheaper beans than anyone else. It could, therefore, scald you with 3rd degree burns within x seconds. That's why the jury, which heard the truth of the matter, to find the old lady partially responsible, but to fine the corporation one day's profit on coffee. Please don't think you've heard the facts of the matter from Rush Limbaugh.

I never had trouble understanding this. One early morning years before, I had spilled fresh coffee in my lap, but I wasn't 72 years old, and I was sitting in a booth. I jumped up very fast, and was able to actually pick up my trousers and keep them away from the skin for long enough that I only got first-degree burns. This was an old lady sitting in her car, and she couldn't get up within a few seconds.
post #31 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliakim View Post

Unfortunately -- if that is happening -- I'm pretty sure I know what's been going on to cause some of that. With the prior group of Macintosh users, they were a pretty self-sufficient group of users, helping each other and figuring out ways to get things done or fixed in a great Apple community. And, now, with the very large "influx" from previous Windows users (who are dumber than dirt with some things) they are amazingly aggravating and idiotic in trying to get normal things taken care of that Macintosh users of old would simply help each other with and slog through those kinds of problems. So, after a person has been on the phone, all day long and weeks on end with such "dumber than dirt" users coming over the from Windows platform, where those "tech guys" want to "keep you dumb" so you can keep paying them money for fixing the idiotic Windows system -- after a while it gets overwhelming for those tech support people dealing with "dumber than dirt".

That's probably the unfortunate truth. It's going to take a while for those dumber than dirt users (those everyday users, not those tech people who get money for fixing things that Mac Users do themselves all the time) to get up to speed and get into the "Macintosh way" of taking care of yourself, independently and with community spirit, working together with one another.

Exactly how dumb is dirt?

But seriously, Apple has been courting PC users in a big, big way and they will simply have to account for the extra effort to transition PC users of all levels into the glory that is Mac.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #32 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple Inc. in a new class-action lawsuit is charged with illegally tying iPods to its iTunes Store in order to forge a monopoly over the digital media market so it can inflate prices, exclude competition, and force consumers to continue to buy into its closed ecosystem.

This is just plain stupid, idiotic and the person doesn't deserve to live in "independent living" but in a nursing home with someone feeding him every day. That's the type of mentality that the Macintosh users *do not have* this kind of idiotic thinking. It's because all these "dumber than dirt" Windows users got into the Apple ecosystem that they've carried over their idiotic thinking into the Apple sphere of influence. It's like they can't think for themselves or do anything themselves without call tech support and whining about it. At least the Apple core of long-time users are an independent and self-sufficient lot of users and form a "community of help" with one another and pride themselves on not calling tech support except when absolutely necessary -- and then only to the extent where they can take over from there.

That's the price Apple is paying for suffering with "dumber than dirt" former Windows users. It's going to take a while to get them "up to speed" and independent on their own and out of the mentality that only "tech support" can help them and that they "cannot think for themselves"...

I mean there are so many ways for absolutely *any* kind of music from *any* source to get on the iPod, it's ridiculous to even say that there is a lock-in. The only "lock-in" that exists is in the mind of that kind of user that has "locked in stupidity" on the brain and nothing else.
post #33 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift View Post

This was an old lady sitting in her car, and she couldn't get up within a few seconds.

She belongs in assisted living then, for the frail and infirm, if she can't handle "life" as it is in this world. This is all too stupid for reality, only in the American legal system, which I've lived in all my life and definitely seems to be getting worse by the year...
post #34 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliakim View Post

Then they deserve to only live in "assisted living" facilities and not have a home or an apartment, where you can get all sorts of third degree burns, poison yourself, break bones, fall down stairs, stab yourself with scissors, cut your fingers off with knives in the kitchen, scald yourself with boiling hot water, etc., etc., and etc. The "home" should be "outlawed" in that case -- with a "class action suit" against home-builders and banks and finance companies, rental agencies, apartment management companies (etc.), for even permitting such a thing as a "home" to be built and financed. The "home" is the "most dangerous place" that a person frequents, much less "lives in". "Homes" should be banned permanently...

In your own home, you have the option of turning the temperature of your hot water heater down to a reasonable temperature. You're fully aware of the fact that your knife was just sharpened. Etc.

But in the McDonald's case, the victim had no warning and no reason to suspect that that the coffee McDonald's was selling at the time, as a matter of corporate policy, came out of the pot approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the coffee that comes out of a domestic coffee machine - temperatures that can cause 3rd degree burns in as few as 2 seconds.

Quote:
She belongs in assisted living then, for the frail and infirm,

Do you think you could unbuckle your seatbelt and get out of the car and strip off your pants in less than 2 seconds?
post #35 of 120
All those lawsuits are bs, Apple created an entire new market, they invented the model, they still keep cheap the songs and media they sell, they also changed & extended the way you experience your music in your computer taking it anywhere or home, the concept its not new, but never got as fine as they did.
Ahh! almost forgot... what about the third party UBER market for ipod accesories.

Greedy people all over, what a shame!
post #36 of 120
He's saying that Apple should use Microsoft's proprietary Windows Media format instead of Apple's proprietary DRM, even though Windows Media downloads aren't compatible with Apple computers? Isn't it Microsoft that he should be suing since their music downloads aren't Mac compatible?
post #37 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Exactly how dumb is dirt?

Well, I doubt you find an ounce of intelligence in a dumptruck load... LOL!


post #38 of 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

In your own home, you have the option of turning the temperature of your hot water heater down to a reasonable temperature. You're fully aware of the fact that your knife was just sharpened. Etc.

If they applied the same type of legal thinking in the home (with banks, builders, rental agencies, etc.), the home would resemble an insane asylum room that is padded on all four walls and you are in a strait jacket, and being hand-fed daily. That would be the only way that the banks and home builders and finance agencies and rental agencies could avoid the "like kind of lawsuit" as is exemplified by this stupid coffee lawsuit...
post #39 of 120
But the price of the system is that some people put up stupid lawsuits like this. First of all, you can load up your iPod with something like Senuti. Look at MacUpdate or Versiontracker. If you have WMA on your disk when you buy your iPod, iTunes converts the files to AAC. You can put any mp3 on your iPod as well. You can buy unprotected AAC from iTunes, and Apple would love it to be the only format in the store, as Jobs has said. You can buy mp3 tracks, unprotected, from Amazon and other places, and put it on your iPod.

The only thing you can't do is put protected tracks from other stores on your iPod, because they use Windows-only DRM. Big frickin' deal. I've got a much wider choice of tracks on the iTunes store than any other store. Why are protected tracks sold at all? The whole idea of coming up with ONE common copy protection has been discredited. The way to have common platforms is to end DRM. Nice going, Amazon! I've got your tracks on my iPod. Too bad, Napster, and any other me-two Windows DRM store.
post #40 of 120
I'm actually glad this guy is sueing Apple over this. Companies should start focusing on making the customer happy, not keeping the customer tied to their corperation (and I do have to say, Apple's done a very good job of that with its dedicated FanBoi base... funny how Apple recently has been screwing over said fan base over and over.)

But, note to the wise, burn all your downloaded songs to an audio CD (use a CD-RW to save some money!) and re-encode them as a standard format, say MP3 that everyone can read. That's what I've done... but it takes a bit of time, patience, and can make it seem very backwards.

I do believe the man suing has a legitimate point, and glad he's suing to gain court attention to just how many of these computer companies force you into their ways.

Lets all switch to Linux where we can make our own standards and not pay a dime.
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
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