Antitrust lawsuit against Apple's iPod, iTunes ecosystem may lack plaintiff

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2014
In what could prove to be a major development in a class-action lawsuit involving Apple's iPod and iTunes, new court documents filed on Thursday reveal Apple is questioning whether a class even exists.


Evidence of plaintiff's 2010 iPod touch purchase, outside of case's time limit.


A letter from Apple to presiding Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers notes both plaintiffs named in the case have not produced evidence showing they owned an iPod purchased within the suit's effective September 2006 to March 2009 time period, reports The New York Times. The filing was entered at midnight and has been sealed from public viewing.

Apple is accused of creating a monopoly with FairPlay digital rights management (DRM), the iPod and the iTunes Music Store. As stipulated by plaintiffs, the class includes individuals and businesses who bought iPod classic, iPod shuffle, iPod touch or iPod nano models between Sept. 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009.

In its letter to Judge Gonzales Rogers, Apple said it researched the serial numbers of plaintiff Mariana Rosen's iPod and found the device was purchased in July 2009. Court documents show Rosen bought a 15GB iPod and a 30GB "video iPod" for personal use, as well as an iPod mini as a gift.

The second plaintiff, Melanie Tucker, is asserting a 32GB iPod touch purchased in 2010, a 20GB iPod purchased in April 2005 and an "iPod video."

"I am concerned that I don't have a plaintiff," Judge Gonzales Rogers said. "That's a problem."

The jurist plans to look into the matter independently, while plaintiffs' attorney Bonny Sweeney said she had not seen the documents provided by Apple and would respond later Thursday.

In its case against Apple, the class is seeking $350 million in damages, an amount that could be tripled to over $1 billion under U.S. antitrust laws.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    "I am concerned that I don't have a plaintiff," Judge Gonzales Rogers said. "That's a problem."

    [B][I]Yee-sus Marta![/I][/B]

    Via Gruber:

    [QUOTE]WSJ: ‘Apple Deleted Rivals’ Songs from Users’ iPods’ ?
    This strikes me as a terribly misinformed article. This had nothing to do with rival music stores’ music files, and everything to do with rival music stores’ DRM. The plaintiffs in this class action suit are, from what I’ve read, deliberately blurring the lines to conflate the two.

    Apple:
    [LIST]
    [*] Only ever supported one DRM format: FairPlay. They never licensed FairPlay to other device makers or music stores, and never supported any other DRM format in iTunes or on iPods.
    [*] Always supported non-DRM music — in MP3 and AAC formats — on both iTunes and iPods.
    [*] Included DRM on iTunes Music Store tracks at the insistence of the record labels. As famously made clear in Steve Jobs’s “Thoughts on Music” open letter in 2007, Apple wanted to sell DRM-free music tracks, and, once the record labels allowed them to, they did just that.
    [*] The thing with Real Networks is that they backwards-engineered FairPlay in 2004, and Apple responded by closing the loopholes Real exploited. If Real had sold DRM-free MP3 files, Apple wouldn’t have done anything. Amazon’s music store has always sold music in plain no-DRM MP3 format, and those files have always worked perfectly with iTunes and iPods.
    [*]
    [/LIST]

    http://daringfireball.net

    [/QUOTE]
  • Reply 2 of 61
    jmncljmncl Posts: 42member
    These were two stooges that Real picked up (probably paid) to file this... what a surprise..
  • Reply 3 of 61
    Throw the book at the involved law firm. This is an abuse of the legal system (even more so than ever) if true.
  • Reply 4 of 61
    Details details
  • Reply 5 of 61
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    This is going to get tossed out.

  • Reply 6 of 61
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    Throw the book at the involved law firm. This is an abuse of the legal system (even more so than ever) if true.

    I couldn't agree more. All court costs and damages.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member

    That's pretty funny.  It's normally not a great idea to keep 9+ years of specific customer data like that, but I guess in this case it may pay off.

  • Reply 8 of 61
    As much as it would be great to have the law firm bringing the suit get its ass kicked for fraud, they'll simply claim their client did not tell them the truth and they'll walk away, a few dollars lighter for what they spent working the bogus case, but that will be about it.

    The American legal system is rife with fraud and it's difficult to separate and point fingers at either those hiring the attorneys, or the attorneys themselves.
  • Reply 9 of 61
    Frivolous lawsuit can result in sanction imposed against their lawyers.
  • Reply 10 of 61
    a) Wow
    b) Apple has incredible counsel. This seems elementary, but I can see many firms missing it.
  • Reply 11 of 61
    davendaven Posts: 466member
    To quote Texas governor Rick Perry, "Oops!"
  • Reply 12 of 61
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Carthusia View Post



    a) Wow

    b) Apple has incredible counsel. This seems elementary, but I can see many firms missing it.



    Let's go 1 step further and postulate that Apple's council knew this 10 years ago and let the opposition waste their time for a decade.  Apple can have the suit dismissed at will so let it drag on.

     

    Now let's see the opposing lawyers find real plaintiffs and start the 10 years over....  

     

    Apple:

    "Oh btw.. we know all your arguments now."

  • Reply 13 of 61
    jmgregory1 wrote: »
    As much as it would be great to have the law firm bringing the suit get its ass kicked for fraud, they'll simply claim their client did not tell them the truth and they'll walk away, a few dollars lighter for what they spent working the bogus case, but that will be about it.

    The American legal system is rife with fraud and it's difficult to separate and point fingers at either those hiring the attorneys, or the attorneys themselves.

    Tort reform ...

    Tho, AIR, in The Merchant of Venice it was common/expected for the litigants to buy the judges ...
  • Reply 14 of 61
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    You mean they didn't have a picture of their iPod with their name watermarked as a proof?!

    :D
  • Reply 15 of 61
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    :lol: this comical lawsuit just got funnier.
  • Reply 16 of 61
    nasserae wrote: »
    You mean they didn't have a picture of their iPod with their name watermarked as a proof?!

    :D

    Yeah ...

    Where's the old (I forget his name) troll -- who bad-mouthed Apple at every opportunity -- then justified his comments by posting images of the 9 (or so) different iDevices he owned, but was criticizing?
  • Reply 17 of 61
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    Apple's success attracts every miscreant looking to make a buck.

    It's the same with all of them, they all involve an incredibly spun version of events that paint apple as an evil monolith.

    Then we don't hear anything for a few years... only to see that the case was either dropped, or in this case lacking a plaintiff.

    This is all before the case is even heard. In this case iPods never prevented 3rd party music stores. This is about one proprietary format trying to hack into the framework of another. The idea of spinning this as anti-trust is so far beyond absurd that analogies are unnecessary.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post



    As much as it would be great to have the law firm bringing the suit get its ass kicked for fraud, they'll simply claim their client did not tell them the truth and they'll walk away, a few dollars lighter for what they spent working the bogus case, but that will be about it.



    The American legal system is rife with fraud and it's difficult to separate and point fingers at either those hiring the attorneys, or the attorneys themselves.

    Except, in their filing Apple asked: "In addition to the requests outlined above, we also request that Plaintiffs’ counsel provide information on destruction of relevant records

    of class purchases."

    Obvious question is, who has those records? If the law firm (which likely organized this trillion dollar "payday" for themselves) researched their 'clients' 

    and holds those documents, and, in fact destroyed them, they become more than misinformed by client, but probably by their law school teacher 

    who neglected to tell them the cost of destroying evidence, copies of which Apple has. BOOM.

  • Reply 19 of 61
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post

     

    That's pretty funny.  It's normally not a great idea to keep 9+ years of specific customer data like that, but I guess in this case it may pay off.


    Wondering on what you are basing your opinion about length of time a major tech corporation in a market rife with possible litigants, should hold records? What is the proper time, assuming you have some legal understanding of civil lawsuits?

     

    In this case it could turn out to be a billion dollar idea to keep records stored at virtually no cost re their operating expenses. Hmm, do I take your approach or theirs?..Hmmm. lemme see, here...? Do we let you get near the legal department or not? Hmmm...

  • Reply 20 of 61
    Gee, wasn't someone yapping in the other thread about Apple's legal counsel and how "amateur" they were?
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