Apple enters decade-old lawsuit trial with Steve Jobs’ ghost appearing as witness

Apple’s future may be in a $1 trillion valuation, but the company continues to be haunted by its past. Today, a nearly decade-old antitrust lawsuit alleging Apple of monopolizing the digital download market by preventing other media devices from playing music purchased on Apple iTunes Store has gone to trial in California. The lawsuit seeks compensation upwards of $350 million.

Prior to 2009, Apple employed its FairPlay technology, which provided DRM (digital rights management) encryption on songs it sold through iTunes, preventing the songs from being played on anything but iPods. The original complaint was filed in January 2005 by an Apple iTunes Store customer, Thomas Slattery, who alleged that Apple’s limitations on how users can play music they purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store “forced” him to purchase an iPod. Slattery was not alone in his gripe with Apple, as record label execs also disliked their artists’ music being limited to iPods, with one anonymously informing CNET they “hate the current situation.”

Apparently, in court, time is flexible, and it appears anyone’s past can be manipulated against their will, even the dead. Apple founder/visionary/creative lifeblood Steve Jobs will have his old emails used against Apple in order to demonstrate that the company “took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers,” according to Bonny Sweeney, the lead plaintiffs’ lawyer. One of the documents that will reportedly be used is a 2003 email in which Jobs made sure iPods would not be compatible with the MusicMatch download store. A 2011 deposition Steve Jobs recorded for the trial six months before his October 5, 2011 death will also reportedly come into play.

The lawsuit covers specific iPods purchased between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009. Five months before the original January 2005 complaint against Apple, RealNetworks was embroiled in a heated battle with Apple over RealNetwork’s Harmony technology, which allowed users to play music downloaded from their music store on any portable media device, including iPods. The matter didn’t come to fisticuffs, but Apple hit RealNetwork with the “hacker” label, claimed the Harmony technology was an attempt to “break into the iPod.” Apple updated its software in December 2004 to prevent RealNetwork-purchased songs from being playable on iPods.

Apple removed the DRM encryption for all of the songs in its library four years later in April 2009, requiring iTunes users who purchased DRM-encrypted songs from their store to pay .30 cents per song to upgrade it to its DRM-less version.


Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find for the latest MacOS and how they can help out your…

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Keep those albums sounding great by converting your vinyl to a digital format

There are all sorts of reasons for ripping records and storing them digitally, but what's the best way to do it? We cover the different types of equipment and software available for ripping records at any price in this guide.
Home Theater

No subscription, no problem. Free Spotify users can soon use Spotify Connect

Spotify Connect, which allows users to stream their favorite tunes to any Connect-enabled speaker, has long been one of the best premium-only features on the Swedish streaming service. Soon, free users will get it too.

A wealth of rich tunes: Cash in with the best songs about money

There may not be as many songs about money as there are songs about love, but it's a close second. If you're looking for a skrilla-inspired playlist, check out our picks for the best songs about money.
Smart Home

How’s your Spanish, Alexa? Some Amazon Echo devices pick up a new language

Amazon's Alexa voice assistant and Echo devices are now available for customers in Mexico. Alexa has been customized for the Mexican market with local knowledge, a new voice, and support for the Spanish dialect spoken in Mexico.

New Tidal app will bring a wave of music to your Samsung smartwatch

Tidal fans now have another way to enjoy their music collection. The Tidal app is coming to Samsung wearables, including the Samsung Galaxy Watch, Gear Sport, and more. Tidal will also be bringing its wearable app to other devices.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…

The best new music this week: Charles Bradley, Muse, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Charles Bradley, J Mascis, Muse, and Smino.
DT Daily

Hip-hop artist Rakeem Miles talks musical upbringing, ‘Dante’s Toys’

Rakeem Miles may be best known for his musical endeavors, but he's looking to change that with his forthcoming animated show. On Monday's DT Daily, we discuss Miles' origins, what drives his passions, his favorite superhero, and more.

Music to our ears: Spotify at long last arrives on the Apple Watch

Spotify subscribers are now able to jam out to their favorite tunes on their favorite workout accessory, as the Swedish streaming service has finally released its official Apple Watch app.