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Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the I've-seen-this-episode-already dept.

Music 370

An anonymous reader writes "Twelve years ago Bill Gates had to deal with lawyers questioning him in regards to the Microsoft antitrust case. Now it might be that other tech mogul's turn. Steve Jobs has been ordered to answer questions regarding Apple's iTunes music monopoly. From the article: 'US Magistrate Judge Howard Lloyd, based in San Jose, California, ruled on Monday that lawyers representing the plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit may question Jobs for a total of two hours. Apple may appeal the decision. A company spokeswoman declined to comment, while attorneys for the plaintiffs did not respond to requests for comment.'"

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Bad guys (-1, Troll)

jijok (2024576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592902)

I think we all see it finally - Apple and Google are the new bad guys. Even Microsoft looks like a saint compared to them.

Re:Bad guys (3, Insightful)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592998)

Exactly, that bastard Steve forced the record companies to accept his tyrannical 99 cent pricing policy and allow me to burn purchased songs to CD's where they can be ripped back to MP3 free of the restrictions! We must end his monopoly on rights restricted downloadable music for the iPod! Other companies MUST be free to sell us restricted license music & video for our iPods! Unite!

Re:Bad guys (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593420)

I know that you jest, but "[forcing] the record companies to accept his tyrannical 99 cent pricing policy" sounds like something that someone in a monopoly position could do.

Also, while I'm no iTunes expert, I'm pretty sure that you can convert your Apple music to mp3s. My wife does it somehow.

Re:Bad guys (4, Informative)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593556)

Also, while I'm no iTunes expert, I'm pretty sure that you can convert your Apple music to mp3s. My wife does it somehow.

Only because Apple was able to convince the RIAA to drop the DRM restrictions... Apple was certainly not alone in that, but they did fight the good fight for us in terms of removing DRM on music, even though the associated lock-in was working in their favor to keep people using iTunes/iPod. Unfortunately I see no pressure to do the same with TV/Movies they sell through iTunes, as much as I would like to buy TV a la carte and watch it on my Linux media center. (Hacked AirPlay developments not withstanding)

Re:Bad guys (4, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593496)

Exactly, that bastard Steve forced the record companies to accept his tyrannical 99 cent pricing policy and allow me to burn purchased songs to CD's where they can be ripped back to MP3 free of the restrictions

Points which are irrelevant to the antitrust case in question. Back in 2004, RealPlayer could be used to transfer FairPlay compatible music to the ipod. Apple said "We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod, and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws." After that, Apple changed the firmware to break the RealPlayer generated files.

If the Zune had reached 74% market share, and Apple had responded by adding the capability to download itunes music to the Zune, and Microsoft then broke that and blocked Apple from the market, you would be outraged. This is no different.

Re:Bad guys (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593616)

It's hard to describe how much Real hate I'm overcoming in order to say: That's pretty shitty.

Re:Bad guys (0)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593058)

There is nothing that ties you to buying music from iTunes and you don't even have to use to get music onto your iPod yet Microsoft has abused its position many times to gain an advantage. The lastest being making Bing the default search engine in their browser they attempt to force onto people. What's worse is when Bing shortly came out my settings for both Firefox and IE were switched to Bing.

That is abusing your market position in one area to gain power in another. Providing one of many options to buy music is not.

Re:Bad guys (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593130)

most of itunes is DRM free now anyways.

Re:Bad guys (2, Insightful)

TheSeventh (824276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593196)

Or how about Apple's monopoly on the iPhone/iPad apps?

Want to develop software that the iPhone already provides? Good luck. Your own browser version? It's possible, but it'll be slow because only Safari can be fast, and that's how Jobs wants it. Your own email client? Maybe, maybe not. Their rules for letting apps competing with stock applications into the App store aren't really that clear, regardless of what their criteria actually says.

Haven't they learned anything from all of Microsoft's troubles? Or does Jobs think he's immune to all of that nonsense because Apple Lovers don't complain much. Whatever Apple does is the right way to do it. Pass the Kool-Aid please.

Re:Bad guys (0)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593408)

Or how about Apple's monopoly on the iPhone/iPad apps?

You're supposed to have a "monopoly" over your own products. McDonald's controls where you can get Big Macs from, Microsoft controls where you can get Xbox 360 games from, Safeway controls what they stock in their stores, and Apple controls where you can buy iOS apps from.

Haven't they learned anything from all of Microsoft's troubles?

"Troubles"? You mean both companies being wildly successful? We should all be so lucky to have such problems!

Or does Jobs think he's immune to all of that nonsense because Apple Lovers don't complain much.

Um... they don't complain all that much because they aren't bothered by things that irk you. That's why they are Apple users in the first place. You basically just tried to make the fact that people are happy with Apple seem like a bad thing.

Whatever Apple does is the right way to do it. Pass the Kool-Aid please.

You know, just because people have different opinions than you, that doesn't make them cultists. In fact, *you're* the one making a moral/ethical plea with regards to how Apple manages their iOS ecosystem, if you want to go down this "kool-aid" road...

Re:Bad guys (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593550)

Or how about Apple's monopoly on the iPhone/iPad apps?

Uh, yeah, this argument doesn't really carry any water until you set your sights on Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.

Re:Bad guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593128)

Do you realize that because of you, /. accounts above 2M are now assumed to be trolls? You had a good run, but it's finally over. Go away.

Re:Bad guys (1, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593246)

Microsoft hate is too firmly infused in my being to make them a saint.

I can not imagine a world where I can not swear at, derride, and hate M$.

I thought it was a compulsary part of the /. account requiremnts.

Verb conjugation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592932)

Is it just me, or does the person who wrote this title not understand how to properly use the past tense?

Re:Verb conjugation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593038)

How will you expect the editors to took the time to conjugated verbs properly, when there's flamebait to will have been posted?

Ad revenues, man! Slashdot needed / needs / will need / will have needed / had needed / is needing / to need them!

Re:Verb conjugation (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593202)

How will you expect the editors to took the time to conjugated verbs properly, when there's flamebait to will have been posted?

This is like the "Inception" of sentences, except I stayed awake until the end.

Re:Verb conjugation (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593298)

Obligatory HHGG reference: It wioll haven be posted?

Re:Verb conjugation (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593628)

Your English teacher is / was / will be disappoint.

Re:Verb conjugation (2)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593308)

They went ahead and put past tense for when the editors dupe this article in a month.

Re:Verb conjugation (1)

dunng808 (448849) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593322)

More impotantly, there is nothing of interest here, even for nerds. The Jobs is going to be questioned. Oh gosh. Start those fies burning, we're gonna roast him.

Right.

Let us know when you have the transcripts. That will be stuff that matters.

Unlike Gates (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592940)

Unlike Gates, which had a poor implementation of an OS, Jobs has a good implementation of an App/Audio store.

Re:Unlike Gates (3, Insightful)

jijok (2024576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592956)

If Windows wasn't a good OS, why are everyone using it?

Re:Unlike Gates (1, Informative)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593018)

A combination of history, good marketing, vendor lock in, agressive business practise, a few other sprinklings of fairy dust and mostly a public who know no better.

Re:Unlike Gates (4, Funny)

TheFlamingoKing (603674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593044)

Wait, are we talking about Microsoft or Apple now?

Re:Unlike Gates (4, Insightful)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593108)

mostly a public who know no better.

I would argue that this applies to iTunes as well.

Re:Unlike Gates (0, Flamebait)

d3vi1 (710592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593050)

If Windows wasn't a good OS, why are everyone using it?

Who's everyone? While Windows market share is still huge, I'm not considering it dominant anymore. Don't look at MacOS when you look at the ratios, look also at iPad, iPhone and whatever else. The tablets will eventually become at least as common as the PCs and Apple kicks arse for now, smart-phones are taking care of more of our needs than ever before and the iPhone is doing well and Android is doing excellently. Slowly we are getting to a point where the PC is not required anymore. For average users a NAS, a PS3/Apple_TV/XBox360 and a tablet are everything that they need at home. PCs are slowly fading from their dominant position and we don't have Windows on any of the devices that I mentioned before.

Re:Unlike Gates (3, Insightful)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593230)

You certainly make a good point about how there are a lot of devices that can / could handle general computing tasks that are not "PCs" (such as tablets and phones) and that those generally don't run Windows. However, today, most of those devices are still considered secondary devices - and many of them require a PC or Mac in order to get their updates. This will change, and not all of them require it. But - right now - most of them are ancillary devices. For example, most updates for the iPhone require it be tethered to a PC / Mac in order to get them. In the Android world, many phones do OTA updates (like my Motorola Droid), but my Wife's HTC Aria just got an update to 2.2.2 and it had to be applied tethered to a PC (not a Mac) and was a wipe and load. I do believe that it won't be too long before most of these devices dispense with that tethered connection. Today though I have to consider a lot of them as secondary devices - and unlike Steve Jobs I can't call them "post PC devices" when they still require a PC / Mac in order to get updates.

Re:Unlike Gates (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593250)

For average users a NAS, a PS3/Apple_TV/XBox360 and a tablet are everything that they need at home.

So much for convergence. ;-)

Re:Unlike Gates (1, Informative)

camcorder (759720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593056)

Because MS abuses its monopolistic status. You can't migrate over other operating system easily, even if you can. There're still too many incompatibilities. For almost every implementation of technology now there's a classification of Unix-based couple of OS and Windows ones (which was actually Unix based at the beginning). MS diverged its operating system too much and never released any reliable specs for considerably long time to cause vendor lock-in. Not any other implementation could ever existed apart from theirs...

Enough?

Re:Unlike Gates (2)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593378)

How on earth was Windows "UNIX" based? Home windows (the line beginning with 1.0) certainly wasn't, and if anything NT was OS/2 based. If you are referring to the POSIX subsystem... you can still install the UNIX Subsystem in Windows 7... And you damn well can migrate to another OS easily, so long as your data is readible in both systems. Which largely is going to depend on software, but it's not exactly surprising if some niche software you depend on isn't avaliable. Especially if you're dealing with a closed-source blob, your rant on UNIX compatibility (assuming that you are talking about the same POSIX subsystem/UNIX subsystem that actually exists) wouldn't even help you because POSIX compatibility doesn't mean binary compatibility.

Re:Unlike Gates (1, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592968)

You think iTunes is *good*?

You must lead a sheltered life.

Re:Unlike Gates (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593034)

Then you are free to use Amazon's service (and I guess there may be others).

I'm not really sure how they have a monopoly, when it's dead simple to opt for Amazon, instead. I use iTunes as my player and it's the most convenient podcast client I've found (because I listen to a lot of them), but I've never bought a single song on iTunes. I save that for Amazon. Better quality. Better prices. Re-downloadable. No DRM.

They may have some shitty business practices, when it comes to the operation of their app stores and itunes stores, but they have almost single-handedly kept music from being tied to nothing more than CDs for another twenty years, which is what would have happened if they hadn't leveraged against the music industry to strong-arm them into the 21st century, as they bit and kicked every inch of the way.

Re:Unlike Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593252)

I'm not really sure why people say Microsoft have a monopoly, (sic for extraneous comma) when it's dead simple to opt for Linux/BSD/etc, (again, extraneous comma) instead.

Ok, those extraneous commas I had to make use of to lampoon a 4digit UID poster really truly annoy the living shit out of me.

Re:Unlike Gates (2)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593448)

Does iTunes ever get bundled with anything... e.g. a different piece of apple software or maybe some products?

And are you ever required to use the interface for anything to do anything even if it's free. say maybe a bit like internet explorer?

do they have any kind of exclusive deals with anyone, do they lock people in or out.

Do they in any other way abuse the trust of people?

Re:Unlike Gates (0)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593462)

You think someone with an opinion on technology different from yours is ignorant? You must be a geek.

Re:Unlike Gates (2, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592994)

I never realized that "good" was a synonym for "buggy, bloated, restrictive piece of shit."

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592962)

There's an iTunes version of Monopoly?

Re:Whoa, Whoa, Whoa... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593438)

Why would you buy a $20 board game when you can buy a $500 device that lets you play board games?

"I don't remember" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593000)

What's the point. He will conveniently forget the dodgy decisions, or they'll be off record. We all know what Apple are like, they're not going to hand themselves, not unless it's a typical gay sexual practice out of hours.

Re:"I don't remember" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593116)

You need to become a /. editor. The beauty of your words, just grouped together in nonsensical ways. It's just awesome.

Re:"I don't remember" (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593328)

You need to become a /. editor. The beauty of your words, just grouped together in nonsensical ways. It's just awesome.

Member, editor. It's all such a thin fuzzy line.

Re:"I don't remember" (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593594)

Member, editor. It's all such a thin fuzzy line.

Rejoice: a new oxymoron is born.
(thin line - accidentally cross it because it takes no time, but very well defined. Fuzzy line - is non-trivial to cross but, being fuzzy, there is no way to tell the exact moment one actually crossed it) .

/. editors - they do get paid, while members don't, isn't it?

Re:"I don't remember" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593264)

What's the point. He will conveniently forget the dodgy decisions, or they'll be off record.

What dodgy decisions? Apple's contracts with the record companies say they must potect the DRM, Fairplay, used to enforce the record companies IP. Real Networks showed they had broken that DRM by demonstrating in a very public way their ability to encode songs using the Fairplay DRM system. Apple was legally required to make the changes and force competitors to either make their products unencumbered or not playable on the iPod. They have stated this publically, if someone reveals an email showing that Apple was secretly happy the record companies had trapped themselves this way, who is really going to be surprised?

How is iTunes a monopoly? (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593010)

Are people dumb enough not to be using Amazon for music? Even then what actually ties you to buying music from iTunes? Hell what ties you to using iTunes to get music on your iPod? I'm doing quite well without it on my Linux machine.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (4, Funny)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593052)

Only iTunes can place rights restricted music using the native "Fairplay" DRM on the iPod. That is how it is a monopoly. Everybody else has to use unrestricted formats.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (3, Insightful)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593066)

Only iTunes can place rights restricted music using the native "Fairplay" DRM on the iPod. That is how it is a monopoly. Everybody else has to use unrestricted formats.

Yeah, wow. That's really stifling competition.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (2, Insightful)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593224)

Only iTunes can place rights restricted music using the native "Fairplay" DRM on the iPod. That is how it is a monopoly. Everybody else has to use unrestricted formats.

Yeah, wow. That's really stifling competition.

If you want to purchase music from an artist or label that refuses to sell in an unrestricted format, then the iTunes store is your only avenue, short of (illegally?) ripping the music from a CD. Need an example? Try buying a Beatles MP3 on Amazon. It's all cover bands.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (5, Informative)

krizoitz (1856864) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593270)

Ripping from a CD is not illegal in any way shape or form if you own the CD and rip it for your own use. Apple has supported this method for a LONG time. iTunes isn't a monopoly. 1) You can get music off CD's and rip it 2) You can get Mp3's off Amazon 3) You can put music from either source (or any other compatible, i.e. non-DRM'd MP3, AAC, WAV etc.) on your iPod 4) You can put non-DRM'd iTunes music on other devices 5) The only reason music on iTunes was ever/is now DRM'd is because the labels demand it, Steve Jobs has been very vocal about non-DRM'd music being the right choice.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593610)

Can a user download DRMed music from a company that isn't Apple and put it on their ipod? I don't even know why people are bothering to argue this point - Apple blatantly does have a monopoly on being able to produce FairPlay compatible files for iPods. The real question is whether the courts will decide that this monopoly, and Apple's behaviour in blocking RealPlayer's FairPlay converter, is enough to invoke antitrust law.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1, Informative)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593514)

That's not how the word "monopoly" works. If iTunes was the only place to buy music, it could be a monopoly. Just because some artists are exclusive to one store does not make that store a monopoly.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

marblesbot (1750136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593084)

It took me a second, but ePhil_One, you are hilarious!

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593088)

Personally I consider that a positive thing rather than a negative thing.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

uglyduckling (103926) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593090)

Wow that's the best bit of anti-logic I've heard for weeks.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593094)

Umm... iTunes music has been unencrypted for years now.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593380)

Umm... iTunes music has been unencrypted for years now.

The lawsuit covers Real Networks attempt to compete with Apple using their own Fairplay DRM to protect the digital music they were selling, before the music labels had agreed to allow unrestricted sales. Its quite arguable that this has quite a lot to do with WHY Apple can now sell unrestricted music, because the only other real options were giving 80% of the market to Apple/iTunes or forcing Apple via lawsuits like this one to place music industry controlled DRM codec onto iPods alongside their own.

Today's reality has little to do with it.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

sodul (833177) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593110)

Everybody else has to use unrestricted formats.

That's good then.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (2)

TheFlamingoKing (603674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593186)

That sound you hear is the woosh of ePhil_One's comment going over the heads of most of these respondents. Must we actually use sarcasm tags?

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (3, Funny)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593400)

No, of course not. Slashdotters have no trouble understanding sarcasm.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593606)

Just because it makes no sense doesn't mean he didn't mean it. You have read the posts here, right?

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593342)

iTunes has been completely DRM free for 2 years.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (2)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593564)

Only iTunes can place rights restricted music using the native "Fairplay" DRM on the iPod. That is how it is a monopoly. Everybody else has to use unrestricted formats.

During the time in question, there were multiple DRM restricted music stores. Apple is the sole source of FairPlay DRM, but that's not a monopoly. That's having control over one's own product, which is generally how things are expected to work.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (5, Interesting)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593120)

In your haste to comment, you failed like so many others to READ.

At issue is a piece of software called Fairplay that allowed only music bought on iTunes to be played on the iPod, according to the complaint.

One competitor, RealNetworks Inc, responded in 2004 by introducing a new technology that would allow customers to play music downloaded from its site on their iPods. But Apple quickly announced a software upgrade to iTunes that once more blocked music from RealNetworks, the complaint charges.

Lloyd said the deposition of Jobs would be limited to questions about the back-and-forth with RealNetworks in 2004.

It's not about buying music from iTunes. It's about Apple killing music from a competing retailer on the iPod.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (2, Insightful)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593204)

That's just Apple refusing to support a DRM scheme other than their own, especially one that essentially broke Apple's DRM.

Unencumbered media would still have loaded onto an iPod just fine. If Real weren't so incompetent, they would've pioneered DRM-free music sales, and might have saved themselves from becoming irrelevant.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

fean (212516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593352)

Not about DRM, about directly transferring music to the iPod, rather than having to go through iTunes.

Nice try, though! (not that I disagree with Real + Broken DRM)

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593368)

In your haste to comment, you failed like so many others to READ.

You must be new here. If you're looking for commentary based on actually based on TFA, than perhaps slashdot is not for you...

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593630)

It's not about buying music from iTunes. It's about Apple killing music from a competing retailer on the iPod.

This assumes Apple has any obligation whatsoever to support third party DRM'd music stores on their iPod. I see no reason why that should be the case.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593126)

Perhaps people are not American enough to use Amazon? I'd be happy to give them my Canadian money for music if they would accept it.

How is Windows a monopoly? (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593140)

Please remember when all that was happening Apple was alive and well selling desktop computers, and Linux had a huge share of the server (particularly web server) market and a sliver of the desktop market.

Yet, MS was still nailed for being a monopoly. Reason is you do not have to have 100% of a market, just the lion's share.

Re:How is Windows a monopoly? (3, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593484)

And technically, just having a "large market share" doesn't mean you're subject to penalties, either.

You have to *abuse* that large market share to unreasonably restrict competition. If you're simply better at what you do than anybody else, and people overwhelmingly choose your product/service, then there's no basis for an antitrust suit. Once you use your dominant position to harm Gateway's or RealNetworks' business, as Microsoft was found to have done.

Antitrust law is intended to encourage competition by making it painful for the big guys to stomp on the little guys who are competing well; it's not intended to punish someone for succeeding in a *legitimate* competition. It's possible to have a large market share without abusing it, though I'm sure it must be awfully tempting.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593222)

What ties them to using iTunes to get music on it is that you can't just put mp3s on these devices like flash drives. You have to do a bunch of database bullshit... in part to reduce battery power later (or that is the excuse, at least). On a jailbroken iPhone you can use PwnTunes to actually scan the drive and import all mp3s found into iTunes so that they will actually fucking play. It's the most goddamn annoying awful thing. And oh, if you want to map your iPhone to a harddrive, that's another issue. You gotta get Expandrive. Yea. It's a bunch of bullshit. If this thing wasn't given to me for free I wouldn't have it.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (1)

fean (212516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593244)

How many commercial applications can copy songs to an iPod?

-none-

Because Apple prevents competition with legal threats. They can't block Linux/Open Source, but they do prevent commercial competition, which is what is illegal. This suit is about the iTunes application, not the music store.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (3, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593454)

How many commercial applications can copy songs to an iPod?

There aren't many, but there are some. Winamp [winamp.com] has been able to since the 5.55 release in March of 2009. It works well, too, I might add.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (5, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593316)

The suit stems largely from the Apple / RealNetworks dispute regarding the Harmony service Real tried to offer, allowing people to buy music from Real, and load it on iPods by re-DRM'ing the track as a "FairPlay-compatible" track. Apple made changes that (deliberately or not) stopped Harmony-purchased tracks from working on an iPod.

I'm not certain that this rises to the level of "antitrust" for several reasons:
1) They weren't under any obligation to license their FairPlay technology to other vendors, and in fact VirginMega actually got shot down by a court in 2004 for that very reason;
2) It's possible that turning a blind eye to how easily FairPlay was reverse engineered by Real could have put Apple afoul of its agreements with the record labels;
3) iPods have *always* allowed (and played) non-DRM'ed MP3/AAC tracks - Real could have sold non-DRM tracks if they wanted to sell for the iPod - eMusic has been doing it for a while now;
4) Real could have built their own iPod competitor, and had a run at the market that way; Microsoft's Zune and Sansa's various portable models both did this;

In short, there was enough competition and choice for consumers on the market that Apple's product decision didn't reasonably constitute "monopolistic" behavior.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593334)

People are stupid...

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593456)

Are people dumb enough not to be using Amazon for music?. .Hell what ties you to using iTunes to get music on your iPod? I'm doing quite well without it on my Linux machine.

Avoiding apple at all costs, my son was gifted a iPod by a family member a few weeks ago. One of the latest 4G devices. Without Jail Breaking the device, there is no way (that I have found) that I can get this to sync to my Ubuntu PC. I have searched forum after forum after forum.

I tried to purchase an Mp3 from amazon, it wanted me to use their default downloader. Which was not compatible with 64 bit linux

So while I don't have to use itunes specifically to use the IPod. . Linux is not an option for it at present

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593578)

Return it and get yourself a Sansa Clip or similar. They work with Linux, and you might even be able to get 2 players for the return price of the single iPod.

Re:How is iTunes a monopoly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593538)

What defines a monopoly is anti-trust legislation. Of course the legislation itself is so vague basically anyone can be defined as a monopoly. Prices are high? obviously you are a monopoly because you are taking monopoly profits. Prices too low? obviously you are a monopoly because you are engaged in predatory pricing. Prices the same as company B? obviously you are a cartel fixing prices. Few competitors in marketplace? obviously you are creating barriers to entry to eliminate competition. More competitors enter the market even as an anti-trust suit goes on? We'll just append them to the suit.

It doesn't matter if a company is actually monopolistic or causing any harm. Most of the anti-trust cases of the last century just made consumers worse off anyway (higher average prices). Governments benefit from additional income from fines and lawyers benefit from more hours to bill everyone. Don't get confused and think that they're doing this for the consumers.

It isn't (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593546)

I only know one person who buys music from iTunes. Everyone else uses other services, rips their own DVDs, or downloads torrents.

Apple is far from having a music monopoly.

But I have always been curious why Apple didn't get sued for getting into the entertainment business. I seem to recall Apple Records of Beatles fame having Apple Computer agree not to get involved in music so that there would be no confusion between the two Apples.

ridiculous (1, Informative)

marblesbot (1750136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593026)

I am not a fan of Apple. ITunes is one of the worst pieces of crap I ever made the mistake of using. However, popularity and lack of research done by users of iTunes does not make a monopoly. Apple makes the software that runs on their hardware. Nobody is forced to use iTunes. As much as I dislike Apple, this is ridiculous.

Re:ridiculous (2)

fean (212516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593184)

OK, because everyone seems to forget this, every time the 'monopoly' work is brought up.

It is not illegal to have a monopoly. It is illegal to abuse a monopoly.

They are not being sued because everyone uses them, they're being sued because they used their monopoly status to limit competition.

Re:ridiculous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593260)

WHAT monopoly status? I'm no fan of Apple or iTunes but there has to be a dozen or more places online to get music, not to mention, um, you know, FROM CDS?

You can't abuse a monopoly status WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE.

This is someone being an asshole to Apple. I would almost bet that now that MS has paid the DOJ to look the other way, they're now paying them to attack others of abusing "monopolies" that don't exist. Talk about TRUE abuse of monopoly power.

Re:ridiculous (1)

marblesbot (1750136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593280)

Apple doesn't have a monopoly.

Re:ridiculous (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593392)

By your definition, neither did Microsoft. Yet they were successfully prosecuted as such.

Re:ridiculous (1)

fean (212516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593424)

It does have a monopoly on software that is 'allowed' to transfer music files onto the iPod.

Others have tried to write software that communicates with the iPod, however Apple quickly changes their schemes and then threatens legal action for reverse engineering.

Having a monopoly on software that you wrote for your hardware is, again, NOT ILLEGAL. However, abusing this status IS ILLEGAL.

Editing Needed... (2)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593042)

Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

Steve Jobs has been ordered to answer questions regarding Apple's iTunes music monopoly.

It wouldn't be a Slashdot headline if it didn't contradict itself in the summary. He is ordered to answer questions. He hasn't been questioned yet.

Re:Editing Needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593136)

Gotta get those search engine hits!

Re:Editing Needed... (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593500)

Not only that but he was wearing a fabulous suit made out of Monopoly. I wonder if that's 3 or 4 buttons....

Article title should be: (1)

Mr. McGibby (41471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593082)

Steve Jobs May Be Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit

CDs (0)

CommanderEl (765634) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593162)

Am I the only person who still buys their music from a record store?

Re:CDs (1)

marblesbot (1750136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593216)

What's a record store?

Re:CDs (1)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593348)

What's a record?

Re:CDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593292)

Hey gramps - I didn't think they let the residents of the 'home' use the computers after six

One of my favorite quotes... (2)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593170)

In a movie, a kid asked the question "What makes America great?"

"Our endless appeals system."

This was the tobacco lobbyist in Thank You for Smoking.

The whole apple music thing has always confused me. Why didn't they go with something already existing? This would make sense, but we know Apple is out to make dollars. By whatever means possible of course.

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593344)

It's off topic but I frelling love that movie.

Like, oh my god. One of my top10 movies of all time. In case the previous sentence didn't tip you off, High Fidelity is No. 1

babys; big fuzz about unprecedented evile fleeing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593182)

not without wrecking/killing some more of us, we're told.

mr. jobs is genuinely ill. no doubt his shysters can negotiate his % of the rising holycost. sheesh. let's make sure we leave our domestic ruling class lifenders to go about their 'business' for us/steve/god? are there only 2 channels?

for the rest of us, that's already been worked out. play-dates. photons. out they go. flying out of windows, with rats in their mouths, using their butts as(s) an ignition/propulsion source, & hoping the rats will consent to fueling the remainder of their 'flight'. chariots? honestly? chosen? yikes

The article title is a troll (2)

sjdude (470014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593278)

The article title reads: "Steve Jobs Questioned In iTunes Monopoly Suit". QUESTIONED??? This hasn't happened yet, so Jobs has not been questionED. Bullshit troll article title.

Fairplay is no longer in use in iTMS music (2)

romanval (556418) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593306)

If it's about Fairplay there's one problem: Apple's has removed Fairplay DRM for all iTunes audio for over 3 years now (5 years for EMI music). And there's never been anything that keeps any iPods (any version) from playing standard MP3's that were bought from other sources.

I need some numbers. (1)

netdigger (847764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593434)

I really can't make a decision on this with out some quantifiable data. We all know that their are other sources to buy digital music. But how much of the digital music market belongs to iTunes? Not only that how do the sales of digital albums and the sale of CDs.

I did find some data saying that iTunes had 80% of the digital market, but it wasn't from a creditable source nor was it dated. For all that I know it could be from 2002 when it was really the only option.

Overview of Antitrust Law Related to Bundling (2)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593622)

People interested in this news item might be interested in this relatively brief overview (considering lawyers' tendency to logorrhea) of antitrust and IP rights bundling put out by the US government. Enjoy! [justice.gov]

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