Steve Jobs is scheduled to testify in a decade long case against Apple, Inc. on their behalf. The class-action lawsuit concerns Apple’s iPod and the company’s music playing software, FairPlay. It is alleged that Apple tried to control the digital download industry by using a proprietary software.
The original lawsuit was filed in 2005 when iPods would only play music downloaded from iTunes or from a ripped CD. Or music purchased in iTunes could only be played on Apple’s proprietary iPod. Allegedly, this practice falsely drove up the worth of the iPod, allowing Apple to sell them at a higher cost, causing undue harm to loyal customers.
In 2009, Apple, Inc. removed the digital rights management (DRM). The music distribution technology has changed too much with the DRM removed. By removing the DRM, iPods purchased between 2006 and 2009 will be the only devices affected by the class-action suit.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit maintain that this new method of accessing musical entertainment was the destruction of different companies in the music industry. Among companies named as examples of the music industry’s alleged downfall were failed record store Tower Records and popular music torrent site Napster.
Using proprietary software to download and subsequently play music is on the table in the lawsuit. It is a practice that is said to have created an anti-competitive market, according to the original lawsuit.
Steve Jobs is scheduled to testify on Tuesday in the decade long case against Apple. His pre-recorded video testimony will be heard Tuesday morning, when the hearing is scheduled to begin. In his statement, he reportedly defends his decisions as Apple, Inc. CEO.
Jobs’ emails and letters also reportedly contain a large part of his deposition. In them, he makes promises of big financial payouts, and leans on bullying as a tactic to manipulate smaller companies to submit to his ideas.
A Stanford Law professor commented on the lengthy nature of this lawsuit, saying that technology has far surpassed the law. That is perhaps why this case has continued for ten years. However, the change in the way consumers access music is now has evolved since the the original lawsuit was filed.
Before his death in 2011, Jobs headed up the multi-billion dollar national corporation with big ideas and some consider him to be a creative genius. His early work, the Apple-1 computer, is currently up for auction and is the only known survivor of the start of the company.
Jobs’ creative genius and penchant for perfection has also inspired more than one biopic. Ashton Kutcher starred as Steve Jobs in Jobs. There is another Steve Jobs biopic scheduled, but the actor who will portray Jobs is still unclear.
Nearly a decade later, the lawsuit is still on the table and it is reported that opening statements will be heard Tuesday morning in a California federal courtroom. Although it is unclear at what point during the case his deposition will be viewed, Steve Jobs is scheduled to testify on behalf of Apple regarding his decisions in this decade-long case.
By Kerri Cushna
Photo by Leo Lambertini – Flickr License