SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — Apple's legal team are girding their loins as a nearly decade-old antitrust suit brought against the company over their Fairplay software for the iPod music players finally makes it to court.
Fairplay was DRM software that allowed users to play music ripped from CDs or purchased from the iTunes Music Store, but prevented tracks purchased from competing digital music outlets from being played on the device.
The lawsuit claims that Apple violated federal and state laws by issuing the Fairplay software updates in 2006 for its iPod that prevented iPods from playing songs not purchased on iTunes. The lawsuit claims that the software updates forced competitors such as Olympus and Rio out of the market and allowed Apple to offer iPods at a higher price point than they otherwise might have.
Apple, unsurprisingly, denies that it did anything wrong and asserts that the software updates improved its products, were good for consumers, and had no effect on iPod prices.
Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are seeking $350 million in damages from Apple.
Apple stopped using Fairplay in 2009 after major labels started allowing music to be sold without copy protection. – Staff Writers