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Virgin Mega files complaint over Apple\'s FairPlay DRM

updated 11:50 am EDT, Thu August 5, 2004

Virgin irate over FairPlay

Apple's SEC Form 10Q filing reveals that the company Virgin Mega filed a complaint against Apple Computer France with the French Competition Council alleging that the Company has wrongfully refused to license Fairplay DRM technology to competitors. In a lawsuit filed on June 28, 2004, Virgin is said it was seeking "Interim Measures," pending the determination of the merits of the case. The quarterly filing reveals that a hearing on Virgin's request for such measures will likely be heard in October or November 2004.

The filing also reveals a Apple settled a lawsuit filed on April 15, 2004 in the US District Court for the Central District of California for infringement of patent 6,217,183 related to a "Keyboard Having Illuminated Keys." Shipman, the plaintiff, alleges that Apple's PowerBooks introduced in 2003 infringe this patent and was seeking unspecified damages, a preliminary injunction, and other relief. In its filing, Apple said the case had been settled and the complaint dismissed. "Settlement of this matter did not have a material effect on the Company's financial position or results of operation."

by MacNN Staff





  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969


    SJ is hypocritical

    He refuses to include MSN Messenger in iChat because it's not "an open format", but then refuses to licence FairPlay...

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No, he's consistent.

    He's not whining to microshaft that he can't license messenger for iChat, or reverse-engineering the protocol. He's just not using it because it's not open.
    From what I can see he's only asking the competition to do the same: Apple has not licensed FairPlay, therefore the competition should not use it. I don't see the hypocrisy in that.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: SJ is hypocritical

    Umm, that's not hypocritical. Hypocritical would be to include Yahoo Messaging's closed format in iChat.

  1. ciphun

    Joined: Dec 1969


    virgin mega has

    some nerve. sue apple for not letting virgin use something that apple doesn't want to license?


  1. GORDYmac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Easily Squashed...I think

    How many of Virgin's players a Mac compatible? Apple is the only Music Store that has a cross-platform solution.

    It should be easily argued that, since Virgin's players don't play on Macs, FairPlay DRM could not be fully implemented on Virgin's players. Heck, or any other Windows-only store/player combo.

    Heck, this is part of the reason Apple created the iPod.

  1. Cless

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What they say: FairPlay adversely affects the competitive landscape and hurts consumers.

    What they MEAN: Wah wah wah! Apple is handing us our asses in digital music! Let's sue because we can't compete!

  1. evankai

    Joined: Dec 1969


    10K filing in August

    I'm confused. Apple recently filed their 10-Q, but according to EDGAR, they've always filed their 10-K in December. Where are you getting this info?

  1. cyngus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: 10K filing in August

    Probably from the 10-Q jack nut. If you know how to use Edgar I would think you can do a search for 'Virgin' in their 10-Q. Yup, MacNN messed up (but hey, we can't all be finance guys), so why don't you e-mail them and let them know of their mistake? Instead you decided to be the person that points out an irrelevant fact for the sole purpose of telling someone they messed up.

  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Here's what I don't understand: a company can file an obscure patent such as illuminated keyboards and the downloading of files to be placed onto a hard disk, and have their patents validated by the courts, but Apple can't put a valid patent on the "a la carte" music model or the windowed GUI? Sheesh.

  1. rkadowns

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wrongfully denied?

    Did they not use "thank you" when they said "no"?

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