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Lawyers: New iPods reinforce antitrust suit

updated 12:20 pm EDT, Sat September 8, 2007

iPods reinforce suit

A series of lawyers are claiming that the introduction of Apple's new iPods on September 5th reinforce antitrust claims against the company, partially because the new devices, like their predecessors, cannot playback Microsoft's competing Windows Media Audio, or WMA, format. The suit alleges that Apple's devices are capable of playing these files, but disables them with "crippleware" in order to force iPod and nano owners to buy songs from iTunes. Wired reports that Apple could license the WMA format from Microsoft for less than 2 cents per iPod, lawyers say, "which would make iPods and iPhones, old and new, compatible with music purchased online from rivals like Wal-Mart, Napster, Best Buy, Yahoo and others."

Apple, meanwhile, claims that working with competitors could actually lead to another antitrust mechanism: collusion. "Forcing Apple to deal with rivals may lessen the incentive for Apple or rivals to innovate and invest in economically beneficial facilities," Apple wrote in court briefs. "It would require antitrust courts to act as central planners, identifying the proper price, quantity and other terms of dealing -- a role for which they are ill-suited."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh, lawyers!

    F U !

    That's really all the needs be said.

    Aside from that, odd how it appears that they don't go after all the other WMA music players, that aren't able to play back protected AAC format.... sounds just as monopolistic to me.

    Just another bunch of bottom feeders...

  1. tomodachi

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    OH JEEZ

    You gotta be f*****' kidding me, right?

  1. Cory Bauer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Poor wittle Microsoft

    It's nice to see someone looking out for the little guy :p

  1. jdoc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    open vs. Proprietary

    WMA is MS's proprietary format- it costs money and it is fully controlled by MS. AAC, MP3, and the rest are open and free. It's time we stop living in an MS run world. The only hurdle left id DRM, and we all know each company's respective stance on DRM.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    got to be kidding me

    i smell the works of wal-mart behind this.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    differences

    odd how it appears that they don't go after all the other WMA music players, that aren't able to play back protected AAC format.... sounds just as monopolistic to me.

    In case you're too full of the Apple Kool-Aid, someone needs to point out to you that Apple controls protected AAC format and REFUSES to license it to anyone. Do you really think that other device makers would just ignore it if they could get it, seeing that Apple's iTMS has the largest share of music downloads?

    WMA is MS's proprietary format- it costs money and it is fully controlled by MS.

    True, but the licensing fees are minimal, at best. And proprietary doesn't mean closed. Anyone can license this format.

    On the other hand, Apple's FairPlay AAC format is closed and unlicensable.

    AAC, MP3, and the rest are open and free.

    OMG, are you that blasted ignorant, or just that blasted "Apple is GOD, MS is EVIL!" self-involved.

    AAC and MP3 are proprietary standards. They are owned and licensed from various consortiums. It costs money to use AAC. It actually is supposed to cost money to use MP3 (apple pays the money for using it in their products). Just because some open-source projects use MP3 doesn't make them open.

    It's time we stop living in an MS run world. The only hurdle left id DRM, and we all know each company's respective stance on DRM.

    What is their respective stance on DRM? They both have it because they're required to have it if they're going to play with the labels, studios, etc. MS has argued for DRM-free works as much as Apple has.

    But, hey, if you want to live in your little world of belief that everything Apple does is just and pure, and everything MS does is evil, evil, evil (or is it EVIL, EVIL, EEEEVVVVIIIIIIIILLLLLL), feel free.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh

    And leave it to Mac-fanatics to argue against having more codecs available for their products. How exactly would enabling WMA files be a 'bad' thing?

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    MS incompatible w/ itself

    The Microsoft's own DRM doesn't even work with each other (poopoozune and doomedMarketPlace supports only WMDRM - does not support MS PlaysForSure). If microsoft doesn't make its DRM work with its own software/devices, why should Apple pay to get MS DRM that will be incompatible with future MS DRM schemes?

  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: oh

    And leave it to Testudo to troll on macnn again. Sure it would be nice to support another format on the iPod, but with CDs, un-DRM'd MP3 stores, and the iTunes Store as available outlets to upload content, its not like people are exactly limited as to where they can get content for the iPod, which is what people here are defending in response to these lawsuits. Plus, Apple has never really "opened up" the iPod platform for sw developers (they control all official distribution of iPod sw), unlike MS with Windows, thus there is less of a case for antitrust.

  1. JackWebb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    protected aac

    Protected AAC, or songs purchased on iTunes that are DRM cannot be played on other devices by Apple's design. Apple has refused to license it to anyone. VirginMega sued about this and the court of that land (French) supported Apple. One of the reasons was that people can burn CDs endlessly and re-encode as they wish. Those CDs make a fine backup too.

    The real problem here is just DRM. Just get rid of it. Nothing gets to live long retaining DRM with me. I use mp3 CDs in certain places for instance.

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