Apple accused of secretly deleting non-iTunes music from user iPods
Lawyers in an antitrust court case told jurors that Apple purposely deleted music tracks from iPods if they were detected to come from rival music download services. The WSJ reports that this kind of rival service bashing skulduggery took place between 2007 and 2009.
From the other side of the courtroom argument Apple’s security director said that the deletions of the music tracks were done automatically as security measures. He said that the deletions protected Apple device owners from dangers such as hacking and malware and that Apple didn’t tell anyone about it to avoid confusing users and it would be “too much information”.
What reportedly happened during the period under question was as follows:
- iPod user downloads album or songs from iTunes rival service such as Amazon’s Music
- User did a sync with iTunes
- iTunes gave an error message, asking users to restore to factory settings
- Following the reset iTunes music would be restored but any third party media would not
The antitrust suit alleges Apple made owning/playing back rival store derived media “the worst possible experience”. However Apple has so far stuck to the line that it’s behind the scenes obstruction was there to thwart hacking attempts. $350 million in damages is sought by the class-action lawyers.
This case is set to get even more interesting later in the week when Apple software chief Eddy Cue and Apple head of marketing Phil Schiller testify in court. Story via the Wall Street Journal.