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View Full Version : Apple Under Fire for iPod - iTunes Link. Is Zune Next?


Aaron Roma
01-02-2007, 05:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061230/ap_on_hi_te/apple_lawsuits' target='_blank'>http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061230/ap_on_hi_te/apple_lawsuits</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>&quot;Apple Computer Inc. said Friday it is facing several federal lawsuits, including one alleging the company created an illegal monopoly by tying iTunes music and video sales to its market-leading iPod portable players. The case, filed July 21, is over Apple's use of a copy-protection system that generally prevents iTunes music and video from playing on rival players.&quot;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Apple is apparently being sued because of iTunes in ability to synchronize with rival devices. Obviously, since Zune takes a similar approach, this suite could mean future trouble for Microsoft. Personally though, I think this lawsuit is a bunch of hog-wash. There seem to be plenty of viable alternatives to iTunes out there, even if users choose not to use them. Apple shouldn't be penalized for producing a good product that has drawn users to it. What are your thoughts on this lawsuit and any implications it may have on Zune?</p>

Jason Dunn
01-02-2007, 09:48 PM
I might not like Apple or iTunes much, but they haven't done anything illegal, and if they want to lock people into their hardware and software, they should be able to do so. There's nothing illegal about building a successful business!

jfrancis
01-02-2007, 10:27 PM
One thing I've noticed is that the Zune DRM is _not_ locked to the Zune. For instance, I've downloaded several albums on a Zune pass. I can then import those songs into Media Player 11 and sync them to my Samsung YP-K5. They play with no problems (note that the Zune software cannot, however, see the Urge fairplay DRM files). I don't _believe_ you can do this with the Apple protected aac files--that is, those aac files only play on iPods.

Therefore it seems that the Zune environment isn't truly closed to other 3rd party players.

John

eufreka
01-02-2007, 10:46 PM
I would guess that xbox live would be next (the arcade)....or wii connect, etc.

Hey, UMD falls into the same category, I believe.

The good news: If they win, all bets are off!

robshobs
01-03-2007, 12:15 AM
I believe that these people need to look up the definition of monopoly. A quick google returns the following:
MONOPOLY: a monopoly (from the Greek monos, one + polein, to sell) is defined as a persistent market situation where there is only one provider of a kind of product or service
It would seem that there are many MP3 players and many music providers (services) available to everyone. While Apple ties iTunes to its iPod to have the best user experience, the user can use another music service or another hardware solution (maybe not easily but it can be done). The same can be said about Zune.

The biggest concern about any monopoly is whether or not it is stifling competition. This does not appear to be the case as there are new services and hardware appearing all of the time.

More lawyers trying to make a buck.

Rob

Adam Krebs
01-03-2007, 01:20 AM
It would seem that there are many MP3 players and many music providers (services) available to everyone. While Apple ties iTunes to its iPod to have the best user experience, the user can use another music service or another hardware solution (maybe not easily but it can be done). The same can be said about Zune.

The difference here is that you're locked in with the vendor (it's the same thing Microsoft has been sued for in the past), thus stifling competition. While your definition of Monopoly may be technically correct, in the United States it means something slightly different (more along the lines of a trust--see the Sherman Antitrust act for more). iPod/iTunes is a vertically integrated ecosystem, because the only program Apple allows to load media onto the iPod is iTunes, iTunes purchased (AAC-DRM) songs don't play on other media players, and, while not the same, WMA-DRM will not play on iTunes. I think all DRM is a scam, but the lock-in is not providing the "best user experience", it's making sure you don't leave the money you already spent behind. Given that most iTunes songs cost $1, Joe User, doing his best to abide by the law, not ripping his own cds, etc. will likely spend more than the device itself on media alone, thus, when it comes time to replace his iPod, he can't change players without leaving his media behind.

I think it gets tricky when the issue of MP3, unprotected AAC, and unprotected WMA conversion comes into play, I'll give you that. In any event, it'll be interesting to see how it pans out.

prprush1
01-03-2007, 04:13 PM
I for one feel its about time. I feel there is no deffents between Apple iPod/iTunes and Windows/Internet Explorer suit. :) Look out apple your about to get some love. I aslo feel that someone should call Apple out on the fact that they package iLife with there computers. If Microsoft did that with MS Office they would be nailed to the wall. I just belive that we should treat all companys the same. So look out Nintendo and Sony your next :rolleyes:

LPD
01-03-2007, 08:27 PM
If the government does take Apple to court there are a few things we can be sure of: it will take years to go to trial; will have endless appeals; by the time anything is settled the technology and market will have change so much that none of it will matter; and only the lawyers will benefit.

By the way did anyone notice AT&T got approval to buying Bell South. Gee, thats the same AT&T that had a monopoly and was forced to split up. I lost count, how many baby bells have merged into today's AT&T?

Darin
01-04-2007, 01:47 PM
If the government does take Apple to court there are a few things we can be sure of: it will take years to go to trial; will have endless appeals; by the time anything is settled the technology and market will have change so much that none of it will matter; and only the lawyers will benefit.
Not sure that I completely agree with this since it may make a difference to those iPod owners 5 years from now, but for anyone who owns an iPod today, your dead on. That said, it sure would be nice to decide on a player without being concerned about whose DRM I'm using.

By the way did anyone notice AT&T got approval to buying Bell South. Gee, thats the same AT&T that had a monopoly and was forced to split up. I lost count, how many baby bells have merged into today's AT&T?
Four, SBC, Ameritech, Pacific Telesis, and Bell South are all part of the new AT&T. AT&T also bought SNET which was not part of the original 7. Verizon was a merger between Bell Atlantic and Nynex, and US West (now QWest) rounds out the pack.