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'A strong response from Apple would be a lawsuit' – Steve Jobs
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QuoTW This was the week when the years-old iPod antitrust case finally had its first days in court, and kicked off with testimony from beyond the grave courtesy of emails and video depositions from late Apple founder and supremo Steve Jobs.
The iPod users are trying to prove that Apple created an uncompetitive market by ensuring no other music could be heard on the wee devices aside from what was bought on iTunes, thereby hooking fanbois and gurls into iPod ownership for life unless they wanted to lose the music they’d already bought.
Bonny Sweeney, the plaintiffs’ legal beak, said:
We will present evidence that Apple took action to block its competitors and in the process harmed competition and harmed consumers.
A lot of that evidence comes in the form of emails among top Apple execs (including Jobs) discussing rival digital music services. In 2003, when he was worried about Music Match, Jobs wrote:
We need to make sure that when Music Match launches its download music store it cannot use iPod. Is this going to be an issue?
The following year, Jobs discussed writing a press statement accusing Real Networks of “hacking” the iPod with its music offerings:
How’s this? We are stunned that Real is adopting the tactics and ethics of a hacker and breaking into the iPod.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller replied:
I like likening them to hackers.
Meanwhile, Apple is arguing that it had every right to protect its hardware and software from potential security issues and no obligation to help other firms by making their iPods compatible. The firm’s lawyer Walter Isaacson said in court:
[Real Networks software] posed a danger to the consumer experience and to the quality of the product.
In the video deposition given in 2011, Jobs was cutting about Real Networks:
Do they still exist?
While denying that his comments at the time (when Real Networks were a challenger in 2004) were angry, Job said:
They don’t sound too angry to me when I read them ... Usually, a vehement — I don’t know about the word ‘vehement,’ but a strong response from Apple would be a lawsuit.