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Apple wants courtroom cleared while Steve Jobs deposition is played

Universal Music Group is embroiled in a few lawsuits involving money owed to producers and artists, and in the course of events depositions by Eddy Cue and Steve Jobs were recorded at some point. Now, as these cases near trial, Apple is seeking a modification to a protective order to keep those depositions from being seen by anyone outside the courtroom -- primarily, musicians.

While this may sound nefarious, the fact is that previously the court was willing to clear the courtroom (of UMG employees, too) when reviewing these depositions. Apple claims the release of documents that may include discussions between it and record labels would prove materially damaging to its business (iTunes) -- and I'm inclined to agree. While it would no doubt clue musicians in to some interesting tidbits, the fact is that those negotiations were private for a reason. The Jobs and Cue depositions, likely having discussed those negotiations, are similarly in need of protection, lest Apple's competitors know exactly where Apple stands with its groundbreaking iTunes Music Store and record labels.

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