Apple Accused of Removing Competitor’s Music from iPods

Apple Accused of Removing Competitor's Music from iPods

In a recent legal battle involving Apple, attorney Patrick Coughlin has brought to light allegations that the tech giant intentionally erased music tracks from users’ iPods. These tracks, which were downloaded from music services competing with iTunes, were reportedly deleted without the iPod owners’ awareness between 2007 and 2009. This claim has been reported by the Wall Street Journal.

According to Coughlin, Apple programmed their devices to display an error message prompting a factory reset when users attempted to sync their iPods if music from non-iTunes sources was detected.

Apple Accused of Removing Competitor's Music from iPods

Following the reset, music from these third-party services would no longer be available on the device. Coughlin emphasized that Apple designed this process to occur without informing the users of the actual issue.

The legal team representing the plaintiffs argues that these actions were part of a broader strategy by Apple to suppress competition in the burgeoning digital music market. They are seeking damages exceeding $350 million, accusing Apple of engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

On the defense, Apple has countered these accusations by stating that the deletions were part of necessary security measures to protect against potential threats and hacking.

Augustin Farrugia, Apple’s security director, defended the company’s decision not to disclose detailed information to users, suggesting that too much information could lead to confusion.

The lawsuit, which represents iPod users from the early 2000s, has finally reached court in Northern California. High-profile executives from Apple, including Eddy Cue, the VP of Internet Services, and Phil Schiller, the head of Marketing, are slated to testify. Additionally, a video deposition from Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011, is expected to play a crucial role in the proceedings.

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Wei is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest insights and updates on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Wei covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest macOS updates. His articles are a go-to source for Apple enthusiasts who want to stay informed about their favorite gadgets, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Wei’s clear and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics accessible to everyone.