Apple admits to deleting your iPod music (because confusion)

Yes, it's OK -- let's not confuse the poor widdle users

ipod lawsuit steve jobs

Apple appears to have admitted that it did in fact silently delete music bought from Real Networks and others. The class-action lawsuit alleges that your iPod would stop working if you used Real, forcing you to reset the device.

But, when it came back, your non-Apple music would be gone. Apple execs argue that this was perfectly acceptable, because to do anything else would be, err, "confusing." BTW, it's most certainly not Saint Steve's fault. Oh no.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers reset their default assumptions.

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Jeff Elder remembers the good old days: [Get off my lawn -Ed.]

Apple deleted music that some iPod owners had downloaded from competing music services...attorneys for consumers told jurors. ... Apple directed the system “not to tell users the problem,” Patrick Coughlin said in U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif.

Apple contends the moves were legitimate security measures. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia testified that Apple did not offer a more detailed explanation because, “We don’t need to give users too much information.” ... Updates that deleted non-Apple music files were intended to protect consumers...he said.  MORE

Here's Lynn Schindler's list: [Ugh -Ed.]

The device that changed the world...was the iPod – which eventually paved the way for the iPhone, iPad, and well – i-Everything. ... The claims argue that Apple knowingly erased non-iTunes content [but] are harshly contested by Apple lawyers who argue that ultimately this was all done in an effort to maintain simplicity [and] security.

The class action lawsuit is seeking $350 million. ... The allegations are just the most-recent lineup of questions that make Apple seem demonstrative, and unethical [but] it’s unlikely to change the way Apple does anything operationally.  MORE

Right on cue, here's Eddy Cue, via Nick Statt: [You're fired -Ed.]

"Steve was mighty upset with me and the team whenever we got hacked. ... If a hack happened, we had to remedy that hack within a certain time period or [the record labels] would remove all their music from the store. ... All these other guys that tried the approach of trying to be open failed because it broke. There's no way for us to have done that and have the success that we had."

[He] joined the company in 1989 and eventually oversaw the launch of Apple's online store in 1998. ... Cue helped launch Apple's iTunes digital-music store in 2003. ... He led negotiations with the five largest record labels around 2002 to build out Apple's initial 200,000-song library. ... He was also responsible for ensuring that Apple's...DRM tool, called FairPlay, was in compliance with the record labels and that it was updated regularly to protect that relationship. ... Cue also says that record labels, when they first hammered out their contracts with Apple, requested DRM.

Complicating Apple's narrative, however, are allegations that it misled iPod users...when those consumers attempted to put songs sold by other online music stores onto their iPods using software like RealNetworks' Harmony. That software reportedly reverse-engineered Apple's FairPlay. ... Apple's response in iTunes 7.0 was to...prevent the iPod from playing any songs. ... It would then force users to reset the device, deleting any songs not purchased from iTunes.  MORE

Confused? Josh Lowensohn says it's "complicated":

Much of the case hinges on whether updates made to iTunes added new features and improved the software, versus simply attempting to shut out efforts to sync up music...with something else by adjusting [the] software [and] trying to squash competitors.

Augustin Farrugia, a senior director of internet security and DRM at Apple [said] the company viewed anyone trying to inject code as an attacker.

The trial is slated to run another six days.  MORE

Meanwhile, Tim Gillespie Jr. thinks back to the days of yore:

They are talking about Real hacking the DRM. Every time a new iTunes was released, they'd patch holes, as required by the record labels. They had 90 days to fix any holes or the record labels would pull their music.

Real hacked the DRM, reverse engineered it, so they could insert their music directly.  MORE

Update: Still confused? This anonymous author tries again (but can't resist a fandroid-dig):

Day three of the Real vs. Apple trial over allegations that Apple deliberately blocked rival stores' DRM music files on the iPod (a potential antitrust violation) continue[s].
Apple's defense comes down to a view that if a company like Real could reverse-engineer the FairPlay DRM...others could do the same with more malicious purposes, such as the ransomware attacks or Trojan malware files that are a constant threat to Android devices.

Real's attorneys, however, argue that the sole purpose of [the Apple] updates was to lock out competitors...Apple made no attempt at all to block un-DRM'd music files. ... Real is asking for damages of $350 million, while Apple believes the company is owed nothing.  MORE

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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