A lawsuit filed in September of 2005 can proceed says a California judge.
Plaintiff Thomas Slattery's lawsuit claims Apple configured the iPod so that it will play only iTunes files and not digital music files from competing vendors of online music. Apple has also encoded its iTunes files so they will only play on the iPod and not any other digital music player, the complaint says.
The suit says another company, RealNetwork, reverse engineered Apple's iTunes format and began selling iPod-compatible music files for 45 cents each, compared with the iTunes price of 99 cents each. Apple quickly changed its software code so that the RealNetwork files would no longer play on the iPod, Slattery says.
I can't see why this judge allowed this to proceed.
1) Some competing music stores sell songs with no DRM ... they will work on the iPod. And in actuality, any song from any store can be transcoded or ripped back from a CD and used on the iPod. Also, isn't Audible.com compatible with the iPod?
2) "Apple has also encoded its iTunes files so they will only play on the iPod" ... the songs seem to play fine on all the Windows PCs and Macs I have seen <--- those aren't iPods.
3) Apple has created the only successful business model for MP3 players and downloadable music ... what the RIAA and this litigator don't understand is that it takes a large market share for this segment of technology to be successful.
4) What is Thomas Slattery hoping to get out of this?
Conspiracy theory: this is one of the dangers I saw coming from Real Networks huge windfall from Microsoft. Is it remotely possible that Real's Rob Glaser has motivated (or handed money under the table) to Mr. Slattery? Something to think about.