Awhile ago, Apple was sued by Thomas Slatterly, an iTunes user after they blocked music from RealNetworks’ Harmony service from working on the iPod, just days after it was launched. The class action lawsuit against Apple claimed that they were creating an unfair monopoly and acting unfairly against the competition (which is quite ironic considering that the DRM software used to block the competition was called FairPlay).
In Apple’s defense, they claimed that Apple blocked the competition because they wanted to improve the quality for iTunes customers. “Apple’s view is that iPods work better when consumers use the iTunes jukebox rather than third party software that can cause corruption or other problems.” While that may be true, the fact that they don’t even give third parties a chance to prove themselves. After all, there must be a reason we have alternatives for pretty much every app out there, from video players to web browsers, it shouldn’t be any different for where users get their music – we all want a choice too.
It’s uncertain what will become of the lawsuit, but things have changed since the lawsuit was filed. Apple dropped DRM restrictions for all music files since then, but continue to protect movies and TV shows sold on iTunes with FairPlay. Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs was recently brought in to answer questions about FairPlay and Apple has been reported to have requested for the lawsuit to be dropped. The outcome of which will be decided by next month. How many of you were affected by the whole issue surrounding FairPlay?
Update 4:48PM: My apologies, there were some factual errors with the post previously. It has been updated accordingly. RealNetworks has nothing to do with the lawsuit between FairPlay and Harmony at all. More info here.