Last plaintiff in iTunes antitrust lawsuit disqualified, but the show must go on as lawyers search for replacement

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In the latest twist in the iPod antitrust lawsuit that has already given us a deposition of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and details about Apple’s deal with record labels to sell music in the iTunes Store, a judge ruled on Monday that the trial will continue even though there are no plaintiffs left.

Yes, you read that correctly. Every single plaintiff in the case has been disqualified. Marianna Rosen, the last complainant standing, was discovered to have never purchased an iPod that was affected by the song-deleting software updates in question.

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Apple’s new ‘Change is in the Air’ ads show novel uses for the iPad Air 2

ipad-air-2-ad

Apple released a new iPad Air 2 campaign during Sunday football today showcasing various unique physical and software applications for the iPad Air 2.

Featuring the song “Who Needs You” by The Orwells [iTunes Store, YouTube], the ad is a departure from last year’s iPad Air which were focused on a single user.

iPad Air 2 isn’t just the thinnest and lightest iPad we’ve ever created. It’s the most powerful. From the studio to the classroom, the field to the garage, it’s helping people discover new and better ways to do the things they love. Imagine what you’ll do with it.

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Steve Jobs deposition reveals details of Apple’s contracts with record labels, requirements for DRM on music

iPod classic (four-up)

The videotaped deposition of Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs was played in court today as part of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit involving the iPod, iTunes, and digital rights management. As CNET reports, the video revealed new details of Apple’s deals with record labels and why the FairPlay DRM was created.

Jobs said in his statement that because the record labels were afraid that a store like iTunes could lead to music piracy, they required Apple to create and implement a digital rights management system—which would become the FairPlay system—in order to gain the rights to distribute music. DRM wasn’t something that Apple wanted to do, but had to do.

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Apple questions whether iPod class action suit can proceed as case may lack genuine plaintiffs

2nd-gen-ipod-touch-nano

Just as it looked like the iPod-related class action suit against Apple was getting interesting, Eddy Cue arguing that competing music stores had effectively hacked the iPod, it now seems the case is in danger of collapsing.

Apple’s lawyers have written to the judge to say there is no evidence that either of the two plaintiffs owned iPods during the time affected by Apple’s action to remove non-iTunes songs from iPods …  Read more

“Do they still exist?” Steve Jobs takes jabs at Real Networks in videotaped deposition from 2011

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The ten-year-old lawsuit over whether Apple violated antitrust law by locking the iPod to its own iTunes software has finally gone to trial. In its first day before a jury, the case has yielded several new emails between Apple executives as well as a videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, which was recorded in 2011 shortly before he died.

In the video, according to Reuters, Jobs was asked if he had heard of Real Networks, the company behind the RealPlayer software Apple had blocked from working with the iPod. Jobs took a quick jab at the music distribution rival and asked, “Do they still exist?”

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iPod-related class action suit against Apple starts tomorrow, Steve Jobs emails & video key evidence

This case goes back a while ...

This case goes back a while …

Emails and a video deposition by Steve Jobs are likely to form key elements of the evidence in an iPod-related antitrust case against Apple which opens in California tomorrow, reports the NYT.

The case goes back more than a decade, to the time when iPods would play only music purchased from iTunes or ripped from CD, with consumers unable to play music bought from competing stores. The class action alleges that this amounted to anti-competitive behaviour, and that consumers were forced to pay higher prices as a result …  Read more

Best iPhone 6/Plus wallet cases: Pad and Quill Little Pocket Book and SurfacePad from TwelveSouth

iphone-6-wallet case

For all of its greatness, Apple Pay hasn’t nearly killed the need to take your wallet with you wherever you go. But if you are like me, it has lightened your load a little bit. Instead of carrying around 5 credit cards, I now carry around one each of debit and credit. Combine that with some other de-Costanzifications (scan insurance cards and health club cards for instance) I’ve made recently, I can now consolidate my wallet into a few card slots.

What I’m getting at here is that I can follow the lead of my wife and now consolidate my iPhone and my wallet finally. I’ve chosen two amazing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases from my favorite iPhone case manufacturers to get me there: Pad and Quill’s Little Pocket Book ($60 -$10 off for Black Friday) and Twelve South’s $50 SurfacepadRead more

Looks like no Black Friday deals in European Apple Stores – just (RED) donations on Cyber Monday

black-friday

While Apple Store customers in the U.S. can look forward to gift cards on selected purchases on Black Friday, it seems European customers may be missing out. Apple last year offered its European customers discounted pricing rather than gift cards, but rumors – including from the usually reliable MacG – say that there will be neither cards nor discounts this year …  Read more

iTunes Radio is ad-free for all & offering $5 iTunes credits today courtesy of Verizon

iTunes Radio, Apple’s ad-supported Internet radio service, is today available with “limited interruptions” courtesy of Verizon. That means that you won’t be seeing the normal ads you’re used to on the service and instead just a message from Verizon that states, “Enjoy with limited interruptions courtesy of Verizon.” The company is also handing out $5 iTunes store credits through a banner ad on iTunes Radio (pictured above).

It’s not just for Verizon customers, however, as the offer comes today only as part of Verizon’s “Connection Day” promotion offering free digital content and services to all users, not just Verizon customers. Read more

Apple Black Friday: (RED) charity gift cards on select purchases, but much better deals at Best Buy, Target, Walmart & others

Apple Store RED Black Friday

Apple announced last night its campaign to support World AIDS Day 2014 with a series of App Store promotions and plans to donate a portion of Apple Store sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to the Global Fund to support the fight against AIDS. Specifically for November 28th, or Black Friday, Apple shared that select Apple products will include a special edition (RED) iTunes gift care with a percentage going toward the Global Fund, and now we know exactly which products will qualify for Apple’s (RED) promotion on Black Friday.

Supported products include the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c as well as each iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Air 2 which will include a $50 iTunes gift card (as well as the donation). Customers picking up an iMac, Retina iMac, MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air will receive a $100 iTunes gift card. Finally, Apple will include a $25 iTunes gift card with the purchase of an iPod nano, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Beats headphones or speakers.

While it’s nice to see Apple use the Black Friday shopping event to promote (RED), its deals are admittedly less charitable than some other retailers if you’re trying to save some actual cash on your Apple or Beats purchases rather than picking up credit for iTunes or the App Store.

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Billboard 200 chart will include streaming listens from Beats, Spotify, Google Play, & others in album sales

Eddy Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Apple, Beats Music, Code Conference

Billboard is about to add data from music streaming services to its weekly Billboard 200 charts for the first time as services like Spotify and Apple’s Beats Music become increasingly popular. The New York Times reports that Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan plan to start incorporating both streams and downloads from music streaming services, in addition to the music sales the chart already covered, in order to more accurately reflect popular albums based on what users are listening to. The first chart including streaming services will include data for next week and arrive online Dec. 4: Read more