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.

In the event that this system was ever cracked, Apple would need to patch the holes quickly in order to keep its music store open. To ensure that never happened, Jobs said, the technology was never licensed to other media player manufacturers. The intention wasn’t necessarily to harm competing stores operated by companies like Real Networks, they were just “collateral damage.”

During the case, Apple has positioned its stance on DRM as a method of protecting its store from “hackers,” arguing that because the iPod and iTunes Store were not the only entries in the digital music market, they could not be acting monopolistically by locking their hardware to their own software.

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