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Apple explains why it created its own DRM Software during trial


In the case regarding Apple’s deletion of non-iTunes songs from user’s iPods, the company has taken the opportunity to explain why it developed its own Digital Management System during the trial. During the trial recently, iTunes Chief Eddy Cue testified for hours regarding the software and remained independent with the company.apple-ebook-pricing-settlement

The plaintiffs in the case argued that Apple tried to restrict rival companies by using FairPlay DRM encryption system. However the company argues that the move allowed music companies to enforce rights over digital content and improved security of the devices. During the testimony Cue claimed that it had to partner with record labels who owned 80 percent of the profit share which urged the company to develop Fairplay.

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“Fairplay DRM is still in use now,” said Cue.

Cue mentioned that Apple wanted to license Fairplay from the beginning, but did not proceed due to reliability issues. This was mainly due to the entry of a range of music players and inoperability could be an issue. Cue added that Apple had recommended the idea of iTunes store to labels, but the idea was snubbed as they had their own DRM systems.

Apple continues to use Fairplay, but remains hidden from users as it is used to secure encrypted songs on servers. The lawsuit related to the DRM system restricted third-party companies like RealNetworks and Navio Systems that developed methods for using iPods without iTunes. Apple in turn locked its software by limiting consumer choices and to remain a leader in the market.

During the testimony of Augustin Farrugia, senior director of internal security and DRM at Apple explained how the software kept third-party software from making any changes to the system. Patrick Coughlin, plaintiff’s attorney questioned Farrgia if Apple’s solution of deleting user’s non-iTunes songs without their knowledge. The trial will run for four more days where damages of $350 million are being sought and jury will bring out the final decision.

Earlier story: Apple admits secretly deleting non-iTunes songs.

Apple has admitted to secretly deleting non-iTunes songs from user’s iPods and is facing a case where $1 billion in damages is being sought. The case has now taken a new turn with the company’s lawyers bringing evidence that the plaintiffs in the case have not purchased iPods as mentioned in the lawsuit.

iPod users would have their non iTunes songs deleted after the company devised a secret procedure of displaying an error message and urging the users to restore to factory settings. Apple had followed this method to compete with other competitors in the market who offered music for a lesser cost or for free. Users were not notified regarding the song’s removal. Read more here.

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About Anirudh Madhav

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A movie buff, a bookworm, and a compulsive doodler. All posts by Anirudh

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