Apple deleted music from customers' iPods



Between 2007 and 2009, Apple routinely deleted music off of some customers' iPods without telling them.

That's according to an attorney representing plaintiffs in a class-action trial taking place this week. A class of 8 million iPod owners argue that Apple abused its monopoly power in the music industry to force out competition.

When iPod customers downloaded music from iTunes rivals, Apple would force customers to reset their iPods, the attorney said. When the iPod was restored, the music they downloaded from competitors' music stores would no longer be on their iPods.

Apple claims that the measures were taken to protect its contracts with the record labels. In videotaped testimony taken six months before he died, Apple founder Steve Jobs said the company was "very scared" of being in noncompliance with the labels' terms, which stipulated that iTunes music needed Digital Rights Management protections -- copyright encryption that was not always available on other sites.

The plaintiffs are asking for at least $350 million dollars, because they contend Apple's tactics caused consumers to pay higher prices for iPods and music.

Eddy Cue, who heads Apple's Internet services division, testified Thursday that Apple was trying to keep the digital storefront and the iPod secure from hackers.

"Our number one competitor in life is privacy, " Cue said while discussing the need to keep iTunes secure. "I said it's literally a blank check."

On Friday the jury is expected to see the video testimony from Steve Jobs.



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