A class action suit filed against Apple in 2005 has gotten new life after a judge’s ruling on May 2. The complaint, which has its own website, covers consumers who purchased an iPod classic, iPod shuffle, iPod touch or iPod nano model between Sept. 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009. That’s a lot of people and a big stretch of time.
In 2004, RealNetworks released a way that their songs could be transferred to an iPod, arousing the wrath of Apple, who fired back with a statement accusing RealNetworks of acting like a hacker and breaking the iPod. It also warned consumers that using this workaround could very likely not work with new iPod software. True to their word, Apple released a software update later that year that prevented users from moving songs purchased from RealNetworks to their iPods.
An individual named Thomas Slattery filed suit in 2005, claiming that Apple was violating antitrust legislation by forcing users to only purchase their music through iTunes. The case saw little real action in the past seven years, until meetings were held earlier this month. The judge in the case, Judge James Ware, noted that neither the plaintiff nor Apple have presented an outstanding expert report, and that Apple has a right to file for a summary judgement motion to address any issues that have not been raised in the case.
“In light of this, the Court finds no reason to deny the Defendant the ability to challenge that expert report once it becomes available, and to file any appropriate motion for summary judgment resulting from disclosures made in that expert report,” said Judge Ware. “Accordingly, on or before May 20, 2012, the parties shall meet and confer and stipulate to a suitable schedule with respect to any further disruptive motions that any party may seek to file.”
If you have one of these iPods and have been notified of your right to be included in the class action suit, you don’t have to do anything. If you want to opt out, you must send a letter of exclusion no later than July 30, 2012 to the address listed on the lawsuit website.