Bought An iPod Between 2006 And 2009? You’re Now Part Of A Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple

Bought An iPod Between 2006 And 2009? You’re Now Part Of A Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple

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.

  • Tallest_Skil

    I refuse to waste money on a stamp to exclude myself from this tripe. 

    I certainly hope they lose.
  • ApplePr0n

    Seriously, what a huge money grab

  • Jeff Hurd

    Waste of time and effort.  They will lose.

  • Cathy Pierce

    Why oh why can some americans be so fucking stupid…. it almost hurts. Why buy an iPod, when you know how tightly integrated it is with iTunes?. ffs, read the labels before you buy.

  • Apoc Winter

    How can a manufacturer tell YOU what you can do with YOUR device? If I want to turn my car into a swamp buggy its not Chev to get on my case and stop me from altering my own stuff. My sofa manufacturer going to tell me what upholstery I can use?

  • Boris Terekidi

    Anti-Trust?… How?

    I can buy songs as CDs or even download them from the web and import them for FREE to iTunes (so it will sync to my iPod). Just because RealNetwork’s proprietary DRM’ed audio files don’t work with iTunes doesn’t mean that you MUST purchase your music through itunes.

    BS case.
  • technochick

    Anti-Trust?… How?

    I can buy songs as CDs or even download them from the web and import them for FREE to iTunes (so it will sync to my iPod). Just because RealNetwork’s proprietary DRM’ed audio files don’t work with iTunes doesn’t mean that you MUST purchase your music through itunes.

    BS case.

    Exactly. Real put the DRM on their files. They restricted use of their files to their software, not Apple. 

    Apple on the other hand encouraged you to copy your CDs etc. And did so for months if not years before they had a store. And even when they did have a store there was nothing blocking you from copying the tracks to a CD and then ripping them back sans DRM.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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