Apple’s latest class-action lawsuit made the news primarily because it featured none other than Steve Jobs as a key witness, as he appeared courtesy of a video deposition taken shortly before his untimely death in 2011.
Immediately, news outlets jumped on the opportunity to publicly release the footage, with The Associated Press, Bloomberg, and CNN filing a motion to have the tape released.
“Steve Jobs is not your typical trial witness, and that’s what makes this a unique circumstance,” said a lawyer acting on behalf of the media companies, adding that, “We’re not asking for anything other than what the jury heard.”
However, it seems like cooler heads may prevail — and we won’t see the footage after all.
Apple’s lawyers summed up the company’s position best when they noted that, “The marginal value of seeing [Steve Jobs] again, in his black turtleneck — this time very sick — is small.”
Making the point even more strongly, the lawyer added that, “What [these news companies] want is a dead man, and they want to show him to the rest of the world, because it’s a judicial record.”
U.S. district court judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers also noted her own reservations about making the video public, since this would break the court rules of having proceedings recorded on video. While Jobs’ testimony was pre-recorded, he should be given the same rights as any other witness.
“The request you’re asking for frankly is diametrically opposed from the rule that says I cannot allow the recording of these proceedings,” Judge Rogers told the media companies’ lawyer. “So if I’m treating witnesses the same, I haven’t recorded any of the experts, I haven’t recorded anything — and none of that’s going to go to the jury.”
Judge Rogers hasn’t totally dismissed the possibility, though, and has said she will accept addition arguments so long as they’re filed by the end of this week.
Personally, I hope the footage remains private. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a huge admirer of Steve Jobs, who will happily spend hours on YouTube hoovering up interviews with Jobs from over the years. In this case, however, it’s hard not to disagree with Apple’s lawyer, and to see this rush to have the video released as similar to the disgusting tactics used by the tabloid press to show photos of Steve Jobs close to the end of his life.
The transcript of Jobs’ testimony has already been released, so really there’s no compelling reason to have the video to go along with it, is there?
Source: The Verge