Despite being on medical leave, Steve Jobs has been ordered by a US Magistrate to answer questions in court about the iTunes music store and Apple’s supposedly monopolistic behavior, Bloomberg reports.
The order was imposed by US Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd, who is ruling over a class-action lawsuit aimed at Apple and iTunes. Steve Jobs will have to submit to “limited” questioning of under two hours, with questioning to be focused only on the changes that Apple made to their iPod software back in 2004.
In case you weren’t around then, here’s what happened. Back in 2004, RealNetworks’ Harmony software gained a feature allowing users to transfer songs purchased from the RealNetworks store directly to their iPod by emulating Apple’s FairPlay DRM. Apple got angry, claiming that RealNetworks deployed the “tactics and ethics of a hacker.” Then they fixed the iPod software so that Harmony could no longer connect. T
“The court finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, firsthand knowledge about the issues at the center of the dispute over RealNetworks software,” Judge Lloyd said in relation to his ruling.
Apple disagrees. “Any deposition of Mr.Jobs would be repetitive, at best,” says Apple lawyer David Kiernan.