No precedent, eh? Justice Department wants Apple to unlock 12 more iPhones

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iPhone 6s
Did anyone seriously believe this wasn't going to happen?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

FBI director James Comey and his supporters suggest that making Apple break its iPhone encryption for the San Bernardino shooter case would be a one-off event, and not the start of a slippery slope into unwanted surveillance.

Well, it seems that someone needs to tell the Department of Justice that, because the D.O.J. is reportedly salivating at the thought of being able to hack iPhones for criminal investigations — with court orders being filed for Apple to help extract iPhone data in a further dozen cases around the U.S.

Publishers Claim Recent DOJ E-Book Decision Punishes Them More Than Apple

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Not too surprisingly, the five major publishers originally named in the U.S. Department of Justice’s e-book case regarding their collusion with Apple on pricing have now themselves filed a complaint regarding the Justice Department’s proposal to eliminate the use of the agency model in any Apple agreements with publishers for a period of five years.

Publishers like the agency model as it allows them to set prices for e-books, instead of the distributor, as Amazon did before Apple’s own iBooks system launched on the iPad.

DoJ Wants Apple To Terminate Deals With Publishers, Link To Rival Bookstores Instead

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Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Apple can't ditch its ebook compliance monitor.
Photo: Apple

The ongoing iBooks antitrust case between Apple and the United States Department of Justice took a very interesting twist this morning when the DoJ and 33 state Attorneys General laid out plans to remedy Apple’s wrongdoings and restore competition to the market.

The DoJ wants Apple to terminate all of its deals with book publishers, and refrain from entering into any new ones for at least five years. It also wants the company to start selling e-books from rivals like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Why Steve Jobs Loved Winnie The Pooh

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Steve Jobs at Apple iPad Event
Steve Jobs at Apple iPad Event
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Eddy Cue is at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse in lower Manhattan testifying in the Department of Justice’s e-books antitrust case, and he’s been sharing more information on the work that went into developing iBooks prior to its launch in 2010.

Cue reveled that Steve Jobs, then Apple’s CEO, chose to give away a free copy of Winnie-the-Pooh not just because he liked the book, but because its colorful illustrations showcased the capabilities of digital e-books in the iBooks app.

Steve Jobs Biographer Walter Isaacson Dropped From eBook Price Fixing Case

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Walter Isaacson isn't in Jony Ive's good books.
Walter Isaacson isn't in Jony Ive's good books.

Walter Isaacson, the author of the best-selling biography about Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, will not have to share his notes or testify in an ongoing lawsuit over alleged eBook price fixing between Apple and book publishers.

Lawyers wanted to see Isaacson’s notes from interviews with Jobs in an effort to establish Apple’s agreements with publishers, but Isaacson refused to hand them over, citing a New York law that allows journalists to shield their sources.

Steve Jobs Threatened Patent Litigation To Enforce ‘No-Hire’ Agreements

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Steve Jobs shakes hands with Eric Schmidt.

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs threatened Palm CEO Edward Colligan with patent litigation if he did not agree to stop poaching Apple employees, according to a court filing that was made public on Tuesday.

Confidential emails between the pair, along with documents from Adobe and Google, have surfaced in a civil lawsuit that claims a number of major companies in Silicon Valley violated antitrust rules by entering into agreements not to recruit each other’s employees. Five employees are now fighting for class action status and damages for lost wages as a result of the “no-hire” agreements.

Despite the DOJ’s Anti-Trust Case, The U.S. Government Is Happy To Sell Ebooks Via The iBookstore

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The U.S. Government Printing Office now offers reports, documents, and ebooks via Apple's iBookstore.
The U.S. Government Printing Office now offers reports, documents, and ebooks via Apple's iBookstore.

In a somewhat ironic move, the U.S. government has entered into an ebook deal with Apple that will see a range of government reports, documents, and ebooks published in Apple’s iBookstore. The partnership, which was announced earlier this week, coincides with the Department of Justice’s latest legal filings in its anti-trust suit against Apple.

The deal with the Government Printing Office (GPO) will make a wide swath of documents and ebooks available through the iBookstore. While some government documents are available for free, a number of documents and full-length ebooks are not.

U.S. Department of Justice Names Apple In Giant Antitrust Suit

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It’s long been rumored that the Department of Justice would file an antitrust suit against Apple for e-book price fixing, but now it’s happening, as the United States DoJ just filed such a suit against Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Penguin.

At issue here is Apple’s attempt to overthrow Amazon’s hegemony on e-book selling by collaborating with publishers ahead of the iBookstore launch to standardize how much is charged for e-books, not just through Apple, but through Amazon as well.