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Court rules in favor of Apple in class-action iPod lawsuit

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Ipod Nanos
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After the original filing almost a decade ago, a jury ruled in favor of Apple in a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit against the company, according to The Associated Press.

The original case file argued that Apple’s anti-privacy software unfairly prohibited iPods from playing songs not purchased through iTunes.

Apple argued against this claim, insisting that the software was a needed security measure and even something that made iPods and iTunes attractive to potential customers, according to the AP. The case originally got underway on Dec. 3 after documents had been filed from 2006 through 2009.

While the plaintiffs believed this software was a method of essentially creating a portable music player monopoly, the jury favored Apple’s position. According to the AP, the plaintiffs were looking for $350 million in damages, an amount that would have grown to three times as much had the jury also found Apple in violation of antitrust laws.

The case specifically focused on music sold by Apple’s competitor Real Networks, but Real and other music sellers were not parties in the case. When the case began last week, the named plaintiffs were disqualified, as Apple attorney Walter Isaacson told Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rodger that the two lead plaintiffs had never purchased iPod models referred to in the case, while a third plaintiff had previously withdrawn.

The jury only deliberated for a few hours, beginning on the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 15 before the decision was revealed on Tuesday. The plaintiffs’ attorneys plan to appeal, according to AP, with one attorney claiming that Judge Rodgers prevented the jury from fully considering the iTunes software change at the heart of the original suit.

Since that initial filing, Apple has done away with those restrictive measures, allowing third party files to play on Apple products.

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