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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Ex-Apple engineer testifies on project to block non-iTunes clients [u]

Ex-Apple engineer testifies on project to block non-iTunes clients [u]
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NewsPoster
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Dec 13, 2014, 11:22 AM
 
[Updated with additional context for Schultz' testimony] The Real versus Apple anti-trust trial continued on Friday, with an Apple engineer testifying that he worked on a project in 2006 that was "intended to block 100 percent of non-iTunes clients," though he later clarified that such actions were taken in the name of user security and OS stability. Former Apple engineer Rod Schultz was summoned by Real's attorneys unwillingly, and discussed his work on a project with the codename "Candy" which would "keep out third party players" who exploited flaws in the iPod's operating system.

Real, in its decade-long suit against Apple, claims that the iPod firmware was designed solely to lock out competitors from having third-party DRM'd song files work with the iPod only affected consumers and businesses that bought certain iPod models between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009 -- the latter two years after Apple first started removing the DRM locks from its iTunes music files.

Schultz, the final witness in the plaintiff's case, was discovered by Real's attorneys as the author of a 2012 paper he wrote, "The Many Facades of DRM." The academic submission was more about the history of DRM, rather than the actual technical implementation in other than the vaguest of terms. Judge Yvonne Rogers didn't admit the paper itself into the trial. Schultz described himself as an unwilling witness, and said under oath that he didn't want to talk about his work with Apple, or on Flash. Schultz left Apple in 2008.

Real has claimed for years that after it reverse-engineered Apple's FairPlay system to allow its own DRM music files to work on the iPod, Apple changed its software specifically to "break" the Real-purchased songs, and lock out competitors so that it could sell the iPod for higher prices. Though Schultz acknowledged working on a project which had an aim of preventing others from hacking the DRM and OS the iPod used, Real's lawyers were unable to get him to say that this was specifically to block competition.

Apple claims that improvements to the technology and security fixes caused the break, and Schultz agreed with this assessment during defense questioning by Apple attorneys. The project was brought about after Real reverse-engineered Apple's DRM to force its own songs to work with the iPod, a move that then-CEO Steve Jobs characterized as "deeply shocking" and representing a "hacker mentality." Schultz said that the aim of the project was to prevent another such hack, as it had other more serious implications than just allowing competing music stores to use the iPod without licensing Apple's FairPlay DRM: it exposed the device to possible malware, instability and further security issues that would degrade the user experience, he said.

Real is asking for $350 million damages, but the potential award could be tripled if the judge ruled that Apple violated federal antitrust law willingly. Judge Rogers said in Friday's testimony that the jury will begin deliberations early next week.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Dec 14, 2014 at 01:25 AM. )
     
davesmall
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Dec 13, 2014, 12:16 PM
 
Shameful that scum bag opportunistic attorneys are allowed to conjure up a case like this when there has been no actual complaint from an offended customer. In this case, they created the case and went looking for customers they could utilize as plaintiffs. Turns out the people they recruited, weren't even legitimate plaintiffs.

Shame on the judge for letting this case go forward.

There should be a law against shyster attorneys like this firm. They're the ones who should be on trial here.
     
prl99
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Dec 13, 2014, 01:08 PM
 
"...discussed his work on codename "Candy" which would "keep out third party players" ..." Is there any factual information that shows Apple even used this work? Just because someone thinks about something doesn't mean it was implemented or illegal. I've thought of lots of things that are illegal but never carried them out. Since when was thinking illegal? If it was, everyone in the world would be in jail.
     
Stuke
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Dec 13, 2014, 02:22 PM
 
And what difference does that make. If I make a widget that interacts with the world in some way, I too would want my company to profit from not allowing competitors into the system who don't license the technology or partner with my company. What's so novel about this? What's so criminal about this? The patent system exists for a reason...to foster this behavior! The judge allowing this case to proceed 10 years after the first complaint, with no real plaintiff (which isn't bought to testify), is what is really shameful. The judge should be disbarred...now that will make headway!
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Stuke
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Dec 13, 2014, 02:43 PM
 
This judge is the second one. The first retired.
     
growlf
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Dec 13, 2014, 06:14 PM
 
Any article that references this lawsuit should also reference the articles about Apple taking a stance against DRM. Apple's push for DRM-free music downloads made it possible for ANY music to be used ANYWHERE.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Dec 13, 2014, 07:32 PM
 
We've mentioned it in other articles covering this trial.
     
   
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