Twists and Steve Jobs Dominate ITunes Trial

     
     OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – Steve Jobs’ videotaped appearance in federal court today wasn’t the only big development in the Apple iTunes antitrust trial.
     The company’s lawyers have also found a way to potentially close the case in their favor.
     In a new motion to dismiss the decade-old class action, Apple’s lawyers say the only remaining lead plaintiff didn’t buy any of the iPods relevant to the case.
     The 2005 lawsuit accuses the company of preventing iPods from playing music purchased from competing music stores.
     The latest motion, filed today by Apple lawyer William Isaacson, of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, says the company’s business records show that lead plaintiff Marianna Rosen’s iPods were either purchased outside the 2006 to 2009 class period, or weren’t bought by her.
     Attorneys for the class agreed last night to dismiss Melanie Tucker, the second lead plaintiff, from the case for the same reason, according to the motion. This leaves Rosen as the only person representing an estimated eight million consumers and 500 businesses.
     Tucker will no longer testify as expected. Rosen already testified in front of a jury on Wednesday .
     Plaintiffs’ attorneys said they’d file a response to the motion on Saturday.
     Also during the trial’s fourth day, attorneys for the class played clips from a 2011 videotaped deposition of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs died six months after the deposition.
     Part of the trial’s focus is on software by RealNetwork called Harmony, which allowed songs from Real’s music store to be played on the iPod until iTunes updates prevented that. The class claims the updates were intended to stifle competition, but Jobs appeared unconcerned about the accusation in the video.
     “Are you familiar with a company called RealNetworks?” an attorney asked Jobs.
     “Yeah,” said Jobs, dressed in his signature long-sleeve black pullover. “Do they still exist?”
     In the clips, Jobs answered many questions with the response “I don’t remember.”
     Jobs did say that in the early years of iTunes, music companies were concerned about piracy and put pressure on Apple when there were hacks that affected Apple’s digital rights management (DRM) code.
     Attorneys also questioned Jeffrey Robbin, Apple’s vice president of iTunes engineering.
     Like other Apple officials that have taken the stand, Robbin maintained that updates to iTunes were to prevent hacking.
     The trial is scheduled to continue Monday.
     

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