Steve Jobs ordered to answer iTunes monopoly questions

About music downloads, not boardgames

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is to undergo two hours of questioning about iTunes and its alleged music-download monopoly.

The summons comes at the order of a federal judge, who rejected Apple's attempts to keep Jobs out of the witness stand.

The legal case relates to changes made by Apple to iTunes and its DRM FairPlay software back in 2004, which made it impossible for users to play music files downloaded from RealNetworks on Apple iPods.

Ye olde iTunes

Back in the day, all iTunes downloads were DRM protected, meaning they could only be played on Apple hardware unless you went through the rigmarole of ripping the songs to a CD and re-copying them back to the hard drive.

It is Jobs' intimate knowledge of Apple's inner workings that Judge Lloyd is interested in, and the questioning is limited to that October 2004 update and not FairPlay as a whole or any other areas of the business.

Judge Lloyd wrote in his ruling, "The court finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, first hand knowledge about Apple's software updates in October 2004 that rendered the RealNetworks's digital music files once again inoperable with iPods."

Apple was non-too-keen on having its CEO dragged in for questioning, arguing in a memo filed earlier this year that other executives are just as well informed as Stevie J himself on the matter.

Via Reuters and EdibleApple

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