Court Rules Apple’s Use Of FairPlay DRM On iTunes Was Not An Illegal Monopoly


While Apple dropped the use of FairPlay DRM on iTunes back in 2009, it was hit with a class action lawsuit while the technology was still in use, which claimed that the protection system violated anti-trust laws, since it limited music purchased from iTunes to playback on iPod music players only. Today, a California appeals court has issued a ruling in Apple’s favour, confirming that FairPlay did not break antitrust laws, GigaOM reports.

“The ruling comes in response to a long-running class action suit that claimed Apple’s iTunes store was an illegal monopoly because songs bought in the store could only be played on Apple’s iPod music player. After Apple imposed the digital rights management system, its share of the digital music and player market rose to 99 percent by 2004, according to the decision.”

The source details that a 3-judge panel ruled that Apple did not break antitrust laws with FairPlay, in part because it maintained prices at 99 cents before and after the introduction of the DRM system. Furthermore, Apple maintained its 99 cent price point even after Amazon entered the market with DRM-free music, and after Apple itself dropped the FairPlay encryption system in 2009.

With the DRM case finally coming to a close after all these years, Apple should now focus all its efforts on the eBook price-fixing suit.

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