Million of customers who purchased an iPod between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009 are being included in a class-action lawsuit against Apple. Filed back in 2005, the lawsuit concerns a software update that prevented the device from playing music that was not purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store.
Those who are included are now being informed via an email which directs them to the lawsuit’s webpage where they can find out more about the case. The complaint was filed by three individuals on behalf of all iPod users, who were disgruntled by Apple’s FairPlay DRM, which was designed to prevent users from playing the music they purchase on iTunes on any other device.
“In particular, Apple’s efforts to thwart RealNetworks’ reverse engineering of FairPlay with its own “Harmony” technology served as the impetus for the lawsuit,” MacRumors reports.
Of course, the DRM — which is no longer applied to iTunes music files — meant that users required an iPod to listen to the tracks that they had purchased. As a result, Apple was able to increase its iPod prices, according to the webpage:
The lawsuit claims that Apple violated federal and state laws by issuing software updates in 2006 for its iPod that prevented iPods from playing songs not purchased on iTunes. The lawsuit claims that the software updates caused iPod prices to be higher than they otherwise would have been.
The list of iPods included in the lawsuit is huge, covering many generations of the iPod, iPod classic, iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and iPod nano. The list can be found on the lawsuit’s webpage.
If you are included in this lawsuit, you can do one of two things: You can either let the case run its course and await the outcome, making you eligible for a share of any recovery (monetary or otherwise), but relinquishing your right to file your own complaint against Apple. Or you can ask to be excluded from the case, which means you don’t receive any share of the recovery from this case, but you can sue Apple yourself.
Have you received an email to say you’re included in the lawsuit?