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Apple Deleted Songs From Users' iPods in Secret: Court Case

Image: Apple Deleted Songs From Users' iPods in Secret: Court Case
The Apple logo is seen through a fence in front of an Apple Store in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 01:08 PM

Apple deleted songs purchased from rival music stores from its users' iPods between 2007 and 2009, prosecutors alleged in an anti-trust case this week.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the deletions were surreptitious — carried out when users tried to sync songs to their devices. iTunes would display an error message when this occurred, instruct users to restore the factory settings of their device, and silently delete rival songs and albums.

"You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up" users' music libraries, said attorney Patrick Coughlin in a U.S. District Court in California.

"We don’t need to give users too much information . . . We don’t want to confuse users," Apple security director Augustin Farrugia testified in response. He said that computer viruses often masqueraded as song files, and that Apple removed non-iTunes files in an attempt to protect users.

Farrugia suggested that the malicious attacks were often effective, leaving Apple with only one option — to go nuclear on all non-native files.

"The system was totally hacked," he said.

"Someone is breaking into our house," late founder and CEO Steve Jobs wrote in an email at the time, seeming to corroborate Farrugia's testimony.

If the suit against Apple is successful, the company could face a $350 million payout — which could triple under anti-trust statutes.

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Apple deleted songs purchased from rival music stores from its users' iPods between 2007 and 2009, prosecutors alleged in an anti-trust case this week.
apple, deleted, songs, rival, ipods
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2014-08-04
Thursday, 04 Dec 2014 01:08 PM
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