iPod Class Action Moves Forward, Eligible Owners Notified

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Apple customers who purchased an iPod between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009 have been notified of their class status in a class-action lawsuit against the company initially filed over two years ago. The suit seeks damages against the iDevice maker for unfairly blocking competition with its propriety DRM utilized by both iPods and iTunes.

Potential class members were notified of their status in emails (PDF) delivered early Wednesday. Although the class-action was granted in November 2011, notifications to consumers are now being delivered following failed settlement negotiations earlier this month.

iPod Class Action Lawsuit Notice

The court approved notice sent to potential class members.

The suit’s origins date back to the early days of the iTunes Music store. In 2004, RealNetworks released software called “Harmony,” which let users of Real’s digital music service play their purchased tracks on a number of devices, including the iPod. It accomplished this latter feat by circumventing Apple’s FairPlay DRM solution, essentially “converting” its own songs into FairPlay DRM’d files that the iPod recognized.

Apple characterized Real’s actions as those of a “hacker” and shortly thereafter released an iPod firmware update, closing the hole Real used to make Harmony work and once again limiting the iPod to music obtained via the iTunes Music Store and unprotected files. 

In the aftermath of Apple’s actions, several iPod owners filed suits against the company, accusing it of illegally blocking competition. Over the years the suits were consolidated until a class-action was finally granted late last year.

Those Apple customers not receiving the email notification can find out more about the suit at its dedicated website. Class-eligible customers have two options: do nothing and become part of the class, or opt out and retain the right to sue Apple individually. Those seeking to opt out must notify the consulting firm handling the lawsuit’s logistics by July 30, 2012.

A detailed list of iPod models covered by the suit can be found at the suit’s website.

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Most Class-Action suits are only meant to serve the Lawyer-Class.


I got one of these notices even though I did not “Purchase one of the listed iPod models between September 12, 2006 and March 31 2009”.

One thing that bugs me about this (but not the only thing by any means) is that you are either included automatically or can opt out. The trouble is (if I read the notice I got correctly) to opt out you have to draft a dead tree letter and mail it to the court. What a pain in the @$$. I just trashed the notice and won’t be filing any claim even if they do get a settlement.


@geoduck, I did the same without even reading it.


Did you buy an iPod directly from Apple between 2006 and 2009? You could be eligible for a class action settlement award!

Check out the newest iPod notice and register for a claim at www.mysettlementclaims.com


Check out the newest iPod notice and register for a claim at

As I view this suit to be completely without merit to do so would IMO be unethical.

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