An anonymous reader writes: A U.S. district judge ruled last week that a decade-old antitrust lawsuit regarding Apple’s FairPlay DRM can move forward to a jury trial (PDF). The plaintiffs claim that in 2004, when “Real Networks launched a new version of RealPlayer that competed with iTunes,” Apple issued an update to iTunes that prevented users from using their iPods to play songs obtained from RealPlayer. Real Networks updated its compatibility software in 2006, and Apple introduced a new version of iTunes that also rendered Real Networks’s new update ineffective. The plaintiffs reason that they were thus “locked in” to Apple’s platform, and as a result “Apple was able to overcharge its customers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars”. If the plaintiffs succeed, media content purchased online may go the way of CDs and be playable on competing devices.
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