Technology

Billion-Dollar Trial Against Apple Loses All Plaintiffs—Then Gets a New One

Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. The iPhone 6 will have a screen measuring 4.7 inches, while the iPhone 6 Plus will be 5.5 inches. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. (Ars Technica) — Ready for your daily dose of “meta?” This article is about a lawsuit that will stay alive because it has a new plaintiff—who read about the case on Ars Technica.

A bizarre scene unfolded in federal court here today, as lawyers pushing an antitrust lawsuit against Apple’s iTunes sought a new plaintiff. The sole remaining plaintiff was thrown out of the case yesterday, after it was discovered that she hadn’t personally purchased an iPod in the relevant time period.

The class-action lawsuit claims that Apple’s scheme for digital rights management (DRM) illegally shut out competitors, “locked in” consumers, and raised prices on iPods. The case was originally filed in 2005, and a jury trial finally started last week. Plaintiffs are asking for $351 million in damages, and any damage award will be tripled under antitrust law.

Today began with continued testimony from the plaintiffs’ legal expert, who explained his theory about how consumer lock-in raised prices on all iPods during the time period in question, from 2006 to 2009. The time period ended when Apple dropped its DRM.

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