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Apple's Jobs was 'mighty upset' Universal backed iTunes rival

Former Apple co-founder and chief executive officer Steve

Former Apple co-founder and chief executive officer Steve Jobs said he was "mighty upset" at a rival digital music service in an e-mail more than a decade ago. Photo Credit: AP

OAKLAND, California - Steve Jobs's warning a decade ago that he was "mighty upset" with a music studio's support for a digital music service that competed with iTunes and his demand for a correction were cited to support a claim that Apple sought to maintain an illegal monopoly.

Attorneys for consumers continued to try to show that Jobs, Apple's co-founder and former chief executive officer, was behind an effort to keep music from other platforms off the iPod in the third day of a trial with the potential for more than $1 billion in damages.

Jurors in federal court in Oakland, California, Thursday saw a 2004 e-mail from Jobs reacting to a Universal Music Group Inc. executive's public statements applauding a rival service created by RealNetworks Inc.

"A reactive statement isn't good enough for us," Jobs said. "We want a press release from Universal correcting this terrible statement," he said, adding "we are mighty upset."

A lawyer for consumers tried to get Apple's iTunes Store chief Eddy Cue, who was called as a witness, to agree that Jobs's complaint succeeded in getting Universal to issue a corrective statement. Cue responded that the studio said "things we didn't agree with and think weren't correct," while disagreeing with the attorney.

Jobs "doesn't have that kind of power," Cue testified. The studio realized the statements were wrong and corrected them on its own, he said.

Internal e-mails between Jobs and other senior executives at Apple were shown to the jury earlier in the week in a bid to depict the late CEO as the mastermind of a push to stymie competitors. The jury is also expected to see a video recording of testimony Jobs gave six months before he died in October 2011.

Cue acknowledged Thursday he was dismayed to learn about a RealNetworks service that would let consumers buy songs to play on the iPod. He said his biggest concern was protecting the iPod from hackers.

"Steve was mighty upset with me and the team whenever we got hacked," he said.

Attorneys representing as many as 8 million consumers and 500 retailers and resellers who bought iPods from 2006 to 2009 claim Apple modified iTunes software so music downloaded with RealNetworks software couldn't be played. Locking iPod owners into iTunes stifled competition for downloading services and enabled Apple to charge more for iPods, they claim.

Apple was curious about how RealNetworks was able to get around Apple's digital rights management software that prevented music purchased elsewhere from running on the iPod, Cue said.

"One of the purposes of DRM is to keep hackers and others away," Cue said. If RealNetworks had found a "back door" around the software, that meant others including hackers could, he said.


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