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First off today, Joe Mullin at Ars Technica reports that Apple will likely be facing down a trial related to their digital rights management (DRM) practices before 2009, where a class of consumers claim that the company used its FairPlay DRM system to both lock in their customers and lock out competitors.
According to the lawsuit, as Apple was finding success with its iTunes music store, its competitor Real was trying to do the same and launched its own copy protection system dubbed Harmony, which was compatible with FairPlay. However, before Apple abandoned FairPlay and DRM in general in 2009, Apple twice updated iTunes to block out Real’s efforts.
The lawsuit claims these practices were anti-competitive and harmed consumers. Now, after some legal wrangling over expert witness testimony, the case has been cleared to go to trial barring a settlement.
Next up today, Andy at Torrentfreak writes that the popular cyberlocker site Firedrive, which was formerly known as Putlocker, has lost all of its functionality and it’s two new mobile apps, one for iOS and one for Android, have both disappeared from their respective app stores.
In addition to the loss of functionality many, if not all, of the video files that were shared on the service have been replaced with short intros used by the movie studios, leading some to believe that the disappearance of the service is from some sort of movie studio action.
The sudden loss of functionality has been especially decried by those who used the service to host personal files, one of whom claims to have lost over 100 hours of work.
Finally today, Josh Ong at TheNextWeb reports that Grooveshark has released a statement in response to a recent court decision against it, saying that it is going to appeal the summary judgment, along with the inevitable multi-million dollar damage award that will come with it, and that they will continue operating as the process unfolds.
Grooveshark, which claims to be a YouTube for sound recordings, has been repeatedly sued by the record labels as most of the tracks available on it are infringing copies of major label recordings. A federal court recently granted summary judgment to Grooveshark based on evidence that, early in the site’s history, the company’s employees, at the encouragement of its founders, uploaded many of the tracks to “seed” the site.
However, Grooveshark claims that those emails deal with a different version of the company, a pre-2008 version that was a paid music platform. As such, they plan on appealing the ruling and will continue operating as long as they are able to.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.