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Apple faces US iTunes lawsuit

iPod lock-in under fire on both sides of the Atlantic

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A US class-action lawsuit has been launched against Apple over links between its iTunes music store and iPod music players. The action follows similar charges in Europe, brought by a French consumer rights group.

News of the suit, filed in California in July, came in a disclosure by Apple that formed part of its report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Apple's November submission to dismiss the suit, filed by aggrieved punter Melanie Tucker, was turned down on 11 December, Computerworld reports.

The lawsuit alleges Apple violated anti-trust laws by using content protection technology to protect music purchased from its iTunes music store that frustrates the ability of users to play downloaded tracks on anything other than an iPod. It also objects to Apple's lack of transparency to consumers over this incompatibility. The suit seeks to force Apple into breaking the tie-up between iTunes and iPod players as well as the payment of unspecified damages to punters who downloaded music after April 2003. ®

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