Jury begins deliberations in billion-dollar Apple iTunes trial

Joe Mullin, Ars Technica:

If the jury sees the "software and firmware updates" in iTunes 7.0 as a real improvement, the case will be over—a win for Apple. If it doesn't see it that way, the jurors will still have to decide if Apple broke competition laws and, if so, how much the company should pay in damages. Plaintiffs are asking for $351 million, and any award will be tripled under antitrust law.

Plaintiffs representing a class of eight million consumers and resellers say Apple's behavior was anti-competitive, because the iTunes update stopped Real's competing DRM system from working correctly. Apple says Real should take responsibility for what was basically a hack of Apple DRM. When the company updated its security in iTunes 7.0, Real's reverse engineering, quite naturally, stopped working.

At stake are millions for the class-action lawyers. Meanwhile, those class-action lawyers - representing eight million consumers - had difficulty presenting even one legitimate plaintiff to the court.