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Major news outlets seek permission to broadcast Steve Jobs deposition in iTunes antitrust suit

Three major news organizations have filed a motion to release footage of a deposition from Steve Jobs shown in court last week, citing "substantial public interest" in rare footage of the late Apple co-founder.

Steve Jobs


Lawyers representing the Associated Press, Bloomberg and CNN filed the motion on Sunday, arguing there is no reason to keep the video hidden from the public. The footage shows Jobs giving testimony for an antitrust suit targeting Apple's iPod and iTunes ecosystem.

Both Apple and the plaintiffs in the antitrust case have asked the court to treat the video as "regular testimony," preventing it from being shown outside the court, but Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has not sealed the evidence. The media outlets' efforts to make the video public were noted by CNet on Tuesday.

The deposition which was first taped in 2011 aired in court last Friday. In it, the late Apple chief executive was said to be evasive, saying that he didn't "know" or "remember" certain details dozens of times.

The lawsuit targets Apple's use of digital rights management, locking song purchases to be used only on Apple hardware while also preventing outside content from being transferred to iPods. The lawsuit dates back to 2005, and applies to iPod models bought between Sept. 12 2006 and March 31, 2009, and could cost Apple up to $1 billion.

The complaint originally centered around RealNetworks and Apple's efforts to block songs from its storefront from being transferred to iPods. In his 2011 testimony, Jobs was asked about the long-defunct RealNetworks, to which he quipped: "Do they still exist?"

One of the key arguments in the lawsuit revolves around an iTunes update allegedly pushed out to break compatibility with Harmony, a technology created by Real that allowed users to playback non-iTunes music on iPod. Plaintiffs allege that Apple sought to create a monopoly by implementing a closed ecosystem with FairPlay DRM on the iPod and iTunes Music Store.

Song purchases from iTunes were restricted by DRM until December of 2009, when Apple successfully negotiated a deal with record labels to remove DRM from music purchases.