Apple Getting Sued

Wired has a great little piece about Apple’s lawsuit and I’ve seen a few people fireback with the classic, “If you don’t like it, go somewhere else” line. While I’m tempted to agree with this I see two issues that give me pause:

1. Does the iPod have a monopoly and if so, does that mean so does iTunes? The iPod is the everywhere but not everyone uses iTunes, you don’t have to use it to purchase new music. It plays MP3′s just fine yet Apple’s marketing department has done such a great job of binding the two that many people aren’t even aware that the two don’t need to go hand in hand.

From that comes the question: if the iPod does have a monopoly aren’t they giving their separate music service an unfair advantage by not allowing third-party services to directly integrate into the only “official” iPod software, iTunes? Think that sounds silly? Tell that to the Microsoft lawyers that were forced to create a version of Windows for the EU that didn’t have Media Player bundled. Tell that to the software team that was forced to make it very obvious that you could switch your default web browser in Windows XP.

2. What am I buying? If I pay CD prices shouldn’t I be able to have CD rights? I can buy an album for $10 from either iTunes or BestBuy yet only one option allows me to play the music anywhere and rip it into any format I want. Many iTunes users are discovering they can’t do much of anything with their music except listen to it on what Apple tells them they can. I’m buying music, not an iPod, yet without an iPod I can’t play the music.

It’ll be an interesting case and I know who I’m cheering for, the consumer.