According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Apple is objecting to a discovery request in a class action case against Universal Music Group that seeks the release of trial exhibits, expert reports, and depositions from former CEO Steve Jobs and Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue.
The depositions were originally given in a case between F.B.T. Productions, producers of Eminem records, and Universal Music group division Aftermath Records. That case is about to go to trial, but Apple is filing an objection to the discovery request from the class action that would alter an existing protective order, claiming the depositions and documents are “highly confidential and proprietary trade secrets.”
In its objection, Apple apparently referenced the fact that most involved in the case were sent out of the room during the depositions and claimed if released it could lead to “competitive harm”:
In support, Apple points to the fact that when the depositions were taken, many individuals, including UMG employees, were sent out of the room. And that when Jobs’ deposition was played before the jury, the judge closed the courtroom, ordered many people to leave, and had the transcripts from the trial sessions filed under seal.
The report explained that in the case between F.B.T and Aftermath, the courts previously ruled the “plaintiff was correct in asserting that a contract between the parties should be read as treating digital music as ‘licenses’ rather than ‘sales.’” The case will go to trial in the near future to determine how much that ruling is worth. Meanwhile, the judge in the class action is urging parties to request changes to a protective order on the depositions and documents they are seeking from the F.B.T case.
The class action case against UMG was brought by a number of musicians, including Rob Zombie and the Rick James’ estate, and is seeking revenues from music downloads.
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