US DOJ calls for Steve Jobs to be heard in ebook case

Karen Haslam
25 July, 2012
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Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs may be heard by the jury in the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s ebook publishing case against Apple.

His biographer, Walter Isaacson, has been subpoenaed by the DOJ. The plaintiffs want to play recordings of Isaacson’s interviews with Jobs made when writing the book. They are also requesting that other notes from interviews are made available.

DOJ representative Steve Berman wrote to US District Judge Denise Cote saying: “Mr Isaacson conducted numerous interviews during the time Mr Jobs was involved in negotiating Apple’s entry into the ebook market. Mr Jobs discussed Apple’s ebook strategy and negotiations with Mr Isaacson,” reports Business Week.

In response Cote said: “The plaintiff may renew its application when it can show that it meets the test for disclosure of non-confidential material.”

In contrast, the biography has been left out of the battle between Samsung and Apple. Apple requested that jurors in the Samsung versus Apple case should not be exposed to Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography. US District Judge Lucy Koh agreed, stating that the material is irrelevant to the jury’s evaluation, saying: “I really don’t think this is a trial about Steve Jobs.”

DOJ claims ebook trial in ‘public interest’

The DOJ has defended their lawsuit against Apple and other publishers saying that the action is in the “public interest” after the case has apparently prompted 868 responses from the public, both for and against the deal.

According to Fortune, of these 868 responses, 798 of which opposed the DOJ’s stance in the issue.

The DOJ’s response received criticism from Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-DeWitt, who contends the DOJ sidestepped “the central criticism” of its current litigation against Apple and its alleged publishing cohorts.

“The government sided with monopoly (Amazon), rather than competition, in bringing an antitrust case against Apple and five publishers last April. It simply states as a fact that it looked into complaints of Amazon’s widely-feared ‘predatory practices’ and found ‘persuasive evidence’ lacking,” Elmer-DeWitt said.




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