Apple Secretly Deleted Songs From Competing Services Off iPods

Apple's at it again.

Hey, remember when Apple enraged customers by sneaking U2’s “Songs of Innocence” into everyone’s iTunes without permission? (Was I the only one happy about this?)

Turns out that’s not the only sneaky thing Apple’s been up to. Between 2007 and 2009, Apple was secretly deleting songs users had downloaded off competing music services. When an iPod with songs not acquired from iTunes attempted to sync, the device displayed an error message instructing the user to restore to factory settings. When iPods were restored, the music from competing music services disappeared.

Apple enforced the system “not to tell users the problem,” attorney Patrick Coughlin told jurors in a $350 million class-action antitrust suit against Apple on Wednesday.

According to Apple, they deleted users’ non-Apple files to protect them from the likes of hackers with names such as “DVD Jon” and “Requiem”. Evidence shows that even Steve Jobs was concern about hacking.

Things may be looking up for Apple though. New evidence suggests that the two plaintiffs may not even own the iPod models covered in the lawsuit.

The case is set to play out over the next week.

(Photo by: Mathieu Thouvenin via Flickr)