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Judge Says No to Release of Steve Jobs iPod Trial Video Deposition

Judge Says No to Release of Steve Jobs iPod Trial Video Deposition

District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ruled that the Steve Jobs video deposition that played a key role in the iPod/iTunes antitrust trial Apple faced last week will not be released to the public.



In a filing released today (via AppleInsider), the judge denied a request issued by several major news outlets last week, including CNN, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press. The news agencies had filed a motion to have the deposition video, which was filmed just six months before Steve Jobs’ death, released to the public.

Citing a past decision made by the Eighth Circuit in a case that involved a video deposition by former president Bill Clinton, the court ruled the Jobs video was not a judicial record, and should be treated the same as live testimony.

“Here, the Court agrees with the Eighth Circuit and concludes that the Jobs Deposition is not a judicial record. It was not admitted into evidence as an exhibit. Instead, the Jobs Deposition was merely presented in lieu of live testimony due to the witness’s unavailability, and was and should be treated in the same manner as any other live testimony offered at trial. As is typical of all live testimony, it is properly made available to the public through its initial courtroom presentation and, subsequently, via the official court transcript, the latter of which is the judicial record of such testimony.”

The judge ruled the way she did in part due to Apple’s strong objection to the release. Had Apple not objected, the filing says the ruling “might be different.”

In the video, Jobs explained about Apple’s Digital Rights Management, which he said were the result of contracts with the record labels. Preventing third-party music from playing on the iPod was “collateral damage.”

The iPod trail ended on Tuesday, with a favorable ruling for Apple. The jury took just three hours to come back with a verdict saying Apple’s practices had not harmed consumers.