Steve Jobs video deposition iPod trial (drawing 001)

A videotaped deposition of Steve Jobs, recorded in 2011 shortly before his passing and played during the iPod class-action lawsuit, could be made public if news organizations such as The Associated Press, CNN and Bloomberg succeed in proving that releasing the two-hour video is in public interest, CNET reported Tuesday.

And boy would it be interesting to watch Jobs make a series of snarky comments. Asked whether he had heard of Real Networks, Apple’s late co-founder asked “Do they still exist?” All told, he responded 74 times with “I don’t remember,” “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.”

Lawyers representing The Associated Press, Bloomberg and CNN filed a motion with the court to have the footage released. As you could imagine, Apple is battling reporters tooth and nail to prevent the two-hour video from going public.

Lawyers representing the aforementioned news organizations cited “the substantial public interest in the rare posthumous appearance of Steve Jobs in this trial” in their filing Monday to argue that there “simply is no interest that justifies restricting the public’s access to his video deposition.”

“Apple does not consent to your request,” a lawyer representing Apple argued.

The material is being treated as live testimony and has not been sealed yet so there’s some hope that it might be released for public consumption. I’m not a lawyer, but the full transcript of Jobs’ deposition has already been posted online so I don’t think preventing the likes of CNN, Bloomberg and The Associated Press from broadcasting it makes a lot of sense.

Taped on April 12, 2011, it’s one of the last footage of Apple’s late co-founder, who died on October 5, 2011 in his Palo Alto home surrounded by his family.

Apple is on the hook for deleting songs on users’ iPods purchased through rival music stores. The company through the mouth of its online and services chief, Eddy Cue, insisted that its agreements with record labels contractually obliged it to plug any holes in its FairPlay digital-rights management system that software like Real Networks’ Harmony repeatedly exploited.

Turning a blind eye to these hacks would have risked losing access to labels’ catalogue, Cue said. It would have degraded user experience as well and broken Apple’s vertically integrated ecosystem comprised of the iPod hardware, iTunes syncing software and the iTunes Music Store.

“There are lots of hackers trying to hack into these things so that they can do things that would put us in noncompliance with the contracts we have with the music companies,” Jobs said.

Courtroom sketch top of post by Vicki Behringer.


  • Rupinder

    Leave the man and his family at peace.

    • Jason Baroni

      Everything happens in the middle of this privacy war we are facing. People will blame him for the deleted songs, but I don’t care. I have learned from my biggest idol, Michael Jackson, that people will ever try to tumble you down – even when you are dead.

    • AnoNymouz

      Yea!…. Well, after we watch it first.

  • ♋JULY 17♋

    The way life works become famous…
    people like you and wanna get paid as well
    then people hate on you and then try to get money from you as well as put you in the dirt. When you died they say you was a great person then somebody gonna say something bad to change the mood of that .. Real facts

  • Ryan Bartsch

    Let a man die in peace, gosh. Respect his privacy!

    • Рон Джамин

      Public hearing, no expectation of privacy.

  • Guy

    Apple’s argument basically comes down to this. Media companies forced DRM on every legitimate reseller of content (and still do it today with video). They can at ANY time take away access to that content if one of two things happen.

    1. Contract runs out and the media company or reseller does not renew
    2. Breach of contract

    Apple claims that their contract stipulates that the Apple created DRM must remain intact. Real broke that DRM (which is the only way their DRMed tracks could be added to iTunes) and if Apple does nothing, they’re in breach of contract.

    The only way Apple comes out wrong is if they chose THEIR brand of DRM over an industry wide version that all the media companies agreed to use and no such DRM scheme exists. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Real all had their own versions of DRM. Microsoft even created a new form of DRM for their Zune players that did not play well with players that could use their other DRM Plays4Sure.Some interacted with multiple players, some did not.

    The industry didn’t care since if you went to an incompatible player, since they were hoping that you would repurchase all the content you had already bought. Apple at least gave you an easy way to remove the DRM (though it took a blank CD to do it) to import or use with another player

  • Рон Джамин

    As a historian, and the fact that he’s dead, I see no problem with releasing the video testimony from a PUBLIC HEARING. Its a historically important figure and document.

  • Release the footage and expose the iDictator’s immoral moves…won’t be new, but at least it would better open the eyes of the public sector that still believe everything they see on TV.