Court rules iTunes FairPlay DRM did not monopolize digital music sales

itunes music

A California appeals court provided Apple some good news for a change, ruling Apple’s FairPlay DRM software did not monopolize digital music sales. The decision has affirmed a lower court’s dismissal.

In a Wednesday ruling, a three-judge San Francisco court found that although Apple controlled 99 percent of the digital music and digital music player market after imposing FairPlay, the company did not prevent rivals from competing.

The lawsuit had claimed Apple’s DRM prevented songs purchased at iTunes from playing on anything other than its iPod…

As GigaOM notes, the court also found “Apple maintained its 99 cent price point even after Amazon entered with market with DRM-free music, and after Apple itself dropped the FairPlay encryption system in 2009.”

To be perfectly clear, Apple’s FairPlay DRM still protects movies and paid iBooks, however.

Today’s ruling is in contrast to that in New York, where Federal judge Denise Cote earlier ruled Apple had conspired with five eBook publishers to raise prices on titles at the iBookstore.

Although publishers have settled with the Department of Justice, Apple is still negotiating terms of a settlement.