Digital Music News was recently forced to remove a leaked copy of an iTunes Radio contract from its website after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) claimed that the music news site was infringing on its copyright. Digital Music News originally posted the leaked document on its website in June and it is not clear why Apple took this long to claim copyright infringement.
The iTunes Radio contract that Digital Music News obtained was a particular version of the contract that was offered to the independent record labels. Supposedly the contract revealed that the deals Apple struck with the smaller independent labels were markedly different from the deals it struck with the major record labels.
Digital Music News claimed that the contract showed that Apple “forced sub-standard terms onto all indies, except for [the] biggest, most influential labels.” However, this allegation is based on information from unnamed sources, since copies of Apple’s major label contracts have not been leaked online.
Apple’s claim of copyright infringement over a contract was unusual, noted a law professor consulted by The Verge. “We all know what’s happening here,” said Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman. “Apple doesn’t care about protecting the copyright of contracts. It’s using copyright to try and suppress information that it doesn’t want made public.”
However, this isn’t the first time that Apple has taken steps against a news site that supplied leaked information. According to MacRumors, Apple rumor site ThinkSecret was forced to shut down after the Cupertino-based company sued the website for “posting Apple trade secrets and encouraging and inducing persons to provide product information in breach of agreements.”
Apple’s iTunes Radio music streaming service was released last month as part of iOS 7. The service is currently only available in the U.S. market but Apple’s senior vice president, Eddy Cue, recently indicated that the company has plans to roll out the service internationally. According to Apple, iTunes Radio acquired over 11 million unique listeners just five days after the service was launched.
Here’s how Apple closed out the trading week on Friday.
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