Media won’t be given access to Steve Jobs testimony, says judge

18 Dec 2014

Former Apple executive, Steve Jobs. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Despite intense media interest, the US district court judge involved in the recent Apple lawsuit has ruled out any possibility of the posthumous testimony from Steve Jobs of being released for public viewing.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued the decision following yesterday’s confirmation that Apple had avoided a potential US$1bn lawsuit from MP3 player producers claiming the company had subverted the portable music player market by restricting users to iPods because of its digital rights management (DRM) software, FairPlay.

The software was installed on iPods produced between 2006 and 2009, but after the plaintiffs involved in the case presented the wrong iPods, and Judge Gonzalez Rodgers striking all the plaintiffs off the case, the jury unanimously ruled in favour of Apple.

However, one of the talking points of the case was the appearance of Apple’s late co-founder and executive, Steve Jobs, who appeared via a recorded video multiple times prior to his death in 2011 to give evidence for the case in what was titled The Jobs Deposition.

While the media were given access to report on the court proceedings and transcribe Jobs’ words, there have been numerous requests for the video to be broadcast online, but it has been ruled that it could set a harmful precedent of releasing all video evidence shown in court which could dissuade in-danger witnesses from coming forward.

In her ruling, Gonzalez said that if it weren’t for the objections of parties, the video could have been released under different circumstances, “If the video had been introduced as a trial exhibit, or if no objection had been lodged, the ruling on this motion might be different. In light of the present circumstances and the lack of legal authority justifying the media intervenors’ request, however, the Court will not authorise the copying of the Jobs Deposition.”

Ruling Denying Media Intervenors Access to Jobs Deposition

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic