Apple barked at by watchdog

Fruit-themed toymaker Apple has been accused of spinning the figures for its digital duke box, iTunes.

Apple made a big thing of saying it had flogged more than 10 billion songs last week.

However the Consumerist magazine has called a foul on the claim. It said that three billion of those songs were sold with digital-rights management.

Before Apple saw the light and launched iTunes Plus in 2007, every song “sold” on iTunes was locked by DRM, and backed by a licensing agreement.

This means that the early adopters of iTunes never owned the music they bought and were not allowed to run them in any non-fruity format. Many users will not be able to run the music they bought because they no longer run Apple machines unless you pay Jobs’ Mob 30 cents to “upgrade them”.

The Consumerist thinks that about 5 billion songs were properly sold. Oddly it has not hit out at Apple which makes it clear that the music is all downloads, but the tame Apple press which has been saying that Jobs’ Mob has sold music when it hasn’t.