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iPod owners notified of RealNetworks-related lawsuit's class action status, given chance to cash in (updated: not Real)

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Remember the 2005 lawsuit over Apple's effort to keep RealNetworks' Harmony DRM off of the iPod, calling the countermeasures an abuse that locked customers into Apple's FairPlay copy protection and the iTunes Store? You're forgiven if you don't -- the complaint was filed in 2005. Even with iTunes having gone primarily DRM-free over three years ago, though, owners of iPods bought between September 12th, 2006 and March 31st, 2009 are just now getting notices that they qualify for a slice of any damages if they register and Rhapsody's former owner the class action group wins in court. Of course, there's no guarantee that RealNetworks former Rhapsody users will win and get you music money to feed your iPod, iPod classic, iPod nano or iPod touch, but unless you're planning to sue Apple yourself, there's no penalty for a legitimate claim.

Update: RealNetworks has chipped in to let us know that it's "not involved in any way" with the lawsuit, which is actually an independent complaint centered around the Rhapsody users themselves. RealNetworks hasn't embroiled itself in a legal fight with Apple to date.

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