Apple is still trying to find its footing in the legal sphere after a federal judge struck down the company’s proposed $7 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics last month.
The decision in Federal District Court in San Francisco was a victory for the tech giant, which had argued that the Beats deal would allow it to more easily bypass existing digital media outlets.
In its complaint, Apple accused Beats of “fraudulent advertising” that was meant to “subvert the legitimate advertising practice of traditional media organizations,” which are considered the “main gatekeepers of the internet” by the Federal Trade Commission.
The lawsuit is based on Beats’ use of the Beats logo to advertise on iTunes, as well as its placement of its Beats Music streaming service in advertisements on Apple products.
It also claimed that Apple violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which bars copyright infringement.
“The content of the [AdWords] advertising is protected by copyright law, which does not include an exception for advertising products that are produced or sold by non-U.S. companies,” the company wrote.
“Apple is entitled to no such protection.”
Apple has long maintained that its ad campaigns are not covered by the DMCA, even though they were purchased by the company.
In a filing with the court, Apple argued that “Apple has no contractual relationship with [AdSense], the advertising channel or the advertising product” and that it could not be sued for violations of the DMCA because the company had never created its own content.
But Apple’s argument has not been persuasive.
In court documents, the company noted that it owns and controls “the intellectual property rights to most of its digital content” and argued that it would not be liable for the infringement of those rights.
“We are not aware of any other content owned by Apple that has been copied or used to infringe upon our copyright,” Apple wrote in its motion to dismiss the case.
Apple has been trying to use its ad sales platform to combat the rise of fake news and fake news bots on the internet, which have been using automated ads to manipulate people’s perception of what is real and what is not.
Last year, Apple sued Buzzfeed over its decision to pay for ad space to run fake news stories in the pages of its popular BuzzFeed News website.
In response, Buzzfeed filed a lawsuit with the FTC last month that accuses Apple of being in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
Apple’s legal arguments, which could lead to a decision in the case, have not been well received by some media outlets, particularly the tech media.
“Apple has had a long history of fighting for its own rights, but its efforts have largely been futile,” said Steve Kondik, a partner at law firm Covington & Burling and a former FTC attorney.
“They’ve been trying so hard to avoid the DMCA that they’ve gone from fighting for a free market to fighting against it.”
Apple’s decision to file its own complaint with the judge could further delay the case for weeks.
The judge will hold a hearing on Monday.