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Fortnite: Decision to restore game to iOS recommended for jury

(Image Credit: Eurogamer)
(Image Credit: Eurogamer)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 29 Sep 2020, 01:34 IST
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Epic Games and Apple Inc. met (virtually) in court today to make their legal arguments before a U.S. Judge in California. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said during the trial “I know I’m just a stepping stone for all of you,” and reportedly decided that the decision whether or not to restore Fortnite to the App Store should be made by a jury before a higher court.

Epic and Apple invested in the state of Fortnite

This legal battle over whether or not Fortnite can be blocked from the App Store by Apple has many wide reaching implications for Apple and Epic, with both companies having much to win or lose by the outcome. Therefore, it is no surprise that Judge Rogers sent the decision to a higher court.

These types of court decisions, especially where both sides have the resources necessary to afford a long and drawn out legal fight, can never be decided in a single moment like this. There’s too much money and interest involved on either side to let the precedent be limited only to a single state.

Had Judge Rogers sided with Epic and restored Fortnite, Apple would have immediately appealed and had the case tried by a higher court, and vice-versa. Therefore, it made more sense for Judge Rogers to simply send it to a higher court right away, to save everyone’s time and refuse to show favor to either company in this dispute.

Judge Rogers recommends a jury, says “a higher court would be less likely to overturn the result”

In this fight over the future of Fortnite, Judge Rogers specifically stated that this dispute should be brought before a jury. However, it’s not certain whether or not a jury would be the best method of settling this type of dispute for quite a few reasons.

Firstly, this court case has to deal with antitrust laws, and is a more complicated subject than what the average person could be expected to comprehend. While juries are great for criminal cases where they can be told the burden of proof required for a prosecutor to convince them of a subject’s guilt, they are much less capable of making unanimous decisions about business disputes.

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Additionally, juries are considered most effective when they do not enter the court with a bias, something that is fairly difficult to do when talking about two of the most famous businesses in the world.

A jury member who played Fortnite on their iPhone, for example, would have a vested interest in the outcome. Likewise, a parent unhappy with the amount of time their child spends on Fortnite, or unsatisfied with the service Apple provides them for the iPhone will walk through the doors with a bias for or against one of the companies.

Regardless, it seems like iOS Fortnite players will have to even longer before a decision is made about whether or not Fortnite can be played on their iOS devices again.

Published 29 Sep 2020, 01:34 IST
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