Within the past week Apple has been slapped with two lawsuits. The first lawsuit, filed last week by a man in Cook County, Ill., accuses Apple of failing to disclose until after the iPhone went on sale that its battery is soldered inside the case and thus not user-replaceable. The second suit, filed Monday by rapper Eminem's publisher, claims Apple has been illegally selling his music from the iTunes Store. When you're as successful as Apple has been lately, I suppose it paints a huge target on your back.

First, let's look at the battery lawsuit. Most Apple fans on the Web have spent the past week excoriating the fellow who filed the class action suit, Jose Trujillo. His beef centers not only on Apple's silence beforehand on the iPhone battery's inaccessibility, but on Apple's policy on the issue. The only way to replace the battery is to send it to Apple, which will replace it for $79 plus $6.95 shipping. Trujillo is further incensed over Apple's fee of $29 to rent a temporary replacement iPhone. And he's none too happy that the replacement process erases all the data from the iPhone (although syncing your data with iTunes allows an easy backup).


Then the lawsuit gets a little crazy. Trujillo alleges that the iPhone battery will die after 300 recharge cycles. Because the purchase of an iPhone requires a two-year contract with AT&T, the suit concludes that the typical iPhone owner will need his or her battery replaced at least once during the lifetime of the contract. Essentially the lawsuit claims Apple deceived people about the battery issue so it could profit from the replacement program.

The first problem is that the iPhone battery is much hardier than the lawsuit says, at least according to Apple. The company states on its Web site that a "properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to retain up to 80 percent of its original capacity at 400 full charge and discharge cycles."

Next, one has to wonder how a person so concerned about having a user-replaceable battery he's willing to file a lawsuit over it could have somehow missed all the discussion over that issue in the six months following the iPhone's announcement in January. Yes, Apple did not specifically say users could not replace the battery themselves, but just about everyone else did. Trujillo wanted an iPhone so badly he bought one the first weekend. What did he base his purchase decision on? If he read much at all about the iPhone, he would have encountered some discussion about the battery, as many criticized Apple for it.

I'm also wondering why Trujillo would simply assume the iPhone had a user-replaceable battery. While most cell phones typically have such batteries, the iPhone clearly is not just another cell phone. More to the point, it's made by Apple, a company known for making products easy to use but hard to service yourself. Let's take this one step further: which Apple product does the iPhone most resemble? That's right, the iPod. And how many iPod models have had user-replaceable batteries? The answer is ... none. In fact, Apple's policy on iPod battery replacement is almost identical to (if a bit cheaper than) its iPhone policy: "If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for $59, plus $6.95 shipping, subject to local tax."

Finally there's the question of why, if this issue was so crucial, did Trujillo not just ask someone at the Apple Store: "Hey dude, how do I replace the battery on this thing?"

Okay, maybe I'm being tough on the guy. But it seems that if he'd been paying just the slightest bit of attention, he'd have been aware of the battery issue long before the iPhone went on sale. Sure, Apple could and should put a user-replaceable battery in the iPhone. But they didn't. If that's unacceptable to you, don't buy it. How hard is that?

Next up, we have Eminem's complaint against Apple. His lawsuit alleges that Apple's sale of his music violates his copyrights. At first glance this lawsuit is a real head-scratcher. Doesn't Apple already have a deal with Universal Music, Eminem's label?

As is often the case in the music industry, nothing is as clear as it should be. The labels don't own all the rights to the artist's music; the publisher owns the rights to the sheet music and lyrics while the label owns the rights to the recordings. The labels traditionally have shared a portion of the sale of the recordings with the publishers. This system has worked for CDs and vinyl records before it, but the Eminem suit says that digital downloads are different – they're not covered in the artist's arrangement with Universal. Apple, the suit says, needs to get permission from Eminem's music publisher, Eight Mile High, to offer them on the iTunes Store.

Of course, the suit is asking for laughable damages -- $75,000 as compensation for copyright infringement and $150,000 for each time a song was downloaded (that sure beats the 70 cents per download Universal has been getting!)

But I'm still scratching my head. Apple has a legitimate deal to distribute music digitally with Universal, as it does with all the major labels. I don't see how it can be held responsible for the terms of agreements each of these labels has with each of their artists. If the labels don't have the right to distribute an artist's music digitally, does that mean Apple needs to deal with the publishers? Or worse, does Apple (and by extension, any other digital music reseller) need to make separate deals with both the publisher and the label for each artist? What a nightmare!

An article on Newsfactor.com quotes a litigation expert, Ilan Barzilay of Wolf Greenfield in Boston, who indicates the lawsuit is less an attack on Apple's iTunes Store than it is an attention-grabber for musicians who crave a bigger piece of the online music pie: "Eminem probably doesn't want to sue his label, and Apple is a big name," said Barzilay. "Eminem can get a lot of attention by suing iTunes."

In other words, expect this suit to get settled out of court and for Eminem to quietly renegotiate his contract with Universal. Unless Eminem really wants his music removed from iTunes, and I seriously doubt that.