Clear the courtroom before Steve Jobs’ deposition is read

May 1, 2012, 10:39 AM UTC

FORTUNE — The first thing you learned when you sat down with Steve Jobs was that the interview was off the record. And it stayed off the record. No matter how innocuous the quote, no matter how much time had passed, Apple (AAPL) public relations wouldn’t let you use it.

So it doesn’t surprise me to learn from a story Monday in the Hollywood Reporter that Jobs insisted that the room be cleared before he gave a deposition in a 2010 case about the terms of Apple’s deal with Emminem’s music publisher. Or that the courtroom was cleared before that deposition was read to the jury. Or that the judge ordered the transcript sealed.

Now the estate of Rick James and other plaintiffs are trying to use that depostion in a separate lawsuit. It may well be, as Apple claims, that the depositions Jobs and Apple VP Eddy Cue gave two years ago are “highly confidential” and contain “proprietary trade secrets” about Apple’s relationships with the music labels.

But it almost doesn’t matter. Apple’s lawyers are going to fight their release for as long as it takes.