Apple is being sued by two users who were unaware of the fact that people don’t really own the content that they purchase off of digital platforms. The first plaintiff is David Andino, who alleges that Apple’s definition of “buy” is deceptive in that purchased movies technically function more like rentals (access can revoked at any time), while another, Matthew Price, seeks to recover monetary damages after losing access to his account with nearly $25,000 worth of content purchased from iTunes and the App Store. Apple had filed a motion to dismiss the former, but the judge rejected it and is letting the case move forward.

Price’s $25,000 worth of purchases is perhaps an extreme example of what many consumers may encounter when they buy content on digital platforms, only to find it unavailable when their accounts are suspended or terminated. At issue is whether digital content available through various platforms is truly owned by individuals if the platform owner can prevent them from accessing it in the future.

Sources: Ars Technica, The Hollywood Reporter

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9 Comments

  1. It’s a good question.

    I mean, Apple will probably win the suit (not like it isn’t in the fine print) or settle to make it just go away. But the question is one that should be addressed.

  2. Wait why did the individual loose access tk the content? Was it for license violations? Sharing the account, or something similar.

  3. [QUOTE=”Grimlakin, post: 33481, member: 215″]
    Wait why did the individual loose access tk the content? Was it for license violations? Sharing the account, or something similar.
    [/QUOTE]
    Does not say, but the fundamental premise of the case it doesn’t matter. Apple claimed the items were for purchase, but once the account went away, so did all the items that were purchased. And in the case of Apple, it’s a bit more egregious – if I recall (it’s been a while) if you buy a movie from Apple, even if you download it, it still only plays on Apple devices registered to the original account (their version of DRM). So once you lose that account, you are well and truly screwed. Music used to be the same way, but Apple eventually relented and let you download and play the music files on other devices without DRM (probably only because the Streaming services pretty well killed their cash cow there).

    IF the prosecution can get anything even resembling a win here, it has HUGE ramifications – because this is basically how all our digital libraries work. If your main account is pulled – all your content is gone – no refunds, no recompense, no real recourses to get anything back. I shudder to think about losing my Steam account – that would be a big blow, I have a lot wrapped up in Steam. Now, Steam isn’t as bad as Apple, but not everything would work without Steam being online…

    In the fine print, I’m sure it states exactly what happened was going to happen, the guy probably did share his account or violate the TOS in some manner, and that’s probably while Apple will win, or at the very least, throw some cash at it and it will all go away. But I think it’s an important case to bring to light some of these issues revolving around digital ownership.

  4. Strictly speaking, you don’t own anything you buy on apple, or any other distribution service for that matter.
    It’s all licenced. So if you violate the ToS the license can be cancelled and you basically loose everything.

  5. [QUOTE=”Stoly, post: 33498, member: 1474″]
    Strictly speaking, you don’t own anything you buy on apple, or any other distribution service for that matter.
    It’s all licenced. So if you violate the ToS the license can be cancelled and you basically loose everything.
    [/QUOTE]

    Well, yeah. That is the crux of the argument. You do not buy so they should not advertise it that way. You license it at their will to cancel your license. Which also brings pricing into question.

  6. I don’t appreciate it being called a purchase or ‘ buy’ when it ain’t.
    But can’t say I miss the old times whatsoever.
    Its time for some regulations in the language really. Purchase and buy is pretty black and white to me. As far as to account access, that gets a bit harder.

    [URL unfurl=”true”]https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/04/24/woman-charged-felony-unreturned-vhs-tape-22-years-ago/7366876002/[/URL]

  7. I recall reading some legalise that supported buying a license is appropiate.

    Too much mumbo jumbo for my taste. If I can find it I’ll post it.

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