Apple must face lawsuit alleging that 'buying' media on iTunes is misleading

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  • Reply 61 of 66
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,068member
    mbdrake76 said:

    mbdrake76 said: For Apple (at least), the situation is all over the place.  A film/TV distributor can pull an item from being sold through iTunes/Apple TV, but still keep it in the library for download (and streaming).  But they could also do both - remove it from sale and from Apple's servers.  And Apple doesn't have to give the consumer any notice whatsoever.  So a 'purchase' through Apple's iTunes/Apple TV is effectively a gamble.  It's not a rental because at least with that you have a definite date on which the title will be pulled from your library. 
    Provide an example of what you're talking about here. If you purchase (rather than rent) a film or tv show and then download it to a device, it won't matter whether the rights holder later removes it from sale through Apple. The copy is still going to play on your device. I think you may be confusing this with Apple Music, where you are allowed to download files to your device but they can be disabled if they're no longer available through Apple Music. It works that way because you were never "buying" them in the first place. The download was just a convenience feature. 
    You're right - I might have got a bit confused at that point.  It was very early morning, to be fair ;). Yep, the download will play regardless of whether the title is withdrawn from Apple's servers or not. 

    But I still say downloading an entire library of movies can be a massive pain in the rear end depending on what platform you primarily use.  I would suggest that Apple considers letting users backup movies and TV shows purchased to iCloud permanently, but this would require permission from the distributor, and Apple would need to offer enough space to do so.
    You are failing to understand the time line to downloading digital movies. What was a massive pain in the rear, before digital downloads, was buying movies on physical disc, storing them and then having to find them, remove them from the case and place it in the player, every time you want to watch one of the movies in your massive collection. Then you have to put them back. Plus you had to drive to a Toward Records, Target, BestBuy, Walmart or BlockBuster or any number of brick and mortar to buy the movies. Now, one can build a massive movie collection from their computer, without ever having to move their rear end from a computer. Remember renting the movie disc (or tape) from BlockBuster, before there were streaming rentals from Netflix? 

    With digital downloads, your whole movie collection is in your computer hard drive or on Apple servers and you only need to log in to play it on any of your number of devices. The only requirement to downloading movies, is iTunes. Platform is of no concern. With an Apple TV hooked to a TV, you have access to all your purchased movies without having to lift your rear end off the couch. Whether the movies are on Apple server or your computer with iTunes on a Mac or PC.  

    Can you play the movies you own on a DVD or BluRay disc, on your mobile device? Not unless you bought the disc that included a digital download. What was even a more massive pain in the rear back before digital download was getting the software needed to remove the encryption from your movies on the disc, so that you can make a "legal" back up of them on your computer hard drive and played them from there. And even then, the movies will not play on a mobile device. You would need special software to convert them to a smaller format so they can play on mobile devices. (It was mainly an iPod with video back then.)

    There is no "massive pain in the rear" when you download your movie purchases into your device hard drive. Just click  the download option and it's in your computer hard drive in minutes. (depending on the speed of your connection.) You can do this any time after the purchase. (so long as it's still available on Apple servers.) It's not like you have to wait in real time for a 2 hour movie to download. It will download in the background while you're using your computer for something else. A 1T hard drive can hold up to 500 DVD movies or 250 BluRay moves or something in between.  And it can be in a portable 1T external drive that cost less than $50. Using Time Machine will also back up those downloads that are in your Mac hard drive. There is nothing stopping anyone from buying space on the cloud, to store their downloaded movies. 

    Buying downloaded digital movies vs the physical disc has its drawbacks, but one has to weigh the convenience with the drawbacks and determine what's best for them. They can't have the best of both world. And it's not Apple's fault. Apple do not own the movies. It's the movie industry fault. DRM and all the restrictions are movie industry requirements on all digital downloaded movies, no mater who you buy them from.   
  • Reply 62 of 66
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,068member
    mbdrake76 said:
    mbdrake76 said: Heck, even Apple's own marketing states: "Buy. Rent. Watch. All inside the app. Welcome to the new home of thousands of films, including the latest blockbusters from iTunes. Now you can buy, rent and watch, all from inside the app — as well as watch everything you’ve previously purchased from iTunes."  There's no little asterisk there that links to teeny-tiny text with the caveat that the content may not be permanent and one might potentially lose access to their purchased content if a distributor removes it from the store. 
    It's in the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions that you have to agree to:

    "You may be limited in the amount of Content you may download, and some downloaded Content may expire after a given amount of time after downloaded or first played. Certain Content may not be available for download at all.

    You may be able to redownload previously acquired Content (“Redownload”) to your devices that are signed in with the same Apple ID (“Associated Devices”). You can see Content types available for Redownload in your Home Country at https://support.apple.com/HT204632. Content may not be available for Redownload if that Content is no longer offered on our Services."

    But it still mentions 'download' / 'redownload' and not 'streaming/playback' - unless Apple is using 'download' and 'redownload' as a general term for playing the content (by which the mechanism of delivery is considered irrelevant - after all, you still need to download the content from the server (in batches at least - with the potential to temporarily store it on the local device as part of a cache) to be able to play it).  This is where a judge/lawyer comes in handy. 

    It's also interesting that they use the word 'acquired' rather than 'bought' or 'purchased' - it's a catch-all term that can be applied to both rental and 'purchased' content.   The terms haven't been updated since September 2020.  I expect we may see an update to it soon.
    "You may be limited in the amount of Content you may download, and some downloaded Content may expire after a given amount of time after downloaded or first played. Certain Content may not be available for download at all.

    This is referring to when you rent a movie for streaming. When you rent a movie, you can download the movie into your device with a hard drive, to watch offline. Like when flying. But the download may expire after a certain amount of time, even if you don't play it and will expire sooner once you start to play it. The limit in the amount you can download is determine by how much space you have left on your hard drive. Certain rentals can not be downloaded and can only be streamed when rented.



    You may be able to redownload previously acquired Content (“Redownload”) to your devices that are signed in with the same Apple ID (“Associated Devices”). You can see Content types available for Redownload in your Home Country at https://support.apple.com/HT204632. Content may not be available for Redownload if that Content is no longer offered on our Services."


    This is referring to "acquired  Content", which are movies that you already downloaded, either as a purchase or for rental. It's saying that you can re-download them, if for instance the hard drive they were on crashed and you longer have them. But only if they are still available on Apple servers for rent or sale.   


    And here's why it also refers to rentals ....

    >When you rent a movie, you have 30 days to start watching it. As soon as you play your rental, your rental is available for 48 hours. Your rental automatically deletes from your library 30 days after you rent it or 48 hours after you start watching it, whichever is sooner.<


    Say for instance, you downloaded several movie rentals on to an iPad that you are planning to take on a flight next week, so you can watch them offline during the flight. But the day before the flight, you dropped it and cracked the screen. So now you have to take your MacBook Air on the flight. Well, Apple is saying that you can re-download those (previously acquired) rental movies on to your MacBook Air, for offline viewing, without having to pay for them again. Providing it's within the 30 day expiration period of a rental and that the movies are still available for rent on Apple Services. But with a purchased movie, there is no expiration, but the Content still have to be available on Apple Services, for you to re-download them. 


    It's pretty clear for those that understand how Apple purchases and rentals works. Not so clear for those that don't. 

    edited April 2021
  • Reply 63 of 66
    electorelector Posts: 56member
    I had glanced at this lawsuit and remembered last year two movies I had purchased and paid almost as much as if I bought them in a real physical location.

    The difference being was physical media versus downloaded media. I perceive the word "BUY" as just that. Purchase and not renting. If I wanted to rent I could have paid the $3 to view it and all would be well and good. But it was bought, just as if I were to go to Best Buy and purchased the movie.

    Now I am smart enough to actually download it to a 4T external hard drive and have copied it to a 5T drive as a precaution in case of loss or if the one should fail.

    I have also in Apple's servers in iTunes Movies via my apple TV and as I stated I noticed two were missing. My having Apple tell me that they are no longer available in iTunes Movies was no excuse since I find it as BOUGHT and not rented.

    Apple did compromised and gave me credit for three additional movie downloads, of which I was happy with the outcome. nice to have three free movies titles that I also took and placed on my hard drives. 

    But as I said to be honest I did have the prior purchase in my possession just not on the iTunes Movies on my account. 

    I would have hoped any user of the service was bright enough to place a physical download copy to an external media. But who knows?
  • Reply 64 of 66
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,068member
    elector said:
    I had glanced at this lawsuit and remembered last year two movies I had purchased and paid almost as much as if I bought them in a real physical location.

    The difference being was physical media versus downloaded media. I perceive the word "BUY" as just that. Purchase and not renting. If I wanted to rent I could have paid the $3 to view it and all would be well and good. But it was bought, just as if I were to go to Best Buy and purchased the movie.

    Now I am smart enough to actually download it to a 4T external hard drive and have copied it to a 5T drive as a precaution in case of loss or if the one should fail.

    I have also in Apple's servers in iTunes Movies via my apple TV and as I stated I noticed two were missing. My having Apple tell me that they are no longer available in iTunes Movies was no excuse since I find it as BOUGHT and not rented.

    Apple did compromised and gave me credit for three additional movie downloads, of which I was happy with the outcome. nice to have three free movies titles that I also took and placed on my hard drives. 

    But as I said to be honest I did have the prior purchase in my possession just not on the iTunes Movies on my account. 

    I would have hoped any user of the service was bright enough to place a physical download copy to an external media. But who knows?
    You can still stream those "missing movies" with an Apple TV. Just not from Apple servers. So long as the iTunes library that those "missing movies" are on, is on a computer that is connected to WiFi, an Apple TV on the same WiFi can stream all the contents from that library. Just turn on "Home Sharing" in iTunes on your computer and on your Apple TV and the iTunes library with your downloaded purchases on your computer, will be available for streaming with your Apple TV.  Not as convenient as streaming from Apple servers as you need to have a computer running iTunes in order to watch it, but you did not lose the movies on your Apple TV. 

    It's kind of like if you're in Region 1 and bought several DVD movies that are coded for Region 2 but it didn't matter at the time because your DVD player plays all Region codes. But when you upgraded to a BluRay player, it only plays Region 1 DVD's. You didn't lose those Region 2 movies but it's just not convenient to play them as you have to hook up your old DVD player.  

    But if you had bought that movie on a BluRay disc from BestBuy, could you play that movie on your iPhone, iPad or a computer without a BluRay drive? Could you play your purchased disc on a flight from NY to SF, on your mobile device? It's a trade off. If all you're ever want to do with a movie purchase is to watch it on a TV, then buying the disc from BestBuy might be the way to go. But if you also want to play the movie on a computer or on your mobile devices, then "buying" the digital download is the way to go. And you can do both as some DVD's and BluRay purchases also comes with the digital copy. They cost a bit more but it's not like paying twice the cost of the movie without the digital copy. But the extra cost might be worth the hassle of ripping the movie from the disc, into your computer. If a digital file of the movie that can play from a hard drive, is what you want.  
  • Reply 65 of 66
    davidwdavidw Posts: 2,068member
    Most of the commenters here that are saying that Apple is deceiving them when they "Buy" a movie from Apple, don't understand what they are "buying".

    When you "Buy" a digital downloaded movie from Apple, you are buying a digital file of the movie and a license to watch the movie from that digital file. The digital file can (and should) be saved to a hard drive and can be viewed at any time and for an unlimited amount of times. This is much like purchasing a physical disc of the movie. But when you "Buy" a movie from Apple, Apple is also providing you with unlimited free rentals of that movie, as you already paid for a license to watch that movie. However, those free rentals are only available as long as Apple still have the license from the content owner, to rent them out. This is spelled out in the purchase agreement. You wanting to use your own definition of "Buy", don't make it a deception on Apple part. 

    However, if the content owner revoke Apple license to rent out their movies, then there's no way to watch that movie from Apple servers. But you can always watch it from the  digital download that you bought, as the content owner can not revoke your license to do that. (Providing you saved it to a hard drive and you don't have your Apple ID revoked.) This is what you bought and own, when to "Buy" a movie from Apple. (And if you want, you can buy software that can remove the DRM from that download and play it without needing an Apple ID.)  

    If you don't want to save a downloaded copy of your purchase, that's up to you. But remember that Apple do not own the movies they are renting out. But you will always have the digital copy that you downloaded to your hard drive.   
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