You Don't Own What You've Bought: Apple Disappears Purchased Movies

from the bad-apple dept

Once again, copyright and the digitization of everything means you no longer "own" what you've "bought." I thought we'd covered all this a decade ago when Kindle owners discovered that, even though they'd "purchased" copies of the ebook of George Orwell's 1984, their books had been memory holed, thanks to Amazon losing a license. After there was an uproar, Amazon changed its system and promised such things would never happen again. You would think that other online stores selling digital items would remember this and design their systems not to do this -- especially some of the largest.

Enter Apple and its infamous iTunes store. On Twitter, Anders G da Silva has posted a thread detailing how three of the movies he "purchased" have now disappeared and how little Apple seems to care about this:

My guess is that with this tweet getting lots and lots of attention, Apple will eventually back down and "fix" the situation. But it shouldn't take going viral for you to not have the stuff you bought disappear thanks to a change in licensing. Indeed, it does seem like Apple telling users that they are "buying" content that might later disappear due to changes in licensing agreements could potentially be a deceptive practice that could lead to FTC or possibly state consumer protection claims:

Last year we had a podcast about a new book by two copyright professors about the "end of ownership" due to excessive copyright usage, and this is just yet another unfortunate example of what has happened when we lock everything up. You don't own what you've bought.

And, yes, it is not endorsing or advocating for piracy to note that this is one of the reasons why people pirate. Content that people pirate doesn't magically disappear when licenses change and giant multinational companies decide to reach into your library and memory hole your purchases. Don't want people to pirate so much? Stop doing this kind of anti-consumer bullshit.


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The First Word

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    HOWIE W RONG, 12 Sep 2018 @ 10:48am

    Re: You HAVE NOT "bought" the content, only a LICENSE to enjoy.

    By the way, twice for first time in months, got "One More Step" from Cloudflare or wherever. But apparently they don't keep up with every TOR address, so here is ME again!

    Try enjoying dissent! I do because sharpens my dull-as-a-dibble wit.

    Also: You should after 20 years have boiler-plate as I do, firm positions about what bellieve. It'd be handy. But after anti-dirt and me have chased you around for years, we STILL don't know what your position is!


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