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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  1. icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 12 Sep 2018 @ 2:52pm

    Re:

    >2018 Macbook...2012's technology, TODAY! so poor they can't run Windows 10 due to pisspoor tech decisions.

    They can install and run windows 10....im not sure what pisspoor tech decisions you refer to there.

    And I find when you start pricing full aluminum body computers with similar specs the costs are more expensive for apple, but I haven't found a full metal body laptop that compares in size or bulk elsewhere.

    >Flimsy keyboards that drop apart when used. Phones that split apart at the seams within days. Batteries that just spontaneously "fail" after a few months.

    which keyboards? The laptop keyboard that went a decade without replacement, or the wireless keyboard that has handled 5 years of daily use?

    Which over hyped 'scandal' are you referring to about iPhones falling apart?

    > ...putting their god-awful security-nightmare of an OS on it.

    By which metric? I think I have seen fewer iOS specific malware notices in the last 12 months, and fewer iOS app exploits in the last 12 months. That admittedly might be perception though.


    Honestly, you could make much better iPhone arguments directly discussing cost vs top end competitors.

    But your question, in relation to iPhone is answered by addressing your core bias - you don't like apple or the interface. I for one do. Every time I work with Android the interfaces operate differently, the buttons act differently depending on the app and the screen on the app. The way important options are sorted makes no sense...

    I program C++ and used DOS and Unix command lines. I edit the windows registry and manage my work's domain. Android still confuses me.

    So I go to third party for repairs. I update slowly. The value in a phone/music player/PDA/timewaster that I understand and can rely on is high.

    For computers the math is different. But if the last year with my craptop (a dirtcheap HP laptop with windows 10) has taught me anything, its that windows is far worse than MacOS, given that I literally can't update Win10 on the 32GB Flash Memory chip that it uses as a HD (Windows doesn't leave me 10GB, cant run this update off my clean 32gb thumb drive, and I cant just ask HP for a bigger hard drive..), but windows will lock me down for 15 minutes trying to force me to update every time I open it up. And Linux while open, also doesn't have the support I need, and I don't want the experience of piercing together everything I need and doing everything myself. Apple is actually a happy medium that works, and works well. Thats all.


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