Apple is going to have to face an action from a group of consumers ganged up against it. In question, its offers to purchase content on iTunes which would be misleading. John Mendez, a Sacramento District Court Judge in California, said users weren’t able to realize that when they bought content, they didn’t quite own it. He refused to dismiss the class action suit, as requested by Apple. The procedure will therefore continue. John Mendez, however, refused the main plaintiff David Andino’s request for compensation.
To buy is to own
There are precedents for this case. In 2018, Anders Goncalves da Silva caused a heated controversy when he realized that some films had disappeared from his iTunes library when he left Australia for Canada. Blame it on the contracts signed between Apple and the rights holders who were not the same in the two countries. A digital rights management (DRM) problem that is not unique to Apple therefore.
Amazon faces a similar lawsuit for Prime Video purchases. Note that this is a practice shared by all VoD platforms. They leave the choice between “buying” content for the act or “renting” for a period of generally 48 hours and at a lower price. But they cannot guarantee that they will remain accessible online indefinitely and everywhere in the former case.
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This is the problem for the California judge. Because the definition of the word “buy” refers to the notion of possession. “It seems plausible, at least at the stage of the motion to reject, that reasonable consumers expect that their access cannot be revoked.”, he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apple may have observed that users could download the content in question to keep it no matter what, this did not change the judge’s position.
Apple might therefore be forced to change the way it sells movies on iTunes because they can potentially become inaccessible after being purchased.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter