If you buy a movie through iTunes, you don’t actually own it. And that’s a problem.
In Sacramento, California, Apple is close to trial. Here is the problem at hand. Do you know how many times you’ve “bought” movies from iTunes? Because of the way Apple licenses movies from studios, you never really own them. They actually rented them for a longer period of time at a higher price.
And that pretty upset consumers.
David Andino is the main plaintiff in this case. He claims Apple reserves the right to terminate access to movies that you “buy”. And they do that regularly. He wants them to stop telling people that they “bought” things when they really didn’t.
The judge in the case is US District Court Judge John Mendez. And so far, he’s been testing Apple, wondering why they think consumers should expect that buying digital movies won’t own them.
“Apple claims that ‘[n]o A sane consumer would believe that “purchased content will remain on the iTunes platform indefinitely,” Mendez writes. “In common parlance, however, the term ‘buy’ means to gain possession of something. At least when applying for dismissal, it seems plausible that reasonable consumers would expect that their access cannot be revoked.”
Apple’s argument is simple. You do not feel that Andino and other consumers were “hurt” by the actions.
In the words of the judge, “Apple argues that the plaintiff’s alleged infringement – which it describes as the possibility that the purchased content may one day disappear – is not specific, but rather speculative.”
He went on, “[T]The infringement that the plaintiff claims is not, as Apple claims, that it might one day lose access to its purchased content. Rather, the infringement is that at the time of purchase he either paid too much for the product or spent money that he would not have had without the misrepresentation. This economic damage is concrete and actual, not speculative as Apple claims, and meets the actual infringement requirement of Article III. ”
If you are interested in reading the entire claim, go to The Hollywood Reporter.
I know legal jargon can be a bit boring, but this is a landmark in our time. When things go digital and things like DVDs and Blu-rays are phased out, consumers will want to be able to access their favorite movies. You want to buy it and always have it. I don’t want to subscribe to and search for a bunch of streamers every time I want to pull something up.
We’ll keep you up to date on where this case is going!
Let us know what you think in the comments.