UPDATE: Apple has completely refuted that it deleted three movies from a user’s iTunes library.
In a statement released to CNET Apple said: “Any movies you’ve already downloaded can be enjoyed at any time and will not be deleted unless you’ve chosen to do so. If you change your country setting, some movies may not be available to re-download from the movie store if the version you purchased isn’t also available in the new country. If needed, you can change your country setting back to your prior country to re-download those movies.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Movies that you believe you have ‘bought’ on iTunes can be deleted by Apple, it’s been revealed.
Though a transaction had been made, and money changed hands, one iTunes user has found that that didn’t mean he owned the movies he thought he did.
Anders G da Silva from Melbourne, Australia, enquired with Apple’s customer service about not being able to find three films he’d bought, and now the response is going viral.
Me: Hey Apple, three movies I bought disappeared from my iTunes library.
Apple: Oh yes, those are not available anymore. Thank you for buying them. Here are two movie rentals on us!
Me: Wait… WHAT?? @tim_cook when did this become acceptable? pic.twitter.com/dHJ0wMSQH9
— Anders G da Silva (@drandersgs) September 10, 2018
In short, should a distributor pull a movie from Apple’s store, it means that Apple can then remove it from your library or iCloud account without informing you.
Following the enquiry, Da Silva was offered two movie rental credits, but not a refund for the films that he thought he had bought, which was explained in a second email.
Me: I am not really interested in the rentals. I want my movies back or my money back.
Apple: I totally get how you feel…
Me: Condescending, but go one…
Apple: You see, we are just a store front.
Me: Store front?
— Anders G da Silva (@drandersgs) September 11, 2018
While DVDs might seem increasingly obsolete in the world of streaming, at least no one’s taking them away from you after you’ve handed over your cash for them.
And though some iTunes users are aware that ‘buying’ content with digital rights management built in is essentially renting that content for an unspecified amount of time, many are, understandably, not happy about it.
Apple can’t delete your VHS collection, wake up sheeple! https://t.co/J2cLVpMpEr
— Jon Abrams (@JonathanAbrams) September 13, 2018
“the “Buy” button in digital stores is, at best, mislabeled. You cannot truly buy any digital thing online; you can only rent it, and any online video store is little more than an expensive, glorified, extremely convenient Blockbuster.” https://t.co/NteMZhrTW9
— Peter Steinberger (@steipete) September 12, 2018
Apple can delete purchased movies from your library without telling you – when you buy a movie on iTunes, it’s yours forever, until such a time as when Apple maybe loses the rights to distribute it, and then it will disappear from your library without a trace …
— Khateeb (@khateeb321) September 12, 2018