This isn't something a reasonable member of the public would expect, and the UX and customer service paths he experienced did not help him understand or try to make him whole, they dismissed his concerns.
If the fellow owns any movies on blu-ray or DVD and buys a new player, he'll be delighted to discover that those are also hosed.
You take responsibility for what you sell in B2C. If you’re not happy, take it up with your suppliers. Or the law. Or Santa Claus for all I care.
This is a vital part of our market rules. Otherwise people would never stop pointing fingers.
(I want to add: it’s also true morally. Even if this is not strictly legally their responsibility, moral responsibility is assumed all the same. This is why we blame apple; they can’t have their cake and eat it too. There was this cartoon of a villain who copied the power of every hero he met. When he met Superman it all seemed lost; surely noone could defeat him now? In the world’s hour of truth, the Batman approaches with kryptonite, and he buckles. “He could not copy our strengths without copying our weaknesses.” So it is with Apple and Hollywood.)
Let's say supplier A produces a part used by manufacturer B, who produces a final product sold to consumers through retailer C. If A was negligent and produced a defective part that causes harm/malfunction in the final product, it would be complete chaos to drag all of those parties into court in a single case (it may not even be obvious to retailer C or the customer that the product's failure is related to A's part).
To sort things out legally (assuming the problem makes it to the court system), the customer fights their case against C. C may or may not understand why the product they sell is defective, but if they believe it to be B's fault, they can file a separate case against B. And B can then file a case against A.
In the end, the legal system can find the party who is ultimately responsible and hold them accountable, but it doesn't work for B or C to say "sorry, this isn't our fault because we're just selling something that includes A's defective part".
Leadership is (or should be) similar: if an employee screws up, it's still the CEO's problem and responsibility. Internally, that CEO can hold a manager accountable, and that manager can hold the employee accountable, but that responsibility doesn't end just because it's assumed by a higher level.
Effecting change in society is an exercise in finding the right pressure point. Hollywood doesn’t care about our feelings on region locks. Sellers do. Put the incentive in the right spot and watch the stars align. A well leveraged arm cannot be overturned.
However, I'm not sold on region locks for media that has zero marginal cost to reproduce, nor am I sold on selling someone something and then revoking access to it based on their locale.
To be clear: I absolutely hate the ridiculous licensing policies of the movie studios, but they're clearly not Marks & Spencer's fault, or Apple's, for that matter.
Legally, Marks & Spencer must put this restriction into their contract with the customer. And of course these are sometimes implied contracts. Very much based on jurisdiction, case law, etc.
It's also not true for Car Dealerships (recalls) and Large Appliances that aren't from major Box Stores.
So yes take it up with suppliers, but your claim that the middleman (Apple in this case) is de-facto responsible, isn't nearly universal.
”Guarantees and returns
Under EU rules, a trader must repair, replace, reduce the price or give you a refund if goods you bought turn out to be faulty or do not look or work as advertised.
If you bought a good or a service online or outside of a shop (by telephone, mail order, from a door-to-door salesperson), you also have the right to cancel and return your order within 14 days, for any reason and with no justification.”
Having said that, sellers are allowed to outsource required support, so I don’t see how products saying the manufacturer will cover repairs and warranties is in conflict with those rules, as long as those manufacturers actually provide the services law requires.
And of course, nothing guarantees consumers will get what they are entitled to, but having the law on their side won’t hurt and may help.
Now as people sell services that include access to 3rd party content (movies), the things become complicated.
That said, I think it's good that the users demand simplicity with regards to responsibility assignment.
When Apple sells an app on their store, and the app doesn't work, people understand that it's not Apple's fault.
But that's because the communication is clear. Whereas with media content Apple provides iTunes or Apple Music or the appropriate program and service, and so it's reasonable for end users to demand that Apple make good on its implied promises.
Eh? This never happens. It's always "Product is under manufacturer warranty. Go contact them".
They will deal. Always do.
Yes, doing that is not nice, but neither is inane profit seeking and finger pointing.
What do you do? Just take it?
I will, if money is not really an issue. But when it is? No way.
Serious query, I will read with interest :D
Take what? You have a manufacturer warranty. Contact the manufacturer. Don't take it out on the store. It's really that simple. In all my years of buying stuff that was under manufacturer warranty, I have never had a problem with the manufacturer honoring their warranty.
There's nothing to "take". The store has a return policy. If you are within that policy, they take the item back (or exchange, or whatever). Beyond that, just deal with the manufacturer.
When they don"t, and at those times they are asking dollars for implied value, they need to either earn it, or quit making those representations.
To their credit many have, I will no longer buy from them.
The few that still do tend to get this right.
I have had few incidents in the last decade. The 90's and lesser degree 00's were particularly bad.
The other 10% realizes that if you had warnings and waivers for every fringe case, you'd have the worst UI in the world and had a worse UX for 99.9% of the people it didn't apply to.
Do you want them to disclose it won't work in Taiwan? Timbuktu? That you'd have to agree to GDPR if you went to Europe? How about warnings that this format may not be viewable in 20 years due to technical or regulatory shifts?
I sympathize with the original person's situation, but as a consumer of media that's frequently geo-locked (I'm from Canada), I blame copyright holders for the situation.
And frankly, it's garbage like this that turns people to pirated media.
So on the one hand, making it clear what the region you're buying into actually is would be really nice, and on the other hand (as suggested) making it clear when you've crossed into an edge case and there are things in you're account that you're about to lose access to, or that you might expect to see but can't, would make resolving this kind of issue much easier. And wouldn't bother the 99% of people who haven't switched their account region after "buying" something.
Yes, it is their fault that they tolerate the behaviour on their storefront.
They do show a warning. Not exactly what you describe, but it’s there in essence.
Should they do a better job? You betcha! But I don’t think it’s possible to tell you exactly what will happen in a good UX. One major reason is because distribution rights change all the time, today you might not lose streaming switching from country X to Y, but after switching today, you might lose streaming rights tomorrow.
Nor is it something an informed person should tolerate.
Remember back when almost no labels would sell Music digitally, and kept blaming piracy on kids?
Apple had enough leverage then to force many labels into agreements.
They definitely have enough leverage today to force global licensing of movies sold through their store.
Stores keep using slightly misleading words, because people are more likely to buy then if they used slightly more accurate wording. Then we blame users for acting based on what they were told.
This wasn't remotely deleted from his devices. What happened here was that he (reasonably) expected to be able to download another copy from Apple, and found out he couldn't. "Buy" doesn't mean "host it for me online forever". It was reasonable for him to expect to be able to do this, but it's not unreasonable for Apple to use the word "buy".
(However, he could move the music he had purchased from Apple and still had on his computer to his new Windows machine, unless I am mistaken, as they're not DRM'd. Not sure about movies.)
These online storefronts promise a service that's a combination of buying something and having them store the master copy so you can always access it from your devices.
You'd be upset if someone rummaged around your safe deposit locker and removed a DVD that you had purchased, right? Even though you're not handling that copy yourself, you expect it to be protected and accessible as long as the safe deposit lockers exist.
It's possible to carefully keep track of copies on your hard drive. But those are all secondary copies, far more ephemeral than a physical disc. There's nothing dumb about letting them be deleted when the master copy is still being promised to you. It's just unfortunate trust.
Yes, it does!
That is precisely the problem. My grandmother was born in 1939. Apple tells her that she can "buy" her copy of the Andrews Sisters Greatest Hits, and after she "buys" it she can play it on her iPhone whenever she wants.
If Apple was truthful and said, "you can sort of rent a copy of this album, unless someone you never meet makes a decision you'll never hear about, and then it might disappear. Oh, and also, you're really rolling the dice if you travel to another country," then they wouldn't have gotten my grandmother's money.
Apple is taking advantage of misleading language, telling my grandmother she can "buy" this music, when for the first 70 years of her life "buy" meant "it's yours forever unless you decide to get rid of it".
When you "buy" your music from Apple, you don't choose where to download your single copy of it, make sure you have storage, and back it up to tape for safe-keeping. Apple explicitly tells you that you can "buy" your music and "it's stored in the cloud (ooohh aaaahh it's magic). Instantly available on all your devices."
Yes, I understand that this abuse is industry-wide. That doesn't make it right. If they had tried this shit 40 years ago they'd have been on the losing end of several lawsuits. Trying to tell my 80 year old grandmother, "Ackshually, you didn't buy this music, you bought a license to this music, and we decided to revoke it because reasons. Would you like to buy the 2018 remastered edition and hope that we don't decide to do this again?" should make them liable for bait-and-switch and truth-in-advertising lawsuits.
I didn't expect my argument to take this turn, but I think this is a good example for why 80 year olds vote for Trump. Our "greed is good" hyper-capitalist society has practically weaponized taking advantage of people. They don't really understand what's going on, but they do understand that they're getting screwed, and they're angry about it, so they follow the people on TV who seem to be as angry as they are.
So if I buy a DVD from Wal-Mart, should they also be forced to give me another copy of the DVD if mine gets scratched or lost? Or is it my responsibility to take care of the things I've purchased and keep them safe?
With Apple, you don't spend your money on anything physical. You explicitely spend it on a service provided for you that allows you to redownload the file whenever you want.
Any exceptions to that should be clear from the start, not buried in a small font somewhere in the ToS.
No it doesn't. Buy means, it's yours, and in the future it will be still be yours. "Subscribe" or "Subscription" probably would be a more exact term. "Now it's yours but in the future who knows".
The change is that, in addition, you can generally download more copies. The limitations on this may be inadequately explained, but this is all on top of what you'd get if you 'bought' 40 years ago.
Apple should probably give people the option of backing up their purchases to their iCloud account. It would increase the usefulness of iCloud.
A conflict of interest not noted in the article.
One of the creative ways of digital self defense is https://unogs.com/ it lists all content on netflix and in which region it is available. This way you can use a VPN service and actually fully use Netflix as the service it was intended to be and you've been payed for properly.
And for that matter it is not the corporations fault for exploiting all laws to the greatest extend possible either, don't anthropomorphize corporations, they are not moral agents, they are soulless thoughtless profit maximization machines it is the fault of politicians and the population who voted for them, to not regulating them properly.
It's not like the laws just sprang up out of nowhere. Those same corporations wrote many of the laws via lobbyists and got them passed by legislators who were either too ignorant or disinterested to think through the ramifications.
When they come up with a guarantee that I can access my digital purchases forever from any corner of the world or solar system, then I'll consider buying digitally from the movie/music industry.
I bet you mean "Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need", its such a cancerous guide.
Most stories are written around the same small groups:
- Single protagonist
- Duo or buddies
- 3 person team (heavy hitter, smart/tech/engineer, leader)
- 5 person team (usually a 3 person team core with 2 additional members)
It's like "madlibbing" a story - using characters named "heavy", "tech", "leader", any IP can slot in their characters. For these, Teal'c/Carter/O'Neill or Raphael/Donatello/Leonardo or Hulk/Stark/Rogers.
Some plots will naturally be more widely adaptable to multiple IPs than others. Any hero can be used to tell a sufficiently generic story, but not all heroes work in all stories. Imagine doing Man of Steel in the MCU, or Infinity War in the DCEU.
These roles are well-defined in modern literature, and it logically follows that a market must exist, to buy and sell stories and IPs. This allows a video production company to license plots and characters, combine them (insert hero A into slot Tech), and sell edited videos of the production.
Even if everyone who produces media, holding the copyrights and distributing it with restrictive DRM is dead at some future date and the requisite 80 years have passed, if all content consumers behave legally then we STILL can't make legal copies of the now public domain works because DMCA says we are circumventing a copyright protection mechanism (on works that are out of copyright, the DMCA makes no exception for them.)
Copyright was supposed to be a limited term but according to the law today, even if no further extension acts are signed, rights holders such as Sony are empowered to ensure their work may never legally enter into the public domain. Their mechanisms need not even be strong to have the force of law behind them.
That's a travesty. I didn't down vote you, but I strongly disagree that this is any kind of "solution" you propose, just bury your head in the sand, "you don't need to be in touch with culture, or propagate it forward in time... forget about that media, it was meant for the sheeple."
But really, when copyright is so blatantly one-sided against the people, why should the people be expected to wholly support it?
I'm not advocating for ignoring it completely but some rules are just ridiculous. For example ripping. DMCA says that circumvention of technical protections is illegal. If I buy a Blu-Ray, why shouldn't I be able to rip it and add it to my Plex library? What harm does that inflict?
Then there are more dubious questions like is it okay to pirate if there's no legal option? My opinion is yes, it's totally okay. If there's no legal means through which to give the copyright owner money, I'm not "taking" anything away by obtaining it without doing so.
I agree with your position on the first 3 paragraphs.
I'd say that the law needs an update, but historically whenever that has happened, it has not gone at all in the direction I'd have liked.
The people who dreamed up Copyright laws never imagined that we'd come up with these ridiculous schemes where a content creator (copyright holder) can simultaneously distribute copies and not distribute them. They intended for it to be a limited protection, where copies would be permitted after some finite period of time, so that valuable cultural contributions would not be lost after 100 years when almost nobody cared anymore, except for a few librarians and some people who are yet to be born. But in 100 years, when Blu Ray discs are out of copyright, humans may not remember what a Blu Ray player was (or they could be centrally EOLed by fiat and you will not be able to play content from Blu Ray discs anymore, by some technical disabling) and still, without changes to the law as it currently stands, you will not be able to take a copy for preservation even if you had the technical means or wherewithal to know how to build it.
The law was never intended to be used to permanently restrict the sharing and flow of information.
That scenario has absolutely nothing to do with copyright law, and it is disingenuous of you to suggest otherwise.
My example was chosen as one type of privately commissioned work that everyone could (presumably) quickly agree with the outcome being the correct one.
I don't want my grandchildren or anyone else to have or reproduce intimate photos of me, sure, but I do want the progeny to be able to freely make copies of photos of me in my glory days, for a school project or shrine or whatever. Meanwhile, say, I would like to be able to tightly control distribution of my own image as long as I am alive.
If I used one of the DRM mechanisms available today to add a technical protection preventing unauthorized reproductions of my image, ... I don't think I have to say any more, you get the point right? Whatever incentives you have today, Copyright was never meant to protect them exclusively, forever (but the current law, since DMCA and Sonny Bono/Mickey Mouse, does essentially allow for this, protection in perpetuity and without exclusion.)
Fair Use was a protection introduced in 1976 extension of US Copyright law specifically with the idea of preserving for posterity and other uses with a social benefit in mind.
Until much more recently, honoring posterity was always an explicit part of the "social contract" provided by copyright protections. After a reasonable span of time has passed, those protections should expire so that future generations (or even sooner, other cases provided for by fair use) can benefit from the work, in a historical perspective, or any other "fair" context.
At one time, nobody could stop you from traveling across a border with a copy or original of some artwork without physically standing in the way. There was also a time when "exploding copies" were science fiction, or maybe the stuff of spy movies. None of these protections for public domain are effective now in an era where these capabilities are real and available to the masses for general use.
But what if someone else didn't want their photos from their "glory days" to be available? Shouldn't they have the right just as much as you have the right to decide you do? Maybe they have a religious or spiritual objection to it...
I personally tend to favor control of duplication rights being under the control of the creator of the work. If I have a right to be forgotten while alive, I think I also have a right to be forgotten after my death.
I can always burn some embarrassing photo if it's on film, well or say, embarassing blog post, ... there are technical means to signal to web service providers like archive.org that act as public archivers that they should forget their remembrance of your broadcast (via robots.txt or other means - it's actually very easy to automatically disappear yourself off the internet so that Archive.org won't even remember you, if you operated your own domain and knew how to make that request to cease retention well-formed.) I don't know if robots.txt has anything like force of law, but you can use it and honorable, responsive service providers may all honor it.
But I don't think that anybody has a right to be forgotten, in the mind of any public citizen, (and other than with respect to any service providers.) If you broadcast your ideas to me, and in the process of my lawful consumption a copy is made, or in the case of a piece of code that runs in my browser for example, I believe that I should absolutely be permitted to take a copy for my own remembrance, or analysis (given it is done without intent of reproduction or for immediate re-distribution), and inclusive of the idea that I may intend a lawful preservation for reproduction in the public commons when the copyright has expired. The law as I understand it agrees, these are all permitted copies. There are even more separate protections for patents and protected trade secrets.
Any technical means you can employ that prevents this lawful exchange I view as evil, and to me that's not up for debate. There are separate (legal) protections that you can enact if you are concerned about commercial uses, or wholesale ripoffs, or like, say, the disclosure of a trade secret by some trusted (contracted) party that diminishes your market value – those are all considerations that exclude a copy-ier from protections under fair use. But those are the limits of your legal protections as I understand it, and if I stand behind that line, the law should always tilt in my favor.
If I'm not diminishing the value of your work by taking a copy when you offer it, and keeping it, then I think I can tell you to pound sand. The most you can do, as a private citizen, is ask me to forget you, ... and I hope I can always say no! (Of course, if you've used DRM technology to prevent taking the copy, then the law is actually on your side today notwithstanding fair use.)
Yes, I get that. And that's why people in different countries have differing availability for videos etc. Because Netflix etc license different stuff in different markets. Maybe because some markets are too small to justify fees demanded by media companies. Or whatever.
But again, that's not my problem. If I can't buy it, or even buy the rights to view it, then getting it from a torrent doesn't damage the copyright holder. Because there's no way that I could pay for it. Short of moving to a suitable country, anyway. Or by using a VPN service to virtually move to a suitable country.
I do get the argument that complaints to Netflix etc about unavailable content should drive licensing in affected countries. But I have no patience for that. And, as I say, it's not my problem.
But I'm not willing to pay for stuff that may disappear because some third party did or didn't do one thing or another.
I see your point though,and I'm slightly annoyed that you're downvoted for it.
And yes, it didn't really work for music. Instead of absurdly expensive CDs, we have inexpensive streaming services that provide no actual files. And log and sell usage data.
That wasn’t Apple’s choice, to get the rights to the music, they had too. Once they were a juggernaut in the space, they successfully forced the music industry to change. I’m still waiting for that to happen with movies and tv shows, but I’m unoptimistic it’ll happen any time soon.
Of course he moved countries, that would do it. The movie is available in both countries, but in a different "version". The rows have different id, so the query does not match them.
The legal details of online media purchases and country are crazy complex. Like batshit, no reason for it, it got that way over time and now we're stuck with it, "not fit for 21st century purpose but here we are". I worked in this area and it's easily the most complex part of it and as far as selling and streaming bits goes, pointless.
Unless something has changed since the last time I checked (2 years back, so happy to be proven wrong), there is no official method provided to consumers to determine if you can actually utilize most streaming services from any given country/region, and this is extremely frustrating to me. Streaming should be perfect for me as it's preferable to keep what I carry as light as possible, and yet I know that I cannot rely on any streaming service to reliably provide me with the content that I signed up with the intention of viewing/listening to.
Granted, I guess that's my fault for traveling, but it just seems very silly that one situation where streaming is the perfect solution, it fails completely due to distribution rights.
This isn't strictly true, though: DVD region locking is mostly broken now, and I think(?) few blu-ray disc's are actually region locked?
This will be even better with drm in the display port standard or whatever - so you need an Australian apple TV on an Australian VPN connected to an Australian TV...
Those agreements will mandate that Apple enforce this antiquated fuckwitery.
Early on the article claims "Apple tells CNET that it won't delete your movies, either. At least, not ones you've downloaded.". But that's not a useful answer because it doesn't provide any real security about one's downloaded works.
Later CNET says "We can't be sure what will will happen if Disney -- or any other content provider -- "recalls" a digital purchase, as a publisher did with an ebook of George Orwell's 1984 on Amazon back in 2009.".
Keep in mind that Amazon made a similar pledge to what Apple reportedly told CNET. As Richard Stallman rightly points out in https://stallman.org/amazon.html "In response to criticism, Amazon promised it would never do this again unless ordered to by the state, which I find not very comforting.". In other words, Amazon tacitly acknowledges it retains the power to do this again.
It's far more useful to examine the situation along the lines of which party retains what power over the user, or to look at how much freedom users have in the situation.
Therefore the real hinge here (which goes completely unaddressed in the CNET article) is software freedom (the freedom to run, inspect, share, and modify published computer software). If one uses free software to locate and read/play the work, then one has a chance to make sure that the free program won't betray their interests -- continuing to read/play the work at any time, for any reason, and do so without spying on or reporting the activity to others without explicit consent from the user.
But if one uses proprietary (nonfree, user-subjugating) software to access a downloaded copy of the work, one's access to the work is in jeopardy. One can't be certain that copy will be readable/playable through that proprietary software. Perhaps the proprietary software will delete that copy of the work (putting aside what's legal or, more importantly, ethical for the moment, it is worth noting that proprietors retain the technical power to do exactly this in most people's common use of media). Perhaps the proprietary software will report on the user's attempt to read/play the work thus notifying someone what's being read/played and from where.
> But if one uses proprietary (nonfree, user-subjugating) software to access a downloaded copy of the work, one's access to the work is in jeopardy. One can't be certain that copy will be readable/playable through that proprietary software. Perhaps the proprietary software will delete that copy of the work
Amazon only has the power to do this if you connect your Kindle to the internet. You can be sure that Amazon won't reach out to your Kindle to remove your books when it's impossible for them to do so.
Of course, the whole point of a kindle is that it's super convenient to live in amazon's walled garden. If you don't want to live in amazon's walled garden... you probably are using another device anyhow.
That, and if you are giving up the convenience of the amazon ecosystem, why would you pay extra for books from amazon? The amazon kindle is one of the most expensive ways to get books, and the value proposition is that it's super easy and convenient, and sure, I'll pay extra for a super convenient book ecosystem. If you are willing to deal with inconveniences, there's much cheaper ways to do it. Hell, I think buying used physical copies and sending the book to the destructive book scan place is often cheaper than buying new (the only option) for the kindle.
OCR is another solution.
I mean, I'm not arguing that these other solutions aren't way inferior to just buying the e-book direct from amazon; I was just trying to make the point that living in the amazon ecosystem is a much more expensive way to consume books than just buying used books.
At least for Cars 2 - Australian version (right at the start of video) is literally different from other English versions (around 3:30) - https://youtu.be/SaYmI7xANCg
Many other movies (and especially animated) have different versions with such tweaks so story/jokes still continue to make sense around the world.
Considering it looks like I'm the first one to point this out - it probably never crossed mind of Apple systems engineers that such things might need to be handled. And even if it did - feature probably got bumped by other things that impact bigger % of customers...
If you want to buy something, you need either a physical item like a DVD based on common open standards (as you have coded to remove the encryption), or you need a file that is playable in software you have the source code to.
Even then hardware wise it becomes more and more expensive to play old purchases due to entropy, and time moving on. Try to play a c90 cassette now, or a 78rpm record. Think how easy that is compared to a 1/4" video tape or umatic.
Were CD's the last DRM unencumbered physical/digital format?
Fyi: Most dj style Neumark record players will play 78s, and sound quite good depending on your stylus.
Barely anything for major film releases. Sure, you can get some indie films DRM-free, but that's about it. Torrents is really the only accessible source.
Buying DRM media from multiple companies is also a good hedge-my-bets strategy. At the other side, renting access: I am a big fan of O’Reilly Safari. For a yearly fee I can read their library. Much of my job and career requires me to stay current with new tech and I generally prefer reading or skimming a recent book to reading miscellaneous stuff on the web.
Old complaint (2012)
I'm increasingly worried about video game console hard drives, and the digital purchases I've made, surviving any future issues with the console or download/streaming services.
That's messed up, but Apple did not delete the movie from any of his devices.
This guy forgot that the cloud is "someone's else's computers."
I do think it's terrible that these movies seem to available in both regions, but are somehow not considered equivalent. So yes, I agree, it sucks that they removed it from his account. But I'm very curious about the part of your comment I quoted.
I don't think any service provider has ever specified "indefinite storage" forever, especially across regions, but I would trust such a promise not at all.
I'm really not trying to defend Apple here, because the whole thing sucks. But as hacker-types, surely we can try to understand how intellectual property and regional licensing and the edge cases of people moving internationally are more likely to result in screw-ups than not, right?
Isn't it the business model of every online game store? I don't trust it completely, but I trust it enough to not really bother with backing up my Steam games.
> I'm really not trying to defend Apple here, because the whole thing sucks. But as hacker-types, surely we can try to understand how intellectual property and regional licensing and the edge cases of people moving internationally are more likely to result in screw-ups than not, right?
"Screw-up" implies that they would fix it and get him the movie back.
Apple should be licensing it so that once you buy the movie in a specific region, you can access it anywhere forever. That they don't is their failing, and I think it's inappropriate to use the word "buy" for what you apparently get.
Of course the service is at fault for breaking such promises.