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Online film sales: Apple does not dispose of lawsuit against "Buy" button

Do you own movies and TV series bought from Apple? This question, which affects virtually all online content sales offers, will be dealt with in more detail by a US court. A customer accuses the iPhone company that the "Buy" button for movies and TV series in the iTunes Store or TV app is a deception because Apple reserves the right to delete content from the cloud library - they cannot then be downloaded again. Accordingly, customers would pay too much.

Judge rejects Apple

Apple, on the other hand, argues that no reasonable customer would expect content to remain available indefinitely on the iTunes platform, but the judge in charge did not agree with this argumentation: In "common parlance", "buy" means that one then owns something, which is appropriate the expectation "plausible" that the access option will not simply be withdrawn - at least at the current status of the hearing, according to the court's grounds (Andino vs. Apple, file number 2: 20-cv-01628, United States District Court, Eastern District of California).

The plaintiffs can also put forward specific economic damage, the judge continues, because damage would already occur at the time of the "purchase" and not only lie in a speculative future, as suggested by Apple.

However, the court rejected the allegation of unjust enrichment by Apple, which was also listed in the class action. However, the plaintiffs still have the opportunity to try to obtain an injunction that could prohibit Apple from using the buy button. US users have filed a similar class action lawsuit against Amazon and its Prime Video offering.

Disappeared iTunes content

Users are repeatedly irritated by the content they have purchased that later disappears from online stores: Apple has countered several reports in the past that feature films are being deleted from the customer's libraries: "All films that have already been downloaded can be enjoyed at any time," it said back then. That seems to require that users meticulously save the films locally, because they can disappear from the online offer at any time. A new download may then no longer be possible, this also applies to the iCloud music library.

[Update 4/26/2021 1:40 p.m.] A test run by the c't editorial team showed that several feature films that had already been purchased and were later removed from the iTunes Store could still be accessed - both via Apple TV and Apple's TV app on iPhone and Mac: The films were available from their own media library still available as a stream, but no longer appeared in the current range of Apple's video store via search. (lbe)

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