back to article You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn't

Remember when you decided to buy, rather than rent, that movie online? We have some bad news for you – you didn't. Biologist Anders Gonçalves da Silva was surprised this week to find three movies he had purchased through iTunes simply disappeared one day from his library. So he contacted Apple to find out what had happened. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And you wonder why people pirate ?

    1. Oh Homer
      Pirate

      Do the right thing

      I don't exactly consider myself a career criminal or a cheapskate - I spend vast amounts on tech - but at the end of the day when the industry at large is screwing you, it's hard to have any qualms about screwing it back.

      So my attitude is that, as far as I'm concerned, I'll only pay for Content® (love how they capitalise that, BTW) that I feel really deserves it, and "pirate" everything else, basically on a try-before-I-buy basis.

      Let's be honest, 99% of the Content® out there is utter garbage anyway, entirely unworthy of your hard-earned readies, and even the remaining 1% is grossly overvalued IMO.

      But no matter what I buy or how I obtain it, I always make sure I have a DRM-free local copy to keep and use forever, and frankly to hell with anyone who objects to that. It's hard to have any sympathy for a bunch of billionaire con artists who rip you off with bait-and-switch and double - nay multiple - dipping scams, where they gleefully take your money over and over again for exactly the same Content®, but leave you holding a big bag o' nothing.

      Under the circumstance, my conscience is clear.

      I look forward to the day that the likes of the Federation Against Copyright Theft add these bait-and-switch Content® stories to its propaganda material - you know, for balance.

      1. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: Do the right thing

        Have to admit to doing the same. New games? I'll often pirate a copy initially to see what I think. Is the game enjoyable, available with no DRM (ideally) or at least none-intrusive DRM? Does it allow me to skip those infuriating into logos after the first run? Does it have a proper save-game system (no god-awful "Checkpoint only" system) If so, I will pull out my wallet and will buy a copy to support the developer.

        Of course, if it is only available with some draconian always-online DRM crap, forces a dozen unskippable into logos down your throat every time you launch it and has a lazy and console-derived Checkpoint system, I'll usually keep my money in my pocket and will send the game to Davy-Jones locker courtesy of the Uninstall option.

        The ball is in the developers court here. If you make a good game and do your best to make an enjoyable experience for the gamer, I will reward you by buying your game. If however you make every possible attempt to piss off and irritate your customers, I'll vote with my feet.

        Unfortunately, finding out how the dev had approached the game does necessitate trying the game first, and it's amazing how few demos exist these days...

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do the right thing

        I generally try to pay for content where I can, including a voluntary subscription to the digital version of a newspaper I read. As someone opposed to constant tracking and ads, I think it's important.

        I also try to go outside the normal tech titans where possible. So when I first started streaming movies I signed up to Blinkbox, which I believe was owned by Tesco. I 'bought' access to films rather than pirated them. Tesco sell to TalkTalk.

        Then I go on holiday and find that the local version films I've downloaded 'expire' and I can't stream from another country because the movie studios expect me to pay again, depending on where I am.

        Then TalkTalk, recently, decided to sell to Rakuten. My account was, apparently, sold along with it. Good news they said, most of the content you 'bought' will be available on that service. All I had to do was agree to the transfer, sign up to the new terms and conditions and they'll tell me which content is available and which isn't. I email to say this is unacceptable and I want to know what content will be available and what won't be - since I 'bought' it all, will they be sending me a DVD of the stuff I can't watch? 'Of course not', they said 'now f off'.

        I used to spend maybe £10 -30 a month on films but I won't be paying for those films again, nor will I be wasting my money on new ones except on DVD, which I will rip and copy to my heart's content.

        I've also cancelled my digital subscription on the basis that the tracking and ads aren't turned off if I pay, meaning the paper expects me to pay twice. It is Noscript all the way.

        If the content providers won't let me pay to buy their content, I'm not going to give the slightest care to people who don't pay.

      4. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: Do the right thing

        As the old anti-piracy advert said "You wouldn't steal a car..." Well neither would I buy a car and expect to find it missing one morning.

        1. pjrichert

          Re: Do the right thing

          Not an apt analogy, the more apt one would be, You're shown all the cars on the lot, and told that you can keep driving them till they take them away, or simply take one home to keep. If you just go to the lot to keep getting your car, but never take it home, can't control when they just pack them all up one day.

    2. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Obligatory xkcd

      AC» And you wonder why people pirate ?

      https://www.xkcd.com/488/

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Obligatory xkcd

        Obligatory Oatmeal

        https://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

        (Dear Reg, can we please have auto-linkies even for those of us not l33t enough to have full rich text editing?)

      3. billdehaan
        Thumb Up

        Re: Obligatory xkcd

        And the equally obligatory Oatmeal:

        http://theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones

    3. Dazed and Confused

      Re: wonder why people pirate ?

      More like, most people wonder who the real pirates are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: wonder why people pirate ?

        >More like, most people wonder who the real pirates are.

        Unmasked here

    4. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Megaphone

      RE: AC

      You don't get to be the richest company in the world by treating your customers with compassion and decency.

      This guy is a mug. He realises now that Apple took him for a ride and i bet he'll still stick with them and their expensive ever changing cable/dongle racket.

    5. Piro

      People also wonder why I buy DVDs and blurays and rip them instead of just streaming everything....

      At least I have a good quality copy without protection at the end of the ripping process, that I can use as I see fit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not yours

    i seem to recall - i'll have to read all those terms again - that even purchased discs dont give you the right...all you own is the plastic disc - the right to actually watch that movie can be revoked - the DRM in BluRay can be revoked (eg key rejected) - tricks that cant be done with non connected VHS players - so get porting to analogue forms ASAP! ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not yours

      DRM in blurays and HCP in HDMI thanks to Sony....us tin foil hat wearers have been screaming for years about the further control the copyright cartels have been forcing on people along with their brought politicians, I mean lobbying governments to get laws changed throughout the world.

      As a previous poster said, people pirate and don't feel one bit of remorse. They can make claims about all the people involved in production going hungry while laughing at the all the tax saved because their Hollywood accounting says they made no profit.

      The same licencing and DRM problem that stops games working when companies go bust or stop supplying the server needed for the game to run.

      It's time everyone stopped giving the media companies money by boycotting watching their movies on any platform or at the cinema. Hurting their pocket is the only way they way stop screwing people and not caring one bit

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: not yours

        "Hurting their pocket is the only way they way stop screwing people and not caring one bit"

        Well, that and repeated kicks to the testicles.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: not yours

      Having a legitimate disk copy of a given movie would seem to be a pretty good license to freely download a working copy from the Internet, in the event that the rights holder somehow revoked the functionality of the physical disk.

      It would certainly be a case of go ahead, and if they argue the point then 'see you in court'.

      The less likely that this approach is considered to be acceptable, then the more likely that you live in a country where the supremacy of common law has been replaced with lobbyists. Which would be "sad".

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: not yours

        Having a legitimate disk copy of a given movie would seem to be a pretty good license to freely download a working copy from the Internet, in the event that the rights holder somehow revoked the functionality of the physical disk.

        You're not a lawyer, are you?

        You can certainly argue that having a legit disc copy gives you the right to do whatever you like with that disc, within reason - including, for instance, putting it into any kind of disc reader of your choice. But to claim that it gives you the right to make another copy of whatever work happens to be on that disc - is pretty much the opposite of how copyright works.

        1. Grikath

          Re: not yours

          Actually, at least here in Europe, you can legally make copies for private use.....

          Not that the copyright hounds like that law and try everything they can to erode that right, or try and make you believe you're having kittens for breakfast if you dare to...

          But yes, you can, at least here in Flatland.

          1. chivo243 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: not yours

            @Grikath

            Beat me to it, I'll even add that there is an extra fee on recordable media, that supposedly goes to the artists in some form. It's a right to back up your data...

            Does Flatland = Nederland?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: not yours

            "Actually, at least here in Europe, you can legally make copies for private use....."

            It's not quite an absolute right though - it's as long as you don't circumvent any copy-protection technology in doing so.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: not yours

              "I just downloaded a very very very very long number your Honour. It just so happens, it was extremely similar to the one on that bluray.

              Oh, and I amended a 4 to the end of that very very very very long number. Who would have thought those 2 numbers translated exactly to The Last Jedi!"

              "To prison with you, for 1000 years for watching that movie!"

            2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: not yours

              It's not quite an absolute right though - it's as long as you don't circumvent any copy-protection technology in doing so.

              That's where it starts to get tricky but at least in Germany you can. But basically, as long as you're not distributing, the point is moot.

              And, again, the market is moving on with Netflix's streaming model proving remarkably successful, and more worringly for the copyright owners, its massive move into content creation.

            3. xanda
              Mushroom

              Re: not yours

              "It's not quite an absolute right though - it's as long as you don't circumvent any copy-protection technology in doing so."

              Yeah it is. Granted there may not be a statute on the books that codifies this, but the general principle is thus: you bought it, you own it and therefore you have the right to protect it. This is a time honoured principle of western democracies.

              That makes circumventing the copy protection for content you already own no more criminal than locking your front door at night...

              To our knowledge though this has never been tested in court. This is probably because it falls into the same grey wilderness as all those EULAs for software i.e. the small print may say one thing but its interpretation by the judiciary is quite another; whoever is first to argue the point (from the likes of the big bad studios) will likely get egg on their face.

              And rightly so...

          3. Mage Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: not yours

            Also DO NOT download direct to DRM enabled devices. DRM actually is contrary to the principle of copyright and doesn't stop commercial pirates.

            Buy discs.

            If getting eBooks, buy from Smashwords (legal and no DRM and all devices), or if Amazon, NEVER direct to Kindle or Kindle App. Select Transfer via USB and download to Mac, Windows or Linux. Make backups. Remove DRM if you are outside USA.

            Do not EVER rely on Cloud storage.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: not yours

              Remove DRM if you are outside USA.

              I'm *in* the USA and I remove DRM. I paid good money for it, feck 'em if they don't like it. If they have a problem, I have a fat fleshy part of my posterior they can kiss.

          4. Graham 32

            Re: not yours

            > Actually, at least here in Europe, you can legally make copies for private use.....

            Not in the UK. We did have a "fair use" style law introduced a few years ago but it was overturned on some technicality. I doubt it let you copy anything with copy protection like DVDs, but you could legally rip your CDs.

        2. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: not yours

          "You can certainly argue that having a legit disc copy gives you the right to do whatever you like with that disc, within reason - including, for instance, putting it into any kind of disc reader of your choice. But to claim that it gives you the right to make another copy of whatever work happens to be on that disc - is pretty much the opposite of how copyright works."

          Veti in the US you have the right to make up a back up copy. section 117 of the Copyright Act.

        3. xanda
          Pirate

          Re: not yours

          "...But to claim that it gives you the right to make another copy of whatever work happens to be on that disc - is pretty much the opposite of how copyright works."

          How so?

          Or rather: if an owner of physical media loses that media and its associated backups accidentally e.g. tidal wave, volcano eruption and the like, then why shouldn't they be at liberty to download what they can of it?

          Or even if the owner still has the original media intact, downloading it again from the interwebs is hardly copyright theft.

          After all, it's not like they haven't paid (enough) already...

      2. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: not yours

        "Having a legitimate disk copy of a given movie would seem to be a pretty good license to freely download a working copy from the Internet..."

        I said as much to an entertainment industry lawyer once and he couldn't give me any legal reason to why I was wrong.

    3. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: not yours

      "the DRM in BluRay can be revoked (eg key rejected) "

      My BluRay player is not connected to the Internet so no, it can't.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: not yours

        My BluRay player is not connected to the Internet so no, it can't.

        Even if mine was the "smart" functionality was removed a couple of years ago because the licence expired. Oh, the irony!

      2. Oh Homer

        Re: "BluRay player is not connected to the Internet"

        The Blu-Ray standard mandates that players must support key revocation from disc, and new movies not only add new keys but revoke old ones ... automatically and without recourse. So even if your machine never connects to the internet, you can lose the ability to play older titles, unless you avoid ever playing any new titles.

        A safer bet is to always rip your Blu-Rays with something like AnyDVD HD, then store the rips on a media server like Kodi, thus avoiding the whole DRM debacle altogether.

    4. RobThBay

      Re: not yours

      That's happened to me.

      I've got a blu-ray box set of the original Planet of The Apes movies that became unviewable after I updated the firmware on my blu-ray player.

      It was the only movie in my collection that was affected. I didn't update the firmware in our other blu-ray player and the movies are still viewable on that unit.

      My Toshiba laptop that has an internal blu-ray won't play any blu-ray movies anymore either.

      DRM is a disaster.

  3. David 132 Silver badge
    Happy

    File sizes

    "A DVD quality movie will typically run to around 4GB, and a Blu-ray movie to 7 or 8GB..."

    You're using the wrong codecs then. DVD-quality local rips^H^H^H^Hcopies are around 700MB, and 1080p quality runs around 2-4GB.

    Although a few extra bytes are taken up by having ".x265.BDRip-YIFY.EngSubs" and suchlike appended to the filename.

    ...Or so I've heard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: File sizes

      None of these "typical" numbers mean a fucking thing. They highly depend on the bitrate and resolution of the resulting compressed files.

      I really hate when people throw around statistics as typical when they don't have a fucking clue what is actually typical.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: File sizes

        And I really hate when people confuse an inconsequential throw-away remark on a discussion forum with a deep-dive statistical analysis into file bitrate/size/quality codec results.

        But, y'know, life isn't perfect.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: File sizes

      1080p quality runs around 2-4GB

      No point in 1080p copies of DVDs… But, yeah h265 and VP9 will give you pretty good rates, though without HW encoding support just buying more storage might be preferable.

      MakeMKV and Handbrake are your friends.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: File sizes

        Word of advice: use a pre-paid visa/mastercard/etc. when purchasing MakeMKV; I suspect that their payment processor might have gotten loose with card numbers, as about a month after I purchased it, there was a fradulent charge on that card I used to purchase my copy with.

        Otherwise, it's a fantastic application for ripping Blu-rays.

    3. Piro

      Re: File sizes

      You have a very low bar for quality, I guess you don't rip your own discs, because comparing such a tiny rip and the original would reveal a pretty horrendous difference.

      Rips that size also will almost certainly not include good quality multi-channel audio, which I use on both my HTPC setup (5.1) and my regular desktop setup (4.0).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet Another Wake Up Call

    Streamed-Access and Subscription-Models? I avoid them like the plague!

    They tend to leave you more exposed to Financial-fraud / Identity-theft too.

    Plus with the spread of Social-Credit-Score, the less data online the better:

    ________

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-12/american-ownership-society-is-changing-thanks-to-technology

    ________

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System

    ________

    1. SonOfDilbert
      Big Brother

      Re: Yet Another Wake Up Call

      > Plus with the spread of Social-Credit-Score, the less data online the better

      This is f***ing awful!

  5. karlkarl Bronze badge

    So Apple basically told him that he should have downloaded the films to his disk when he had the chance. But does the DRM not prevent this? Only streaming is allowed right? It is a lose-lose for the guy in the case study.

    For the record, I purchase and then *always* torrent a backup copy so this will never affect me. I also have very little respect for those naive people who do not. However I still find it interesting to see how much content providers will push clients until they reject them completely.

    If the DRM was not there to prevent a local download, then I blame the guy for being stupid. If there was DRM preventing this then I blame Apple for being criminals (and the guy for being a mug).

    1. Tessier-Ashpool

      @karlkarl

      No, Apple let you download a purchased movie from iTunes to an arbitrary disk drive of your choice. Said file will only be playable via iTunes on an authorised device, however. i.e. one that is associated with your iTunes account.

      But, I have to say, gee-fucking-wizz. If Apple want their 30% cut on movie sales, they should simply say to the licence holder "If you sell your content on our site, you agree that the purchaser can stream it as often and whenever he chooses".

      1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

        Re: @karlkarl

        No, Apple let you download a purchased movie from iTunes to an arbitrary disk drive of your choice. Said file will only be playable via iTunes on an authorised device, however. i.e. one that is associated with your iTunes account.

        And fuck-all use that is to me if I'm not using an iTunes-compatible platform (Linux, Android). I have a test-machine that happens to have a redmond-flavored OS on it, which can be used for downloading music to play on the aforementioned Linux and Android devices (and converted to MP3 to play in my car), but I'm not going to be watching movies on it. So no movie sales to me. I'll stick with DVD for purchases, and streaming for everything else.

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      "So Apple basically told him that he should have downloaded the films to his disk when he had the chance. But does the DRM not prevent this? Only streaming is allowed right? It is a lose-lose for the guy in the case study."

      You were always allowed and able to download Apple movies to your disk and keep them there permanently. "Only streaming is allowed right?" Wrong. Every single movie that I purchased this way (and it's not many, most come from DVDs) is downloaded, and backed up twice. As long as my computer and my backups don't break down at the same time, I've got these movies forever.

      What the guy missed: The first download gets you the purchased movie. After that, you can download again as a convenience, for example on another device, but only as a convenience and only as long as Apple has the rights. He purchased the movie, downloaded it, _threw it away_ and now he can't get a new copy. Worlds smallest violin plays the worlds saddest song.

  6. Ole Juul

    It's a good idea to take things home with you when you buy them.

    While I agree that Apple is being deceptive and deserves no respect in regard to their way of doing business, I still think that the gentleman in question is also being deceptive in his story. If I go to a store to buy something, I make sure to take it home with me. I don't leave it there and expect it to be there every time I want to go back and use it. The store could go out of business, for that matter. This gentleman is being naive if he thinks that the Apple store works differently from any brick and mortar store.

    Personally, I won't have anything to do with Apple on any level. Hopefully this gentleman will adopt this same stance from now on.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: It's a good idea to take things home with you when you buy them.

      On devices within limited storage (why would we need more, it's all available in the cloud!), we are encouraged to buy, download, watch/listen/read/play, wipe, and repeat, with a UI that gives the impression these shiny trinkets which we believe we have purchased will always be there for us.

      And DRM stops us from making a backup copy of what we believe we've purchased.

      I guess this is commonly known as a scam.

    2. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: It's a good idea to take things home with you when you buy them.

      "This gentleman is being naive if he thinks that the Apple store works differently from any brick and mortar store."

      I would not be surprised if people don't treat movies they have bought on the Apple store, as being in "their cloud", just like many other stored things, which don't disappear on a whim.

  7. RegGuy1
    Facepalm

    Apple

    HAHA he bought Apple!

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Apple

      No, he only bought the temporary rights to use Apple.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

    While the article does describe (very late) that this is not a specific Apple problem. But by using that title and wait very late to mention that every other in the domain has same problem, it's clearly a apple click-bait article.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

      Apple

    2. Mike Pellatt

      Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

      You seem to forget the history of "purchase" of "digital content" (it was, of course, digital when "purchased" on CD, DVD, etc., but that tiny factoid has never worried the marketroids).

      The narrative promulgated by Apple is that they created the market. Before iTunes it didn't exist. They gave the content copyright owners a way to protect (and grow) their revenue with non-physical "sales".

      There's a certain amount of truth to this line. So, as "leaders" in the market's creation, Apple should be pilloried ahead of others if they do anything to make it less frictionless (sorry for the double negative there but I wanted to use that Brexit-related word)

    3. Kane Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

      "... it's clearly a apple click-bait article."

      It clearly isn't, because the example given in the article is from someone who "bought" a movie from iTunes. Hence "Apple".

    4. nijam

      Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

      > ... every other in the domain has same problem...

      Well, unlike Apple, they don't say they're selling you the movie (implicitly, since it's what you get when you pay them money) as opposed to a subscription that let's you stream it.

    5. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Yet another Apple "problem" click-bait article

      "a apple"? Forgive me if I don't trust the judgement of someone so poor at basic English.

  9. JohnFen Silver badge

    The larger lesson

    If you buy something digital, but you don't have your own copy of it in a format that can be used with appropriate software from any vendor without requiring an internet connection, then you don't own it and it can vanish at any time without notice.

    Always.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: The larger lesson

      And the idiot studios wonder why people pirate. I'd pay double, triple for a DRM-free version of a movie on a physical medium and no license agreement (remember, copyright law makes copying + reselling completely illegal already). Instead, they make (physical) books and (non-DRM-encrusted) computer games look real interesting instead of movies, then wonder why revenues are down.

      Idiots.

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: The larger lesson

      I just turned WiFi off (and no Ethernet on my MacBook), opened a movie purchased from iTunes a few years ago, and it just played. It cannot vanish at any time. It's there forever unless I throw it away.

      1. Rural area satellite.

        Re: The larger lesson

        "forever" is a bit longer than the life-expectancy of the average drive. :-(

  10. Ian 70

    Steam handles games differently

    I've noticed that sometimes a game will vanish from the steam store when a license expires. It stays in my library though for me to re-download. Even Microsoft have done similar with the Xbox marketplace so clearly some companies figured out a way to handle it.

    1. Jamesit

      Re: Steam handles games differently

      "I've noticed that sometimes a game will vanish from the steam store when a license expires. It stays in my library though for me to re-download."

      GOG does the same thing and all the games and movies are fre from Digital Restrictions Management.

  11. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Trollface

    Digital Magic, aaand its gone

    The only part of a digital purchase you assuredly can rely upon NOT disappearing, are your bills.

  12. mevets

    Music...

    Does this apply to Music? Could the music that I’ve ‘bought’ from iTunes disappear because they lose the rights to it....

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Music...

      Of course it could. Stuff disappears off my Spotify playlists all the time. I didn't pay for it though, so that's just mildly annoying.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Music...

      Its certainly possible, but music takes up a lot less storage so you don't have to rely on being able to download your iTunes purchases from Apple. The reason this guy lost access isn't that Apple deleted them off his device, it is because he didn't have a copy of them and he wasn't able to re-download them from Apple. Had he kept a copy he'd be fine - but movies take up about 1000x more storage than songs so that's a bit more difficult especially if you own a LOT of movies.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Music...

        "but movies take up about 1000x more storage than songs so that's a bit more difficult especially if you own a LOT of movies"

        Not very much more difficult, though. Hard drives are cheap, and if you're the sort that's willing to pay to buy a ton of movies, spending a hundred or two dollars for a multi-TB drive that can hold them all is a no-brainer.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Where do you put those hard drives?

          The protagonist had an Apple device. They don't have hard disk slots and usually have pretty small built-in storage.

          Last time I tried, I found that iTunes cannot use removable storage because it blows up if it's not there. It was also incredibly difficult to get it to use a NAS drive, and I don't remember if I ever got that working.

          Apple explicitly encourage you to use their "cloud" services instead.

          So it's not just a hard disk. He'd need a very large, Apple-approved hard disk.

          In a machine that was carefully Designed in California to be unable to have a large hard disk.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

            *cough* Plex *cough*

            1. DoctorPaul

              Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

              Yep, plex in the airing cupboard!

              Used to hold the old immersion heater, gone now we've got a combi boiler, and those empty 22mm pipe runs make cabling throughout the house a breeze!

          2. pxd

            Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

            "Last time I tried, I found that iTunes cannot use removable storage because it blows up if it's not there. It was also incredibly difficult to get it to use a NAS drive, and I don't remember if I ever got that working."

            My experience suggests that your first statement is correct, but not your second: my installation of iTunes is currently very happy to work with data stored on my Synology NAS. pxd

            1. ch1ma3ra

              Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

              I remember running into one issue a few years ago with iTunes content being stored on a network share. Can't for the life of me remember what it was now (I vaguely have something to do with iDevice and video content in the back of my mind but god knows...) but someone suggested mapping the drive in Windows and then pointing iTunes to that instead of the share. Cleared it right up and it's been humming along fine ever since.

          3. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

            As to iTunes, I would argue that you shouldn't use that in the first place. iTunes has some serious flaws and people should use something better.

            Apple machines can't even use USB drives? If that's the case, combined with all the other limitations you cite, then it's pretty clear that Apple machines are so flawed that they shouldn't be considered fit for purpose.

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

              "Apple machines can't even use USB drives? If that's the case, combined with all the other limitations you cite, then it's pretty clear that Apple machines are so flawed that they shouldn't be considered fit for purpose."

              If that was the case, then yes. But DABS sells a nice 8 TB USB-C drive for £186. If you have a new iMac, you buy four USB-C hubs, 28 of these drives, plug it all in, and you about 200 Terabyte of disk space available. Maybe that's a bit exaggerated, mine has 9 TB connected.

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

                I know. I wasn't really saying that Apple machines weren't fit for purpose, I was sarcastically pointing out that the notion that if you use an Apple computer then you can't use additional hard drives is nonsense.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where do you put those hard drives?

            Yes, incredible difficult. Go to preferences, set path to an external drive. done. My iTunes library sites on an 8TB external drive with no problems at all.

      2. Czrly

        Re: Music...

        More importantly, music is typically available in non-protected form.

        As a rule, I listen to stuff on Spotify and buy what I like on good-old-CDs. Typically, this means that I discover an artist or band and order half-to-all of their entire discography at once and continue to follow them, afterwards. CDs are trivially easy to rip to FLAC and those files can be played anywhere, always, offline and even converted to aac for mobile devices with limited storage.

        The same cannot be said for movies. If I buy a blu-ray movie, I can't easily rip it to play on my phone while travelling. Buying a physical copy of a movie is just another way to "rent" it; there is NO way to actually BUY a movie.

        Conclusion: I never buy movies and almost never watch them, either. Just couldn't be bothered.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Music...

          "If I buy a blu-ray movie, I can't easily rip it to play on my phone while travelling."

          You can, really. You just have to use different software to do it.

      3. DoctorPaul

        Re: Music...

        Do what I do - stick them on a USB3 external drive, and attach that to a plex server.

        Mind you, I'm up to 12Tb as things stand, but it's all mounted in the old airing cupboard so even the waste heat is reused :-)

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Music...

      Yes. If you can't download the music in a standard format (such as MP3), then you really shouldn't pay money for it.

    4. trolleybus

      Re: music

      "Does this apply to Music? Could the music that I’ve ‘bought’ from iTunes disappear because they lose the rights to it..."

      Much of mine has disappeared. Apple say you can download music you've bought as often as you like, but there are weasel words along the lines of 'so long as we still sell it'. Many of my purchases were made when replacing my vinyl catalogue, so there was plenty of 70s stuff with titles like 'Diamond Dogs 2015 remaster'. Once 2015 ended the title of the product on sale changed to '2016 remaster'. At that point if you lose your local copy, you're well and truly stuffed, as I discovered.

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: music

        So you had no backup?

    5. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Music...

      I've had a few albums vanish from Google Play Music.

      Last time I noticed, I contacted them... And I got a refund, no music back.

      So I just grabbed the damn album off Deezloader, which still works BTW and lets one grab FLAC

      I was pushed to piracy.

    6. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Music...

      Just like movies, it only disappears if _you_ delete it. The headline is totally misleading. The guy's movie didn't disappear. Apple didn't delete it. He deleted it himself, and then couldn't download it again.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...how come this doesn't apply to Steam then?

    When they lose the rights to sell a game and it is removed from the store...people who have previously bought the game can still download and play it whenever they want. Their license isn't revoked.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Steam probably has a lot more leverage over the game developers who use its platform than Apple (or Amazon or Google) have over Hollywood studios. In short, they have different contracts.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It does apply to Nintendo, they took down their Wii Shop Channel. Either you keep your DRM'd downloads (tied to your machine) on SD card or you lose them. If your Wii breaks or is stolen, tough luck. As the shop is closed, you can't ring Nintendo to get them to transfer your purchases to the new machine's account or a Wii U and download them again.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which is exactly why, be it a movie or an audiobook, the first thing I do after purchase is download it then rip off any DRM.

  15. scrubber

    Funny

    None of the items I bought from the pirate bay has ever disappeared.

  16. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    That is actually a good "con". I don't care what's written in T&C but it's still a "con".

  17. Snow Wombat
    Pirate

    Whelp..

    Time to put in that home SAN expansion, make use of the shiny new 14TB disks that are out, and go back to pirating everything I want to keep.

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: Whelp..

      and go back to pirating everything I want to keep.

      Don't you mean making a back-up?

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Whelp..

      It's not just good for pirating. I don't have any pirated music or movies, but I have a couple of terabytes of music and movies stored in my fileserver.

  18. llaryllama

    I live in a region that is not well supported by the major publishers and torrents are generally the only way to get a lot of new content.

    The thing is, once you get used to working with DRM free high quality .mkv files you start to ask why the hell you would pay for a crappier experience where you have to login, reauthenticate yourself, wait for the network connection to settle down and wonder if the content will be removed next week.

    I am a huge film buff and still buy a fair number of blu ray discs because they are basically the same price or cheaper as a digital download, sound and picture quality is amazing (HDR10 looks great) and they are more convenient for me than storing a lot of ultra HD content.

    Same goes for music, I used to buy albums on iTunes and just got annoyed with all the restrictions and it's often more expensive than buying physical media. For casual listening I have a Spotify subscription which I don't mind paying for because it's pretty clear that I'm paying for a service rather than ownership of a product. Most vinyl releases come with a download code these days so you can own something physical and also download the DRM free files for convenience.

  19. Wade Burchette

    Paying customer v. Pirate

    If you are paying customer:

    (a) If you have bought a disc, you insert the disc. Then wait for a studio logo promo to finish. Which then goes to a movie trailer that you have to press a button to bypass. If you are lucky, there isn't another movie trailer or two. But only if you are lucky. Then you get to a menu which takes at least 15 seconds before you can do anything. Finally after selecting to play the movie, you get an unskippable anti-piracy warning. Followed by an unskippable screen as to why this movie was rated the way it was. Followed by an unskippable legal disclaimer about the opinions of the commentary not being the opinions of the studio. And then finally the movie starts.

    (b) If you bought a digital copy, you have to sign in to an account. Which then verifies that you can use and download the movie you bought, while making sure you didn't download too many times. At least it lets you stream, provided that the movie studio still has a contract with Apple, Amazon, etc. Which is not guaranteed, so your money may go bye-bye at the whim of a movie studio. And every time you stream or play a downloaded copy, the video has to check in to make sure you are authorized to play that video. An authorization that can be revoke by Apple, Amazon, etc or the movie studio as it suits then.

    But if you are a pirate:

    (a) You insert your disc, USB drive, or similar, push play and enjoy.

    (b) You load the Plex app on your smart TV, Roku, TiVo, etc, find your video file, and enjoy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Paying customer v. Pirate

      "Which then goes to a movie trailer that you have to press a button to bypass"

      Or, if you're unlucky ... can't skip. And there's more than one. Aaargh!

  20. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

    As others have hinted, this is basically Apple being lazy/callous: when their contract with the distributor/owner expired, they lost the right to sell the movie, but that's a completely different thing from the right to store copies of the movie to deliver to people who had already paid for the thing.

    So it sounds to me like Apple failed to consider this situation when building their store. The trivially obvious approach to these situations is to retain the entries and data for the movie, but disable the "buy" or "rent" transaction functionality, so what's blocked is the ability to make those transactions, not the ability to benefit from them.

    (I suspect if someone was unlucky enough to rent the movie just before the license expired, Apple would have taken the money and then not delivered, on the same basis).

  21. Mark Exclamation

    OT, but I see the "Downvote-Everyone-Once" person is back. Seems they're having a fulfilling day as a result.

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Should be illegal

    It should be illegal to call it anything but a rental when permission-based DRM is involved. Downloading is NOT a solution for iTunes because permission to decrypt content must be re-granted from Apple on a regular basis.

    I will never pay more than a single-use price for DRM content.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iTunes

    Had something similar here: experienced a sudden drive failure a while back and *all* my data got trashed despite having two (!) forensic images of the old drive the replacement did not work and I could only access about 1/3 of the library including several films despite the files being intact.

    I did eventually find out that the problem mysteriously fixed itself about a week later, just as my other backup copy showed up on drive *3 (made in 2015) and fortunately this time all was well again.

    But having to use forensics tools to clone a drive because companies don't recognise a simple HDD swap with working OS is ridiculous.

    Why the $Deity Apple don't just let you burn your library to BD-R and authenticate it against the user account not the hardware I will never know. 30p per disk and they last 25 years minimum.

    Also relevant: some early Macbooks have the infamous motherboard fault where "good" drives will not show up yet the data is normally intact.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iTunes

      "[...] and authenticate it against the user account not the hardware I will never know. 30p per disk and they last 25 years minimum.

      The weak link is then the authentication service or its agent on your current device. They are outside your control and can be changed or disappear.

      Nothing is immune to this passage of time. There is often a personal consequential loss when you are told "Sorry - we no longer stock/make those any more" - and the current equivalent requires you to scrap your perfectly adequate dependent system.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm turning into *that* guy.

    And here endeth the lesson, I predicted this when digital downloads started to take off and was told not to be silly, that you'd bought it, it wasn't going to be an issue and I was being paranoid by wanting physical media that contained an irrevocable copy.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: I'm turning into *that* guy.

      So there's two of us then!

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: I'm turning into *that* guy.

      As a matter of principle, I will not "buy" anything that the other party has any remaining hook into / control over. Only stuff that as soon as it's in my hand you are no longer able to touch in any way shape or form - if I paid for it, you've lost any right to tell me what I can or cannot do with it from now on as far as I'm concerned, sorry. Don't worry, I don't intend to "distribute" it. The rest is none of your fucking concern, regardless what your ToS / EULA may or may not say.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Apple

    When I bought my piece of iShit, I sent you some money for you to use (it was never going to sit on a shelf, was it?). I have now decided not to usee your iShit so I am taking my money back.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old Ipods

    Are *still* being used because people don't care that the drive is fragile or for that matter batteries are not made any more and 1G iPads are often used for musicians and folks with disabilities.

    The big reason I try to avoid the iTax is because every time you think everything is working they kill another feature such as EwwTube on older iPads: by comparison my Android tablet (4.1.2) is still working fine albeit at only 576p and a bit jumpy. Seems to be working for now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old Ipods

      Err, if youtube isn't working isn't that Google at fault?

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Old Ipods

      "Are *still* being used because people don't care that the drive is fragile or for that matter batteries are not made any more"

      There is a carrier card to use a Compact Flash card in the old drive based iPods and there are third party battery suppliers around. I have one, but I mostly use several 3rd gen iPods. I like the form factor and I have them loaded up with different stuff for different moods.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple vs oranges

    I'm no convinced this is the best case against Apple ever.

    Let's say, you go to buy groceries, put oranges in a bag, go to the cashier, pay for them, then leave them on the counter and go home. One year later, you come back, and complain that your oranges, fairly paid, are not there anymore. Wouldn't that be ridiculous?

    The notion that everything bought digitally will be forever available is wrong. He didn't download the movies, so what if Apple had folded? Or is it just assumed to be too big to fail? I've bought digital downloads from smaller companies, and I've not failed to fetch them immediately.

    Still, I *do* agree that there is a problem: in the same way the assistant would have called out for you to pick your bag of oranges, Apple definitely should have sent a warning message that the download would cease to be available soon.

    1. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Apple vs oranges

      If Apple had folded he wouldn't have complained, as the reason would have been obvious.

      In this case the implication was that the movie was there in the cloud for him.

  28. The_H

    Legalised theft

    If an artiste - let's say Mike Goldfield - leaves his record label - WontGoAllTheWay Records - in a huff and signs to Pony Music, WontGoAllTheWay loses the rights to his future music. They can't create it; they can't sell it. That is fine.

    What it doesn't mean is that WontGoAllTheWay Records will then visit every record shop in the country, remove all unsold records, and then visit every house and remove every SOLD record too.

    Yet that is exactly what is happening here.

    It is theft. No ifs, no buts, no weasel words. (And don't bother pointing out the legal niceties of licensing; that's just another way of saying "extortion")

    1. Colin Wilson 2

      Re: Legalised theft

      "What it doesn't mean is that WontGoAllTheWay Records will then visit every record shop in the country, remove all unsold records, and then visit every house and remove every SOLD record too.

      Yet that is exactly what is happening here."

      To be fair to Apple (gulp!) it's not exactly what's happening here.

      If you buy a movie from ITunes and download it, the downloaded copy is linked to your Apple Id - so you can play it as long as Apple still exist, and you remember your Apple Id password. The Studio - or WontGoAllTheWay can't do anything to 'revoke' your already downloaded copy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Legalised theft

      If an artiste - let's say Mike Goldfield - leaves his record label - WontGoAllTheWay Records - in a huff and signs to Pony Music,

      Actually, that would be PonyCanyon (and they can be right SOBs on their own too).

    3. wayward4now
      Headmaster

      Re: Legalised theft

      They've been that way since the old Apple ][ days. why should they up and change now??? Surprised?? I say HAHAHAHAHA to those of you not smart enough to learn from the past.

      "Criswell: Eddie, we're in show biz. It's all about razzle-dazzle. Appearances. If you look good, and you talk well, people will swallow anything. "

  29. Baudwalk

    You pretty much have to approach iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, …

    ... as you would Netflix and Spotify: You’re only renting the stuff.

    When buying apps on Google Play, I do so in the full knowledge they may (and some do) stop working at any time.

    But the prices have to match.

    That’s also why I only buy heavily discounted games for my son’s Xbox. Luckily, like me, he’s not into the latest multi-player FPS, so that’s never been an issue.

    Similarly, PC games I only buy from GOG.com. They don’t have the latest AAA titles, but I can find what *I* want to play. And I don’t have time to fit in on-line multi-player anyway, so DRM-free single player (or LAN/off-line multi-player) titles fit my needs perfectly.

    Funnily enough, when games are removed for sale from GOG, they’re still left in the libraries of those who bought them when GOG did have them for sale.

    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: You pretty much have to approach iTunes, Google Play, Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, …

      "Similarly, PC games I only buy from GOG.com."

      I thought that was a good plan, on the basis that I rarely see a bad GoG game.

      Plus much of my "free" time is on a train, which kind of puts a damper on most online gaming.

      Oh, and fellow students going "OMG, is that the original fallout" and I can say "kinda, it's Fallout 2 resto project, I used to play it a lot last millennium..."

  30. Duffaboy
    Trollface

    Please read the 500 odd

    pages of your T&C's as it is buried there in the very small print

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Please read the 500 odd

      They use the font "Flyspeck" at 0.5 point.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    false advertisement

    queue the lawyers.

    Had this issue with Amazon and "RIO" years ago. You try to do the right thing and actually "pay" for content, and you get "scrooged".

    time for the Copy-Right to swing the other way. Buy = "own". You can't take that away.

    1. David Nash Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: false advertisement

      "Cue".

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    unless we went into stupid-land (which we maybe did when CERN LHC was swtich on), when i "buy" something, that means its mine and i can do whatever the f*ck i want with it.

    Apple should've used the word "rent" on its call-to-action button, so that users know exactly that they don't 'own' it.

    it seems to me that Apple made a legal misrepresentation. but i'm not a lawyer. just a nobody who cant make sense of the stupidity of copyright law and how it distinctly smells like an attempt to 'legally' deny my (what i thought were inaliable) rights to freedom to do whatever the f*ck i want to whatever the f*ck i own.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      "it seems to me that Apple made a legal misrepresentation. but i'm not a lawyer. just a nobody who cant make sense of the stupidity of copyright law and how it distinctly smells like an attempt to 'legally' deny my (what i thought were inaliable) rights to freedom to do whatever the f*ck i want to whatever the f*ck i own."

      Only because the facts are being badly misrepresented.

      You buy the movie. Which gives you the right to download it, and keep it and play it forever. As a convenience, you can download the movie again, as long as Apple sells it. But that's just a convenience. You purchased the version that you downloaded. It's yours. Look after it. Don't throw it away as this guy did.

      (Now personally I think renting is much more cost effective, because I rarely watch the same movie four times, but that's a different matter).

  33. DemeterLast

    Always buy the disc, then rip

    For one-off movies, we always just rent them. Everything else is streamed. But for those things that we (meaning "the kids") want to watch over and over, I buy the disc and then rip it. The thing about a ripped digital movie is that you can say "I want to watch this" and then watch it. If you use the disc, DVD or BlueRay, you have to suffer through endless unskippable crap, wait for what seems like an interminable amount of time before the snazzy menu comes up so you can hunt around on the DVD remote for the right key that plays the movie. Half the time you're treated to two more unskippable warnings from the FBI about doing the very thing you're thinking about, which is getting rid of this dumb crap you don't need to see every time you watch Wreck-It Ralph.

    Compare that to open up Plex on the Roku box, use the world's simplest remote to navigate to what you want to watch, and then play it.

    Attention Hollywood! I'm more than willing to pay for entertainment. I do not want to be given a wedgie every time I use your product though. Thanks!

  34. DMcDonnell

    HDD space

    If you don't have at least 6 TB of HDD then you are doing something wrong. There is no good excuse now days about running out of storage space.

  35. Dog Eatdog
    FAIL

    Movies are Bigger than That

    " A DVD quality movie will typically run to around 4GB, and a Blu-ray movie to 7 or 8GB:"

    I think El Reg is getting its Blu-Ray confused with its dual-layer DVD.

    A Blu-Ray film is typically 15 GB to 30 GB and a DVD film up to about 8 GB.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You mean people still buy online movies?

    How quaint!

  37. JaitcH
    Meh

    Another Apple Rip Off - Avoid Problems and Use BitTorrent

    Anders Gonçalves da Silva should simply download copies from Alternative Sources.

    I live in a country where we can get few English language moves, unless you cross the border and buy copy CDs. Several Foreigners here have massive collections of movies and with our 100 Mbyte fibre optic feeds ($32/month) we waste little time downloading - hardly enough time to open a Tiger.

  38. DrM
    Thumb Up

    TPB!

    Torrents never steal from you. :-)

  39. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Disney again

    Disney disabled viewing purchased content during at least one holiday season so families would have to watch the movies on the Disney Channel with all of the commercials.

    I'm pretty sure I have Fantasia on laser disc. A bulky format, but no DRM.

    I'm happy to purchase audiobooks for download, but not from Amazon/Audible. It's a bad deal for authors and a rip off for consumers. I don't always agree with Cory Doctorow, but I love that his stuff is DRM free and he even gives some of it away. I can't always buy right away, but I do buy Cory's books when I have the money so he keeps writing. I buy cd's directly from artists/bands when they sell them at their shows. I often get the bonus of having them signed and they get to keep a larger portion (or a portion at all) from the sale.

  40. dave 93
    WTF?

    Apple could put a copy in your iCloud

    Apple could put a copy of a purchased movie into your iCloud automatically, if they know they will lose the rights at some future point. Am I missing something?

  41. RedCardinal

    Would be interesting to consider whether Apple's tocs on this (and how they market and sell the movies) comply with UK consumer protection and advertising laws.

  42. wayward4now
    Linux

    Apple??? scruum

    They screwed over their user base ever since the Apple ][ plus. We burnt eproms of the original ][ roms so they functioned as the Woz intended. You could hit reset and jump into the "mini-assembler", cop the memory to tape, reboot a standard floppy and copy the content of the tape to a binary disk file, which could be "brun" and you had what had been DRM protected as a nice clean file.

  43. born cynical
    FAIL

    On the other hand...

    Karma even bites Apple sometimes. I bought a song on iTunes which suddenly went silent mid-way through, and then the audio returned some time later. (Nope, not deliberate, unlike John Tesh's early classic 'Black Hole' track) When I contacted Apple they said that I could only have a refund. When I pressed them for the music instead, they finally admitted that the source data from the music library company that they got it from was faulty as well, and they had no way of getting the actual original content directly. In an ironic world, then that refund would have been used to purchase John Cage's 4'33'', but I resisted the temptation...

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