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Apple Facilitating Theft

Posted on 18th September 2018

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I was simply gob-smacked when I read this report on Forbes.

Apple are deleting content such as movies from the iTunes media libraries of people who had bought that content, without warning and totally without permission.

Apple claim that they are not responsible, because they are only a "store front", and the media providers are the ones to blame. This is a flawed argument. Apple facilitated the original purchase (as a store front); now they are facilitating theft: they are accessories to a crime.

To make matters worse, Apple's attitude when people complain and ask for compensation is simply not acceptable. If you complain quickly enough, you might get partial compensation, but if you wait too long you will get nothing. If I had a movie that I purchased deleted by Apple, I would have called the police; it is just the same as if someone had broken into my home and stolen a DVD.

This kind of problem is exactly why I don't ever buy things on iTunes, although my girlfriend often buys music that way.

I don't think that Apple and the various movie copyright owners understand the likely result of this theft: they are discouraging people from legally purchasing movies and music, and pushing them towards illegal downloads (which, if they want, they can load onto their portable devices with third-party software such as MediaMonkey).

Anyway, for most people this is just another reason not to use iTunes (anyway a horrible piece of software), and indeed any Apple products. Unfortunately, Apple will probably not long remain the only offenders: as more people become more connected online, the uncontrolled access to the data on your systems will be more and more abused, both by companies and by hackers.