Expatriate finds iTunes Music Store songs disappear outside of U.S.

“I just received a harsh lesson in DRM and record label-driven policy that may be of interest to those on your lists who are Apple customers and may be leaving the United States in the future. Having purchased a number of songs from the Apple Music Store while in the US and using a US funds credit card, I regrettably didn’t read the fine print. I’ve now discovered that if you leave the country, your songs may just disappear, as mine have,” writes Shawn Yeager on Politech. [Attribution: Slashdot]

Apple’s iTunes Music Store Terms of Sale clearly states upfront:
“U.S. SALES ONLY. Purchases from the iTunes Music Store are available only in the United States and are not available in any other location. You agree not to use or attempt to use the service from outside of the available territory. Apple may use technologies to verify such compliance.”

Full post here.

MacDailyNews Take: We have to wonder if an Expat cloaked his or her IP address via a U.S.-based server, would the iTunes songs remain intact?


  1. It seems that Apple doesn’t check IP addresses, just credit card addresses. I suggest that anyone moving outside the US (like me) should keep at least one credit card address in the US (as I do). I’ve bought 400 songs while abroad, and they all work fine.

  2. Not only is the story old, but his DRM issues had nothing to do with his move out of the country. The guy reformated his hard drive, changed his account information, and a slew of other items, then waited to reactivated his account with a Canadian address. There’s just no accounting for stupidity. But even after that Apple allowed him to reactivate his computer.

  3. Backup, Backup, Backup!
    If you spend money on ITMS (I have and I will keep doing so) burn them to music CD’s. There cheep! You can play them in your car, there is no DRM, and if your hard drive crashes, you have a backup!
    (also, if you move out of the country, reformat your hard drive, and change your account, your covered)

  4. Apple of course would like to NOT restrict ITMS to the US if they could. It is international law issues that force them to put a policy like this in place. As Keith said it is the credit card address that is the issue. I think this is sufficient enough of a barrier to sales outside the US. You essentially have to have a US presence to use ITMS. Legal issues make them state the situation in more severe terms but I doubt very much that Apple is making much effort to catch people outside the US. Also if you reformat, etc without backing up like this guy did, and so need a reauthorization code, I can see why they can not overtly and openly condone this.

    Of course all of this is really silly when you consider how much illegal fileswapping is going on. The last thing the industry should do is get strict on the few users who actually are paying for music.

  5. I live overseas (from the USA) but maintain a USA address and credit card too. I have traveled back and forth and downloaded from USA and abroad. Nothing has disappeared yet.

  6. Your iTunes songs just disappeared?


    Did you look under the refrigerator?

    You did?

    Well, where was the last place you put them? iTunes songs don’t just get up and WALK AWAY!!

    And in the meantime stop talking with your mouth full.
    Stop tracking mud over the nice, clean floor.



  7. On another, but similiar, note.

    Over and over I’ve heard speculation about what happens to the user who loses his/her collecton of music due to hardware failure, theft of powerbook, whatever.

    The common consensus being that Apple should let you re-download all the songs. Yes, that would be nice.

    But back in 1975, if your house burned down you couldn’t go back to London Records and get back your albums you paid for. Even if you offered to pay some sort of minimal fee for labor and materials. Nor would anyone have thought that you were ‘owed’ the albums.

    What changed? the idea that everything having to do with the internet is FREE or too cheap to meter? Growing feelings of entitlement?

    It is so DARN EASY to backup now. Yet people feel that their carelessness in backing up data is a blank check (altho a very small one) against the record companies if their music goes away.

    It was MUCH HARDER, more time consuming, and more expensive, to backup your music 25 years ago. But no one thought that the record companies should make it easier to replace your music.


  8. why the FSCK are you guys worried about this? buya $200 pc, load kazaa lite, download and birn away. In ten years people are going to look back and wonder what you dopes were fighting over, when it was all out there free. over 5000 songs and 300 movies in my library, all cost total of zip. i dont listen or ever watch half of them, who cares they are free.

    and, my karma is fine, thanks for asking.

  9. When all new CD’s are sold in WMA-encoded DRM protected format all the legal downlaoders will want to kick all of the music thieves right in the a*s. Since when is it your right to steal someone else’s rightful property? I have no sympathy for the greedy, bloated and inefficient recording industry, but theft is wrong.

  10. All my songs are there. Just keep billing address in the US. I buy from iTMS and listen to all over Europe. Never a problem. I am a US tax payer person, my card and my bank are US. it is all that matters.

    Imagine what a blunder would be if *truly* your music disappears when you travel… c’mon!

  11. If being an honest person makes me a dope, I’m proud of it.

    I oppose the RIAA stranglehold, but I’m not going to steal from artists I like and pretend I’m taking a stand.

  12. I have been using iTunes Music Stores and have no problems.. my music doesn’t vanish and I continue to use my US credit card to build my collection.. this story is 100% bullshit.

  13. I thought that cursor advert on this page today loked a bit naff for a Mac site…and so it proves.

    Congratulations to MDN for selling paying space to a Windoze service only. Hope they’re paying loads!

  14. What a pin head this guy must be. I’ve been buying lots from iTMS from here in Africa. Everything work great.
    Either he is retarded or this is more FUD.

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