Apple is deleting films purchased from iTunes Store – and don’t expect a refund

“Reports have started to emerge of Apple completely deleting films from iTunes accounts even when they’ve been bought, not merely rented,” John Archer writes for Forbes. “And when people complain about this, they’re receiving an astonishing message from Apple telling them that iTunes is just a ‘store front,’ and so Apple isn’t to blame if a film studio decides it no longer wants to make its titles available on iTunes.”

“Even worse, it seems that if bought film titles are removed from your account you may not even be entitled to get a refund for them,” Archer writes. “When an iTunes user in Canada complained to Apple that their initial offer of a free $5.99 rental hardly seemed suitable recompense for him having three bought films summarily removed from his account, Apple replied that ‘our ability to offer refunds diminishes over time. Hence your purchases doesn’t meet the conditions for a refund.'”

Archer writes, “While I’m hearing from others who fortunately did get a refund for their deleted films, the bottom line in all this is that Apple appears to be openly saying that if you buy a film on iTunes, you don’t really own it at all.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is nothing new. It’s in the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions to which users agreed when they installed iTunes and purchased the content.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


    1. In 2009, I bought the soundtrack for Vanishing Point off iTunes. 3 or 4 years ago, all the songs except for one vanished out of the album folder. I thought it was really weird, so I dug out my backup. The songs were there, but as soon as I connected to the internet they also vanished except for that one song. Went to re-download, no longer on the iTunes Store. Support calls, escalation, more calls. After many emails at high level, they fessed up. Said the licensee discontinued, and it was recalled. Said the most they could give me was 5 song credits. I haven’t redeemed them and refuse to buy ANY music on iTunes anymore.

      1. I think moral of story is that making an ITunes backup is a mistake, you need to download to your drive or a separate drive every item you buy from iTunes/Apple Music or any other streaming service.

  1. And people make fun of my old school ways of buying DVDs and BluRay DVDs. Lets just say this… I still own copies of my movies. The bad thing about the Cloud, is that it’s a Cloud. Drifting away in the ether.

        1. Naaaa… If the offending bstudios/distributers got the crap litigated out of them, they would either survive, lick their wounds and go on understanding ripping off people has consequences. Or they would go bankrupt and others would rush in to fill the void.
          Thats the beauty of an open market, there are always a pack of competitors at your heels waiting for you to fail to deliver to your customers.

  2. This has been happening for years. 8 years ago I had a lot of TV series items that I purchased simply go away. Apple gave the same reason. You are better off downloading all the files but better yet, buy the DVDs and rip them to your server.

  3. The irony around all this is that media companies devise elaborate systems to stop the piracy of their content. But there isn’t a single movie that has been thwarted from entry to the torrents by these systems. If you want it DRM-free, you’ll be able to get it!

  4. If they downloaded it, they still have it.
    The option to re-download it is not an option if the producers say no.
    Still, that should have been in Apple’s original contract.

  5. “MacDailyNews Take: This is nothing new. It’s in the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions to which users agreed when they installed iTunes and purchased the content.”

    It says NO WHERE, that if you purchase an item, that it will be stolen back and you’ll receive no refund.

    Stop being an apple apologist. Under MDN warped thinking that if I purchase a DVD movie, then the movie theater can come into my house and take it back.

    You’re not “RENTING” or “STREAMING” it as a part of a subscription.

    SMH !!!!!

    1. It isn’t “stolen back.” If you download it, you can save and keep it forever. If you don’t save it, the content (video, song, or app) is only available for as long as Apple has the legal right to download or stream it to you. It isn’t like the theatre coming to your house; it’s more like going to the theatre and demanding that they show you a movie they don’t have anymore.

      It is disappointing, particularly since Apple TV, as opposed to other Apple devices, does not have the option of local storage. But, as MDM points out, you would not be surprised if you had read the contract you agreed to when you bought the content.

      1. I’ve noticed that if Apple attempts to charge your monthly fee and has a problem, like your credit card has expired or changed or whatever, they won’t even let you play movies or content you already own.

        I think it should be made clear to people that you NEVER actually own the movie or the content. You purchased a license that can be revoked at anytime. It should be made clear in easy to understand language, not legal jargon.

      2. Wrong. Once you have purchased and downloaded to your physical computer or idevice, Apple should have no right to delete it off your computer, forcing you to recover it from your own personal physical back up. I have had music deleted out of my iTunes library in the past. Including music I own physical CDs of and not purchased online. I’m never subscribing to Apple music and if I do purchase a song from iTunes, it gets burned to a physical CD. Especially be careful when iTunes, iOS or macOS is updated.

  6. All you complaining people expecting that if you bought something you should be able to keep it need to get your act together and remember that these Producers, Actors, Directors etc. have a fabulous life style they need to support. Pay for another version of the film and help them out, instead of being insensitive, greedy jerks!

    Shame on you for expecting to get the value you paid for! Next time read the entire license agreement you lazy good for nothing slobs!

    Now excuse me while I go back to watching a movie DVD I got for free from my local library. I won’t be fooled again.

    1. Before I get a lot of hate mail, I hope people realize that I am using the technique of exaggerating the opposite point of view to make my point.

      My advice: never buy a move, song, photo, book, etc. you can’t download and copy to your backup drive.

  7. After avoiding DRM like the plague all these years I recently began purchasing movies from iTunes with the promise of free future upgrades to 8K, 16K etc (like they did with 4K).

    Luckily I also planned on DRM removal and backup.

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