You Do Not Own the Music, Movies, or E-Books You Buy From Amazon or ITunes

When you buy music, movies or books from Amazon or Apple iTunes, you might get the impression that these materials are yours forever; after all, this is how CDs and paper books work. Why rent You Have Got Mail for $ 3.99 every few months when you can “own” it and watch it anytime and forever for $ 9.99?

But you are wrong. All digital things are temporary, even if you clicked buy instead of rent. One unfortunate side effect of not experiencing with a physical book or record is that your purchases may simply disappear if the licensing agreements change.

As pointed out on a Twitter thread, Apple says that the content provider for the films in question has removed them from the store. And that removed them from the user’s library even though he paid money to buy them. It’s easy to see why this is frustrating (especially since Apple didn’t want to give up on refunds for purchases it no longer has).

“This would not have happened in the physical world. Nobody comes up to you and demands to return the book, “Aaron Perzanowski, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University who studied these digital purchases , told the LA Times in 2016.” But in the digital world, they can just go into your Kindle and grab it. ” …

Companies do not hide this fact, although the buy buttons can confuse consumers.

For example, Amazon notes in small print that “Kindle Content is licensed and not sold to you by the Content Provider. The content provider may include additional terms of use in its Kindle Content. ” You also cannot sell or distribute your e-books as you would with a physical copy. Apple’s fine print indicates that the licensor “reserves the right to change, suspend, remove, disable, or impose restrictions on access or restrictions to any external service at any time without notice or liability to you.”

There is no easy way to keep content you buy from Apple or Amazon “forever,” although there are some shortcuts. For example, you can try converting Kindle books to PDFs ( details here ). You can also download music purchased from Amazon to your computer.

The best way? If you can, buy a physical copy of the movie or TV show that you can download digitally. At the very least, you’ll have a backup in case your digital copy goes missing – assuming you still have a player to watch it on.


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