Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Apple sued for terminating account with $25,000 worth of apps and videos

AppleAccording to a new suit filed against Apple, the meaning of the words "rent" and "buy" are not what we, as consumers, think they are. 

In one of two class-action suits against Apple, the lead plaintiff David Andino argues that Apple's definition of the words "rent" and "buy" are deceptive "since the company can terminate people's Apple IDs and, along with them, access to content they purchased using the 'buy' button." 

Andino is arguing that consumers aren't allowed to buy content at all, but are only allowed to rent content, meaning consumers never own any content outright. Andino further claims that, had he known that his access could be cut off at any time, he would not have spent as much money on iTunes content. 

The suit further states, “[j]ust like Best Buy cannot come into a person’s home to repossess the movie DVD that such person purchased from it, [Apple] should not be able to remove digital content from its customers’ Purchased folders." 

In response to the allegations, Apple argued that "no reasonable consumer would believe that content purchased through iTunes would be available on the platform indefinitely." 

Fortunately for Andino, US District Court Judge John Mendez did not buy Apple's argument and rejected Apple's motion to dismiss the suit. 

The other class-action suit is brought by Matthew Price who claims he lost $24,590.05 in iTunes, the App Store, and in-app purchases, which "became inaccessible when Apple terminated his account." 

See Tim De Chant, Apple sued for terminating account with $25,000 worth of apps and videos, Ars Technica, April 23, 2021. 

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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