Apple is reportedly removing films from users' iTunes libraries without notice or refunds

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If you went to watch a film today on iTunes and found that it wasn’t in your library, you’re not alone – users in Canada have reported that their once-owned films have disappeared overnight. 

According to some users, Apple is allegedly deleting movies from their libraries without warning – and, worse, without compensation. 

The story, which originated on Forbes where their reporter John Archer discovered the trend, is a reminder of the painful fact that, if you don’t have films locally stored on your device, companies like Apple can remove them from your library overnight. 

According to users that have reached out to Forbes privately and via Twitter, they never received a notice that movies would be deleted off the service and, when they confronted Apple over email about the disappearance, received “an astonishing message from Apple telling them that iTunes is just a ‘store front,’ and Apple isn’t to blame if a film studio decides it no longer wants to make its titles available on iTunes.”

The Forbes report goes on to say that some users have been compensated with a free rental for the inconvenience, but that those users who were affected by the removal feel that doesn’t go far enough in repaying them for, in some cases, dozens of films that have been removed from their account.

A victim of terms and conditions

Admittedly, this is all a part of iTunes' terms and conditions.

Amazon has a similar policy, as does Google Play Movies & TV in its terms and conditions: “In certain cases (for example if Google loses the relevant rights, a service or Content is discontinued, there are critical security issues, or there are breaches of applicable terms or the law), Google may remove from your Device or cease providing you with access to certain Content that you have purchased.” 

The difference here is that these users allegedly weren’t notified and, upon their awareness of the situation, were offered little remorse or compensation for their loss – all of which, while legal, feels particularly egregious.

We’ll reach out to Apple for additional details on the situation and will update this story when we get a response back from them.