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Media (Apple) Media United States

Apple's Terms No Longer Allow ITMS Purchases Outside of US 319

Posted by timothy
from the just-a-test-to-see-if-you're-reading-the-terms dept.
JasonDT writes "I just accepted the new terms of service for iTunes and found that I will no longer be allowed to access US iTunes outside of the United States. This may seem like no big deal but, I am a US citizen living abroad and I regularly purchase and view TV and movies from AppleTV. Not to mention US citizens just traveling abroad. Does anyone know if this has been enforced or have themselves been affected by this?"
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Apple's Terms No Longer Allow ITMS Purchases Outside of US

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  • by Foofoobar (318279) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:59AM (#26710651)
    Register itunesproxy.com before apple does!!!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Yvan256 (722131)

      Even better, someone register itunes.apple.com, quick!

  • HA HA HA HA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jhfry (829244) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:06PM (#26710815)

    I bet that the poster of this article is exploring his options, after all, he's not allow to purchase his media legally, so perhaps he would be better served by a free alternative?

    I am sure Apple did it only to make someone else happy (labels, investors, foreign governments, us government, etc...) however, it's ridiculous to suggest that this will do anything but increase piracy.

    • by linhares (1241614) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:30PM (#26712767)
      YES I AM BRAZILIAN INFERIOR HUMAN BEING and I had one account with a US address and an itunes card. Shit, I fucking said yes to the EULA or SLA when prompted. GOD DAMN YOU, APPLE! Now I can get no new apps for my iPhone. Oh well, just one more thing: GOD DAMN YOU APPLE! I'm just switching to Android as soon as it's available here in Banana Republics.
  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:10PM (#26710879)

    not where you were born. When I was an American living and working in Germany, I was subject to the laws of Germany. I couldn't download a browser with more than 40-bit encryption at the time due to export regulations. Yes I was an American citizen, but I wasn't in the united states.
    Now, if you are working on behalf of the US government at a diplomatic consulate/mission or in the military, then you may have a gripe, and I believe Apple should do something to work with you. Especially if your billing is to an APO address.

    Just because I'm american and we are allowed the freedom of speech inside the US doesn't mean I can have a copy of Mein Kampf in Germany.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:20PM (#26711085)

      Just because I'm american and we are allowed the freedom of speech inside the US doesn't mean I can have a copy of Mein Kampf in Germany.

      LOL, I think this might be the most sensible post to invoke Godwin's Law ever!

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:03PM (#26712109)

        It also is quite wrong. It is legal to own "Mein Kampf" in Germany. It is not legal to sell, give or even show it to somebody else. It is also illegal to purchase it as far as I know.
        Possession however is fine.

        • by filthpickle (1199927) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:56PM (#26713387)
          Yeah, it breaks down like this: it's illegal to buy it, it's legal to own it but, if you're the proprietor of a kampf bar, it's legal to sell it. It's legal to carry it, which doesn't really matter 'cause â" get a load of this â" if the cops stop you, it's illegal for them to search you.
        • by muuh-gnu (894733) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:08PM (#26713615)

          It is neither of those. The copyright to mein kampf and other Nazi works fell to the state of bavaria, which by copyright simply doesnt allow any copying of mein kampf and hasnt since the second world war. If you happen to have one of the old copies from the WW2, or you bought it a state that doesnt reckognize avarias copyright on it, youre perfectly fine to do anything you want with it. Of course, there are several anti-nazi-agitation laws and selling the book on ebay may invoke some of those laws, but theres nothing specific to this one book and applies to all nazi memorabilia.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by zotz (3951)

        What happens if you mention Godwin and not Hitler?

        drew

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by neuromanc3r (1119631)

      Just because I'm american and we are allowed the freedom of speech inside the US doesn't mean I can have a copy of Mein Kampf in Germany.

      Bad example. It is a common misconception that Mein Kampf is illegal in Germany. You are allowed to have a copy (even though it you will probably not find a new one anywhere).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Corbets (169101)

      For the record, you can be subject to both the laws of the country where you live and where you were born simultaneously, even if the two are not the same. ;P

      American paedophilia and tax laws come to mind...

    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:31PM (#26711309)

      I don't think the submitter is complaining that what iTunes is doing is illegal (or that he should be subject to US law while abroad). I think he is complaining that what iTunes is doing is stupid.

      He wants to be a customer. He wants to give them money. But they (iTunes, or whichever content providers require this rule) want to restrict things regionally. These regional restrictions are inconvenient, arbitrary, and illogical in an age of ubiquitous global network connectivity, and easy trans-national travel. Someone abroad can circumvent the restrictions easily with a proxy. Conversely a US citizen on a trip abroad is denied access (whereas it would have been fine if they had downloaded it while in the US and carried it on their computer on the plane). Thus it doesn't seem that the rule accomplishes its nominal goal. Actually for the most part the nominal goal isn't even clear. In short, the restrictions are silly.

      Of course it is within iTune's ability (technical and legal) to impose such restrictions. But it just seems illogical, since anywhere that the content is not available through a legitimate source (or available but only after a substantial delay) will simply increase the amount of circumvention (proxy, file sharing, etc.). So why don't these companies want the money being offered to them?

      • by peragrin (659227)

        Is it itunes fault is country laws(USA Germany, France,etc) forbid such things ? Just because you Are an American doesn't give you the right to playmusic, videos, even newspapers that are banned in the country your currenrtly in.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:31PM (#26714121)

        He wants to be a customer. He wants to give them money. But they (iTunes, or whichever content providers require this rule) want to restrict things regionally.

        In some cases yes, in many cases its not that they WANT to restrict things, its that they HAVE to.

        If Warner owns song X in the US, and Sony owns it Brazil, then no matter how much Warner wants to sell you the song in Brazil they CAN'T. And if Sony owns it but doesn't want to sell it, or wants to sell it but charge more than Warner, that's life. Warner can't do squat about it except say, hey, come to the US and buy a copy while you are actually here.

        In the case I describe Warner isn't trying to restrict things regionally, but don't own the rights to distribute the song in Brazil, and someone else does, so they just can't.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mikael_j (106439)

      I couldn't download a browser with more than 40-bit encryption at the time due to export regulations. Yes I was an American citizen, but I wasn't in the united states.

      Actually, the law you would've broken was a US law, there's a reason lots of software that contained encryption was written in a way that allowed it to ship without the encryption, so that europeans and others could use the encryption module/plugin/component coded outside the US.

      Also, I think this move is partly to stop non-americans from getting US iTunes accounts so that they can buy movies and TV shows (yeah, are you listening Apple? We're still waiting!).

      /Mikael

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      Just because I'm american and we are allowed the freedom of speech inside the US doesn't mean I can have a copy of Mein Kampf in Germany.

      By that logic, we should all STFU whenever these companies assist foreign governments in tracking down dissidents.

      Either natural rights exist or they don't. If they exist, then it doesn't matter what country a person is in when they are infringed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kwerle (39371)

      not where you were born. When I was an American living and working in Germany, I was subject to the laws of Germany. I couldn't download a browser with more than 40-bit encryption at the time due to export regulations...

      Couldn't download it *from the US*.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      I don't think you would have broken any German laws by downloading a 41bit browser. And I don't think you would have broken the US export laws if you downloaded your 41bit browser from a country other than the US. For example one of the Russian plugins that were available for Netscape at the time, or where an American company printed out the source code, mailed it to Europe and had it scanned in and re-compiled.

  • Don't feel special (Score:4, Informative)

    by chrism238 (657741) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:10PM (#26710901)
    Similarly, Australians traveling overseas cannot access (their money in) the Australian iTunes store. Don't feel special.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As someone who has visited Australia several times over the past few years, I'm wondering why the Aussies would want to travel overseas.

      Bored with the moderate weather in NSW? Move to QLD.
      Bored with the stoner culture around southern coastal QLD? Move to SA.
      Want better wines? Move to WA.
      Want to get away from civilization? Move to the NT.
      Want to get away from the oppressive heat? Move to Victoria.

      Feeling REALLY interested and want to travel to strange and exotic lands?
      Well, there's always Tazmania.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:13PM (#26710941)

    Welcome to the dismantling of the internet. If you have the slightest knowledge of how media cartels work, not just American ones but World wide, then you know it was just a matter of time before market segmentation reared its ugly head onto the web. Google is not exempt either, they've been IP filtering their early days.

    • If you have the slightest knowledge of how media cartels work, not just American ones but World wide, then you know it was just a matter of time before market segmentation reared its ugly head onto the web.

      And that time was right around when RFC 1591 was adopted, fifteen years ago. What other reason for ccTLDs could there be -- for television shows to contribute to the Tuvan economy by reserving a vanity *.tv domain?

      The Internet may be the same all over, but the laws its users are compelled to abide by are

  • Deployed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by donaggie03 (769758) <d_osmeyer@hotmail.cFREEBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:13PM (#26710949)
    As a deployed American soldier (Afghanistan) who has downloaded many songs from Itunes over the last year, I just have to say this change is ridiculous! That is all.
  • works in Vietnam (Score:3, Informative)

    by wisebabo (638845) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:14PM (#26710969) Journal

    I live in Vietnam and regularly purchase apps for my iPhone which, uh, has gained the ability to work here ;).

    I saw the warning too but short of setting up some sort of proxy I have no other options but to try and use it here. Fortunately it works (for now).

  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:14PM (#26710973) Homepage Journal

    This has nothing to do with being an USA citizen and all about where you are geographically located. If you have a credit card registered to a USA address, then you can buy quite happily from the US store (Apple isn't going to know the real story), but not if you have a non-USA address. This policy has been in place since day 1 of the iTunes store, and is in place because of the distribution rights set in place by the record companies, so in reality this is a non-story.

    • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:44PM (#26711647) Homepage Journal

      Odd, I have a Canadian credit card and itunes still takes my money (;-))

      --dave

      • by ceoyoyo (59147)

        US iTunes store, or Canadian iTunes store? The US store certainly doesn't like my Canadian credit card, but the Canadian version takes it no problem.

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      That's the way it's always been before, yes. The submitter is panicking because the new ToS says he won't be allowed to access it, even with his US credit card.

      Is he right? Who knows. If they were already blocking based on IP, I'm sure we'd have heard that story instead.

      This is probably a complete non-issue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Linnen (735667)

      yup.

      Same thing hits when US card holder tries purchasing electronica from the European iTunes store or Anime Soundtracks from the Japanese store.

      If it were not for this aspect of region locking, I would have been a customer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Duradin (1261418)

        Gotta love it when the recording industries refuse to let you give them money for their product.

        Ya, those regional restrictions are really helping to promote piracy, err, I mean combat piracy. 'Cause if someone can't legally get access to something they want for non-exorbitant prices (or if at all) they'll just totally stop wanting it...

        • Gotta love it when the recording industries refuse to let you give them money for their product.

          Well they have shared the pie between the distributors and they don't want to piss them off, by not respecting the turf boundaries.

  • by stress_weenie (1002697) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:23PM (#26711135)
    This policy is not new. It has been around for at least a year. But I live outside the US (and I am a US citizen... not that it matters in this case) and I still regularly purchase and download and watch TV shows and movies on iTunes. In fact, it is the only software that lets me do this. Amazon and other alternatives disable their service outside the US.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ertman (29767)

      Amazon even disables their service within the US if you don't use a US credit card. (I can walk into any record store in the US while on vacation and buy a CD or DVD using my credit card, but I can't buy songs or videos from Amazon because I don't have a US billing address. How silly.)

  • Amazon MP3 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rinisari (521266) * on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:23PM (#26711141) Homepage Journal

    Try out Amazon MP3 [tinyurl.com].

    It's cheap, DRM-less, and easy. Plus, it runs on Linux just fine (32-bit has packages, force it on 64-bit, use getlibs, and it works fine).

    YEARwithoutDRM [yearwithoutdrm.com]

    • iTunes Plus (Score:5, Interesting)

      by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:30PM (#26711305) Homepage Journal

      It's cheap, DRM-less, and easy. And it doesn't install a helper application into your browser, just waiting for someone to figure out how to slide an exploit into a ".amz" file.

      For Safari under Leopard, to remove that erroneous tagging of ".amz" as "safe" (there's no such thing as a "safe" file), remove the entry from ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.DownloadAssessment.plist .

      • It's cheap, DRM-less, and easy. And it doesn't install a helper application into your browser, just waiting for someone to figure out how to slide an exploit into a ".amz" file.

        What are you talking about? Amazon doesn't install anything in my browser; you download a separate application. And what makes an amz file less safe than any other file? It's a document, not an application. And it's being served by amazon.com -- or does your scenario involve malicious hackers taking over amazon.com too?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by steve9001 (1468303)
      I agree with this post. After getting "shuffled" by songs my wife bought on itunes, I searched for months for a easy/legal/open/fair music solution. I don't want to be a Amazon fanboy, but they have a "fair" system that doesn't lock out any competing OS's. The amazon mp3 let you download a single song without installing anything on your PC. Here's my music solution: OS: Debian GNU Linux - i'm running Lenny Music Manager: Rythmbox - comes with Debian Online Music: Amazon mp3 - artist get paid some, but no D
    • Re:Amazon MP3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lars T. (470328) <Lars...Traeger@@@googlemail...com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:10PM (#26712317) Journal

      Try out Amazon MP3 [tinyurl.com].

      It's cheap, DRM-less, and easy. Plus

      ... it can't be used outside the USA either. Great alternative there.

      • by compro01 (777531)

        AFAIK, it works if you use a US credit card with a US billing address, so it is an option for the "US citizen traveling abroad"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      And it's not available out side the US and (now) the UK. At all.

      Apple offers iTunes stores for most of the countries in the world, you just can't buy from the wrong store.

    • by DM9290 (797337)

      Try out Amazon MP3

      It doesn't work outside the United States. I live in Canada and Itunes works here. Amazon does not.

  • by paulthomas (685756) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:25PM (#26711175) Journal

    The last time I was presented with the "agreement" for the iTunes store, I pulled up a terminal and ran wc on it. It was 4,931 words long, not including referenced agreements. You can go buy a CD at a store with out signing a contract, much less one nearly 5,000 words long.

    It contained all manor of claims of how Apple could unilaterally change the terms for purchased music and required that you "agree to agree" to future terms.

    Having taken some contract law courses ( but IANAHPAADL - I am not a highly paid Apple attack dog lawyer), much of it seemed unconscionable. Specifically, consideration from Apple (ability to play already purchased songs, access the store, etc.) seems weak-to-non-existent in light of the fact that it can be arbitrarily revoked according to the terms.

    Also, I am generally an Apple fan, but this is one area where I think they are really out of control.

  • A friend of mine ordered the MLB.TV video streaming package, then had to spend most of the baseball season in China. After he tried unsuccessfully to use the service, he contacted MLB.TV's tech support, and although 1st layer support was no help, he eventually worked his way up to someone who was able to grant him access.
    Obviously, since Apple doesn't own the music, they might be less flexible. Doesn't cost anything other than time to try.
  • by grogglefroth (461680) * on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:04PM (#26713543) Homepage

    If you have another mac in the USA, enable remote ssh logins into it. (Or really, any server that accepts ssh, but since you fell for the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field, I'll assume you're on a mac, and you know others with macs in the USA).

    In terminal,
      ssh -D 1080 example.com

    In network preferences,
        Configure your network settings to use a socks proxy on 127.0.0.1:1080

    Now, Safari and iTunes both will be browsing *via* example.com, working around any geolocation features Apple and other companies may be using. This setting is principally only honored by Apple apps; it won't affect Firefox for example (though you can configure Firefox to use a socks proxy).

  • I just tried and American iTunes Store is still not blocked in Europe at least. I somehow fail to see that I'm doing something criminal when I buy music and shows from American iTunes using "gift cards", instead of pirating the goods from a torrent site, which would have been the only viable alternative.

  • U.S. territories (Score:2, Informative)

    by fredditor (890505)
    The biggest problem with this is for those of us who are US citizens living in US territories. We use US currency, we pay federal taxes, we get our mail through the US post office, but because we are territories and not part of the Mainland US we get screwed on so many different services. Itunes, Netflix, ebay, try ordering any software with even the smallest bit of encryption on it through Amazon in the territories and see the order fail to go through. try getting digital downloads from most places and the
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:50PM (#26715577)

    I can order CDs, DVDs, you name it, from amazon.com and they will happily ship things to Canada.

    I can't buy the same music/shows online due to 'copyright issues'.

    Why is it that the physical media is treated differently from the electronic media for the exact same content?

  • by kklein (900361) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @08:44PM (#26719549)

    Actually, I got the message that iTMS was not to be used from outside of the US months ago (I live in Japan). They said they might check. Thus far, they haven't. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Also, Amazon MP3 won't sell to me anymore, although they do for my friends. I had to buy a book for work from the US site and registered my Japanese credit card (my work can only reimburse expenditures made in yen), and then, like magic, Amazon MP3 stopped working. I've even tried making a new account with a different US credit card, and yet Amazon now knows I'm in Japan, but doesn't know that my buddy down the street, who has only ever used his US credit card with the US site, is as well.

    I absolutely hate pirating music. I reject it on ethical grounds, and I hate tracks being mis-labeled (I have never entered track names by myself--who are these people who can't spell who are entering ID3 tags on pirated songs???) and having no control over the bitrate I get, and the album art requiring looking and futzing... It's just a shitty way to get music for all involved.

    But when I'm not even allowed to buy it online (except for on CD--which I still do for music I really, really like, so I can rip it lossless), what's a boy to do?

    The world was looking so pretty, without all those borders... Why do companies and governments need to redraw them through technological means? The promise of the internet is being quashed everywhere you look...

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