Mercury Rises as Bruce Willis takes on Unbreakable iTunes terms
Could The Last Boy Scout's stoush with Apple put Armageddon within striking distance of the iTunes terms and conditions?
UPDATED: Could The Last Boy Scout's stoush with Apple put Armageddon within striking distance of the iTunes terms and conditions?
Bruce Willis is reportedly preparing to battle Apple over the rights to his iTunes music collection after he dies.
As it stands, Apple's terms and conditions for its iTunes store means that people are not actually purchasing music from the store, they're merely purchasing the rights to listen to the song in question. These rights are non-transferable, and "does not allow you to use the Licensed Application on any Apple Device that you do not own or control".
Willis, who apparently has a particularly large iTunes collection, wants to pass on his music to his four children and has instructed his legal advisers to set up family trusts specifically for his music downloads. According to The Sun Willis is actively preparing to take Apple to court over this. He is also reportedly supporting legal initiatives in five US states that are aimed at providing greater rights for music downloaders.
Given that, by the act of purchasing from the iTunes store, Willis has agreed to these terms and conditions, it's unclear how much of a legal leg he has to stand on. However, anything that raises awareness of the issues around ownership of digital editions of music, movies and more is always of benefit to consumers.
Update Bruce Willis' wife, the model-actress Emma Heming-Willis, has taken to Twitter to refute the idea of her husband taking on the might of Apple, stating quite simply that "it's not a true story". Looks like our Sixth Sense for these things was wrong, and Apple remains The Last Man Standing after Willis turned out to be The Wrong Man to see Red over the iTunes T&Cs. People worried about digital ownership rights will need to wait for another Alpha Dog who would be willing to walk the metaphorical 16 Blocks to fight the good fight. Unless Willis is up for some Moonlighting?
Updated at 9.16am AEST: added additional about the claim being refuted by Willis' wife.