Florida Lawyer Sues Apple for Renting HD Movies on Non-HD Devices

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Apple is being sued in a new class action suit (via GigaOM) led by Florida lawyer Scott Weiselberg, who accuses the company of allowing customers with older devices supporting only standard definition films to pay for and download higher quality content.

This class action involves defendant Apple, Inc. ("Apple") and its deceptive business practice of charging a premium price for the rental of HD content programs (e.g., movies, etc.) to consumers on early versions of Apple devices that Apple knew could not play HD content, and which only played the less expensive standard definition ("SD") content that Apple downloaded at the time of the rental.

As a result, millions of customers were deceived into paying the $1 premium for HD content rentals for their SD Apple Mobile Devices.

According to the filing, Weiselberg rented and downloaded the high definition version of the movie "Big Daddy," before discovering that his iPhone did not support HD playback. HD content is often offered at a premium in the App Store, and Weiselberg says that he was "tricked" into paying an extra $1 for the content.

bigdaddylawsuit
While SD and HD content is clearly marked in the App Store, Weiselberg was not aware that his phone could not play HD content, and within the filing, he suggests that Apple should have automatically recognized the device type and prevented the purchase of HD content from an SD-only phone.

HD playback was first introduced in 2008, alongside iTunes 8.0. At that time, older iPhones and iPod touches were not able to support the new format, allowing some mistaken purchases to be made. Apple has since changed the download process, introducing warnings and preventing HD content from being downloaded by SD device, but Weiselberg believes that SD options are still too difficult for users to find.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages, plus interest, sustained by the Plaintiff and the Class, as well as legal fees.

Top Rated Comments

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92 months ago

In fairness while this is a bit frivolous, you have to agree to some extent with the logic that a non HD capable device shouldn't offer HD films. Kinda how your iPhone can't see iPad only apps :)


That logic ignores the fact that you can transfer rentals to other devices, so there is a legitimate reason to offer HD content on non-HD devices.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
He should sue himself for renting a movie to watch on 3.5" screen on one count and another for renting an Adam Sandler movie.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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92 months ago
This is so stupid... He could have just call Apple and ask to switch the format of his rental..

And weird... A lawyer with an old phone??? he must be a bad lawyer that makes no money...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
Option 1: Request refund

Option 2: Learn for the future

Option 3: SUE!

Clearly the most rational choice is option 3.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
Really?

Really?

When you buy or rent on iTunes, the content is playable on any device tied to your AppleID, including a Mac, PC, or AppleTV that you may have hooked up to an HDTV....

Just because I rent or buy it on one device, doesn't necessarily mean that I intend to watch it on that device.. How is Apple supposed to know???

I suppose Apple could add a nanny/idiot dialogue that states, "We see you are currently using a non-HD Device. If you do not have an HD device (iPhone 5, AppleTV, Mac, PC, iPad (Current Generation)) that you intend to view this content on, would you prefer to order the SD version of ****?"

I think that would get pretty f'in annoying after about a few rentals/purchases.....
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
92 months ago
Correct me if i'm wrong, but just cause you buy the movie on one device, that doesn't mean it's only playable on said device. I thought you could buy something on the iPhone and it would be available on your iPad, Laptop and AppleTV as well.

Edit: Baldimac just answered my question :)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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