Anyone using iTunes or an iPhone has likely noticed that there was recently an iTunes Terms and Conditions update. Although Fine Print Friday already examined the iTunes Terms and Conditions, that was in February of 2011, and this June iTunes Terms and Conditions update (PDF) has changed some language that may or may not impact you directly. But in order to update your apps or buy more music, you needed to agree to these terms, so let’s see what you agreed to, shall we?
1. Automatic Delivery and Downloading Previous Purchases. Although the term “iCloud” is not used anywhere in the document, presumably this section (pp. 4–5) regards what a user of multiple i-devices can expect once iCloud is rolled out and the user can maintain copies of the content on his or her various devices. This new section essentially says two things: (1) eligible content will automatically download to your devices unless you specify otherwise, and (2) some previously purchased content will be available for transfer to other devices. If particular content is not available to download to multiple devices, Apple has no duty to make it available, and you have no claim against them. Not surprising.
2. iCloud Device Rules. iCloud syncs the user’s content across all i-devices on a single user account, with a few limitations. The maximum number of devices on which a user can download content is 10, and only 5 of those can be iTunes-authorized computers. Although a device can only be associated with a single given account at any point, that device’s association can be changed once every 90 days (or more). There currently are no other limitations listed for the number of times a device can be re-associated with other accounts.
3. Important Safety Information. Apple has also added in the obligatory product liability language, stating that over-use of any of the devices can cause muscle, joint, or eye strain, and even seizures and blackouts. This is typical CYA language, and the only thing surprising to me about it is that it wasn’t in earlier versions of the terms and conditions.
4. Download Time-Frame. After an account has been signed into with a user’s password, content can be purchased and downloaded through iTunes, the App Store, or the Book Store for up to 15 minutes. This can be altered in the settings on your computer or device, and probably isn’t worth much. But it does mean that you either will have to be entering your password more often than you used to, and that if someone else gets his or her hands on your device, they can spend your money however they want for 15 minutes.
5. App Review Limitation. This one is just strange—it’s a one-sentence addition on page 15, stating that if you have downloaded an app using a promotional code, you cannot submit reviews or ratings for it. Perhaps someone can explain this one to me?
6. iBookstore Download Limitations. Although most other content can or will sync across all your devices, purchases from the iBookstore will not be viewable on computers, and may only be viewed on other iOS devices. (Page 27)
I will continue to post when the iTunes terms and conditions change, so the next time you are asked to accept new terms and conditions, check Pro and Contracts before you agree. It won’t change whether you have to accept, but at least you’ll know what you are getting into.