Bruce Willis vs Apple

Now I always cheered for Alan Rickman in Die Hard, but no matter what, Bruce ‘the vest’ Willis innevitably ended up chucking him off a building. Lesson to all, American brawn always beats European brains in Hollywood.

Anyhow, he’s now back to try to succeed where Samsung failed – in a courtroom deathmatch with the mighty Apple. Yes, Apple, my favourite trendy snake oil peddlars tech company.

Bruce Willis to fight Apple over right to leave iTunes library in will

Die Hard actor wants extensive music collection to be inherited by daughters instead of reverting to Apple ownership

I keep on posting about it, but it really does need emphasising, especially as people’s digital media collections (books, movies, music, games, even some home photos and videos that are stored in the cloud) expand faster that an explosion in Die Hard.

You Do Not Own Your Digital Media.

You own the right to access it as long as you are the sole user of the account, but nothing more. It’s fairly recently come to light that even if a school buys eBooks on a Kindle, that Kindle cannot be read by a pupil, because it infringes the usage retrictions in the terms and conditions. Sorry – you need to subscribe to an eBook lending service if you want to play it by the book (no pun intended and all that).

And if you close you account/ snuff it (all the same to Apple), then that’s it, all ‘bought’ items are rendered unto digital limbo.

Now my daughter’s reading Shirley Hughes books that are getting on as old as I am and this is the sort of thing that many many publishers have been waiting a long long time to eradicate. Now we all accept that publishers and artists need to make a living, but digital rights seem to be veering uncomfortably towards a ‘big brother’ world of electronic gateways designed to maximise profits at the top and make simple, human acts, such as sharing and swapping and lending effectively illegal.

I recently had the opportunity to ask a number of industry insiders and ‘content creators’ about how they intended to address the matter of schools wishing to borrow new electronic resources from organisations like schools library services – I was met with a stony silence all round. Apparently this is not an avenue that they wish to travel down or really think about when the word ‘sharing’ is inextricably linked with the words ‘illegal file’.