Apple doesn’t think people move, Part II: The iTunes / App Store

In part I, I discussed the issue of getting electrical-system appropriate hardware. Today I will discuss software.

For largely unfathomable reasons, some apps are available only in the local Australian iTunes/App Store (why these are one thing is another question). [To be fair, some apps are probably only available in the US App Store, but I have access to those]. These Australian-only apps include things that are intended for people in Australia, like CarNextDoor, or some food delivery apps (Delivery Hero), or some local media, like ABC iView and other local channels. While surely usage could be geo-fenced in other ways (like the IP address or the GPS location), it is a way that is convenient for programmers not to think about better ways. In particular, I would like all of these apps, e.g. to watch ABC iView programs on my AppleTV, rather than depending on my Fetch Box from Optus. I understand this is a convenience issue, but everything is a convenience issue.

In one sense, this isn’t so bad, you could change the country of your iTunes store. There is a but, however, a big but. You lose your Apple Music.

So I understand why I am not legally able to take some music on Apple Music from one country to another, as the rights may not have been secured globally. But surely if I acquired it in one country on one store, and then move, I should still have rights to play it on the app as if I had downloaded the mp3 (or AAC as the case may be). Even more so if  I uploaded the song in the first place from a ripped CD which I owned (though I understand this is indistinguishable from a ripped CD which stole, or someone leant me, or just the mp3s which I may have borrowed). So while I could see losing selected music I added to my collection from the Apple Music store, for which rights had not been secured (though this makes little sense), I don’t understand losing all of it.

If Apple is concerned about gaming the system and listening to a song I should not be able to listen to, they could see that I am (1) not on a VPN, and (2) have an IP address in the relevant country.

I am not sure how much of this is the lawyers vs. the programmers?  I wouldn’t put it past the lawyers saying it is the programmers fault, and vice versa, and of course moving internationally is an edge case. But Apple pretends to be a global company and acts like it is a bunch of independent national companies.