Apple iTunes restricts overseas sales

Following message emailed to Apple iTunes:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I wish to make clear my deep dissatisfaction and disappointment of the new terms of service for iTunes, which now prohibits me, an American citizen, from making purchases from the iTunes USA store when my computer is not physically connected to the internet in the USA. I have a USA-domiciled bank account and debit card. For several years I have been able to purchase songs and albums from iTunes while being abroad. I spend most of my time residing in the United Kingdom, where I also hold an iTunes account (with my UK-domiciled bank account and debit card).

To purchase iTunes music from the relevant store, it was simply a case of logging into the appropriate iTunes account to purchase music.

But today, when attempting to pay for iTunes Plus DRM-free upgrade songs, the new terms of service appeared. This happened in both of my USA and UK accounts. There is no option but to accept the new terms.

For me, this means that I will have to wait until I return to the USA for a forthcoming holiday to spend the US Dollar iTunes gift cards I got for XMAS. Hardly convenient.

What this means in the medium term is less purchases by me (as I only get Stateside a couple times a year). In the longer term, I’m likely to seek other providers of 256kbps DRM-free AAC tracks.

Your new terms are overly restrictive, as requiring a bank account domiciled in the same country of purchase should be sufficient.

I am also skeptical of the full legality of such terms within the European Union, which enforces the free movement of trade and services for European citizens within the EU (i.e. enabling UK citizens to purchase goods from UK while residing in other EU countries).

Ultimately, I will make my purchases from those suppliers willing to sell to me. If Apple does not wish to, then so be it.

But I believe your action will upset the many of us, from the USA and beyond, who live, travel, and work outside our home countries (yet maintain citizenship and financial accounts in our home countries).

Yours sincerely

For reference, here are the relevant new terms of service, for both the USA and the UK:

Purchases or rentals (as applicable) from the iTunes Store are available to you only in the United States and are not available in any other location. You agree not to use or attempt to use the iTunes Store from outside of the available territory. Apple may use technologies to verify such compliance.

iTunes Store (UK)
10. Territory. The Service is currently available only in the United Kingdom and is not available in any other location. You agree not to use or attempt to use the Service from outside of the available territory, and that iTunes may use technologies to verify your compliance.

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