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


macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2010
:confused: What should be the other way around? According to the article, the lawyer purposely bought HD content. "Likely" has nothing to do with it. Why would Apple override his specific choice?
Sorry, should have quoted the post that you were responding to as well. It mentioned that you cant buy ipad apps on your iphone.

Gasu E.

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2004
Not far from Boston, MA.
I'm totally against frivolous lawsuits, but you should really check out the real reason she sued for hot coffee. It's not just about the scalding hot coffee to her legs and "other" areas (3rd degree burns), it's about how McDonald's business practices and their cover up of it that really won the lawsuit for the old lady. There's a good documentary about it.


It's on Netflix, http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Hot_Coffee/70167106
I agree with this, especially as I am someone who has suffered second degree burns from merely DRINKING McDonald's coffee, using my mouth as per normal coffee-drinking best practices. The first time, I thought it was just a mistake; the second time, after an occurance at another McD's, I realized it must have been company policy to set the coffee temp dangerously high. I do not patronize McD's since that time. But I'm glad that someone made the effort to prevent McD's from callously inflicting pain on thousands of people merely because it made their operation more efficient, or whatever theory motivated them.


macrumors 604
Jan 24, 2008
Not entirely true, I don't think: if you rent on a Mac/PC iTunes, you can transfer TO an iOS device. You can also transfer from one Mac/PC to another. But you cannot transfer a rental FROM an iOS device, last I knew. (And I think you should be able to.)
Those are the current terms for the iPhone 4 and later. You could rent a movie on a iPhone 3GS and transfer it to iTunes.



macrumors 65816
Jul 12, 2012
Well now it's clear that Weiselberg represents a bunch of morons :D

Welcome to America where you can own as many guns as you want gun but don't go piss off people by charging HD premium on morons' device :rolleyes:


macrumors 601
Wow, just wow. Next lawsuit from this lawyer is they going to allow rental on HD devices and then sue when they watch it on their non HD iPhone since Apple is nice enough to support older devices that don't display HD. People seriously need to get a life.
Agreed! This is no 'exploding batteries' issue, people.

.....Sometimes class action lawsuits are just a way to get companies to fix their mistakes. And for some lawyer to make a bucket of money, of course...
The latter, unfortunately, too often seems to take precedence.

.....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.....
Tricked, how? And as a lawyer, wouldn't you expect him to actually read his options, before proceeding with that rental?

.....While SD and HD content is clearly marked in the App Store, Weiselberg was not aware that his phone could not play HD content.....
Coming from a lawyer, presumably an educated person, this borders on the incredulous.

.....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.....
Sure, are we all being expected to be little children again, needing to be taken by the hand.....this is akin to us expecting MACY's to estimate our size, while we're shopping, and to prevent us from buying the wrong size shirt.

.....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.....Article Link: Florida Lawyer Sues Apple for Renting HD Movies on Non-HD Devices
APPLE became aware of the problem, and fixed it. I don't see any evidence of gross negligence, or malicious intent on the part of APPLE.

You have to wonder about the motives of this lawyer, in filing this class-action suit. Lawsuits are supposed to be used to correct gross miscarriages of justice, and to seek financial compensation for monetary damages, suffered as a result thereof. Could it be that this lawyer's motives are less than altruistic (in getting justice for his clients), and more about financial gain for himself; gain that would be way out of proportion to the 'damages' he actually suffered?

Put me in the 'skeptical' category. I find it hard to sympathize with this lawyer, and those he can convince to join the 'cause'.
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macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2011
San Diego
What ever happened to personal accountability? You make a mistake and purchase the wrong product, and you should live with the consequences.

Ha, can you imagine walking in to Best Buy to buy a blu-ray movie, only to have the sales clerk say "I'm sorry Sir/Ma'am, but i'm going to need to see a photo of your blu-ray player before I can sell you that."
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macrumors newbie
Jul 8, 2013
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 :)
I disagree. Since rented shows can be viewed on various devices linked to the same Apple ID, non-HD devices should be able to purchase HD shows.

For example, what if I want to start watching a movie on my iPad2 at school/work/wherever and then finish watching it at home on my AppleTV in HD. Even thought my iPad doesn't support HD my TV does, so leave me the option.


macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
Honolulu, HI
I rented a HD movie on my Apple TV and said I thought the HD looked bad and got refunded in full no questions asked. Just get your 3.99 back.


macrumors 6502
May 22, 2002
Visit site
So, there probably is a bit of logic that could be applied to making this better.

#1 - Use iCloud to detect my possible devices. If I don't have anything else, don't make me pay for what I can't display.

#2 - Probably better is to charge for use. When soemone rents, charge them for what they watched it with.

I'd say, design for the common case here. Not sure how many people transfer rentals from one thing to another. If I'm on an iphone, the default seems best to be what the iphone can display. For an ATV, HD.


macrumors member
Jul 9, 2008
I accidently ordered an HD movie on my Xbox 360 and Microsoft gave me double my points back when I called to get it fixed. (there had been some kind of error on their end. I think I had submitted the order for SD and it failed and when I clicked the re-submit button it had defaulted back to HD)

And I've never had Apple customer support simply dismiss me either. I've also downloaded movies before to watch on another device. A message saying this file can't be played on your device before the download might be nice, but a law suite doesn't seem at all right.

manu chao

macrumors 603
Jul 30, 2003
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Not entirely true, I don't think: if you rent on a Mac/PC iTunes, you can transfer TO an iOS device. You can also transfer from one Mac/PC to another. But you cannot transfer a rental FROM an iOS device, last I knew. (And I think you should be able to.)
Does Airplay to an AppleTV work for rented HD movies? If it technically works (not sure about the bandwidth required for HD), I think it should work because it is really treated like a remote loudspeaker and monitor. It definitely works for the audio of a movie with an Airport Express.

I also don't know if you have to be logged into an AppleTV with the same AppleID as for example on a computer to stream copy-protected material to it. I would assume you don't have to. Thus, people might buy an HD movie on their phone and then stream it later to an AppleTV that is not registered to them. Even just throwing up a warning (every time somebody tries to buy HD content on a non-HD device) does get annoying.
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macrumors 601
.....I'd say Apple should offer to pay him $1,000 - under the condition that this lawyer states under oath that he was too stupid to find the SD movie, and Apple has permission to publish this wherever they want.
That kind of publicity, is definitely not what he's looking for, lol, and something tells me, he's not gonne take APPLE up, on such a 'generous' offer. :D


macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2009
So if I go to the video shop and rent a blue-ray movie, then get home and I only have a DVD player, I would return and swap! Not sue.

Peoples should stop blaming others for their incompetence or lack of understanding.


macrumors 6502a
Feb 22, 2010
Northern Ca.

He's a troll.
He's a lawyer representing a class.

He stands to make a ton, if the class is certified.

In a class action suit, the lawyers make the cash.

He's trying to cash in. It has nothing to do with his purchase and everything to do with he can get a payday.


macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
Doubled edged sword - or perhaps Apple has painted themselves in a mental corner for some.

Meaning - Apple's devices and ecosystem are known for "just working" - simple, easy to use, walled garden, safe, idiot proof. Whether true or not. That's (for the most part) how people view Apple's devices. Apple to a large part plays into that as well.

Torn on this issue because yes - the guy should know better (and quite frankly who needs to see Adam Sandler's movies in HD har har) and it's not Apple's "fault" per se that he made a purchase on a device that couldn't handle it.

That being said - as for the reasons listed above - I do think that it would be perhaps smart for Apple to put such restrictions in place and/or default to SD (which I don't think my devices had - I think I had to manually select SD since HD was the default). Another option would be to restrict older devices to only purchasing SD and then if played back on a capable device - throw up a pop up that says "do you want to upgrade to HD for $1.00 more."

Think of it as "upsizing" :)


macrumors 603
Jun 4, 2007
This seems baseless since you can play the content on multiple devices and might have plans to watch it on an HD device. Apple is not psychic.