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New Apple TV Has a 30-Day Rental Loophole?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Despite a strikingly similar user interface between the old and new Apple TV, the new Apple TV represents completely re-engineered hardware and software. The focus on the new Apple TV is a streaming-only device as compared to the previous generation storage-syncing device. It appears this fundamental change has opened up a loophole in Apple's rental procedures.

Apple's stated rental policies for TV shows and Movies give you 30 days to start watching a rental, but once you begin watching a rental, you only have 24-48 hours before the rental expires. In order to enforce these rental policies, Apple had some restrictions on what could be done with rental content in between iTunes and the old Apple TV. Previously, Apple required that rentals be moved (not copied) from one location to another -- your iTunes copy was removed when you moved a rental to your first generation Apple TV. While that was feasible for the hard-drive sporting original Apple TV, the new Apple TV is a streaming only device.

So, the new Apple TV will happily stream rentals from your iTunes without any trouble, but it doesn't seem to recognize they are rentals at all. That means when you start playing a rental from your computer, the 24/48 hour timer never gets triggered. It seems you will be able to watch these rentals as often as you like over the 30 day period.

We've successfully tested this procedure with latest iTunes (thanks TheBritishBloke), and it works (at least in the short term as the new Apple TV hasn't been out for 30 days):

- Rent a show/movie on your Mac's iTunes
- When you begin watching the rental on the Apple TV, no warnings appear indicating that you must finish watching the movie within 24/48 hours
- The iTunes rental counter should still show 29+ days remaining
- Note: if you do try to watch the movie through iTunes, it will kick off the 24/48 hour countdown

Update: iLounge claims that the timeout may be silently triggered, meaning this may not work. We are investigating further.

Article Link: New Apple TV Has a 30-Day Rental Loophole
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
6,910
2,268
I need to watch a TV show or movie how many times in a month?
 
Comment

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,527
253
No doubt this will be fixed in a future update to ATV or iTunes (not sure which one is dropping the ball here -- probably iTunes.)
 
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Benjamins

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2010
652
88
I think they should just let you keep it for 30 days.
Really not too much to ask.
 
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DTphonehome

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2003
1,794
2,481
NYC
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A306 Safari/6531.22.7)

Here comes iTunes 10.0.2!
 
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gleepskip

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2005
358
567
At first I was thinking they could close the loophole by updating iTunes, but then no one would upgrade. Then, I thought they could enforce adoption of the new version by disallowing renting in the old versions. But that's when I realized the change will have to occur in the ATV. But, then no one would upgrade. Then, they could enforce... oh well. Not sure where this goes.
 
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vassillios

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2005
340
0
Virginia
the 24 hour limit for movies is ridiculous. My wife often falls asleep during a movie and sometimes it takes us over 24 hours before she can finish it. You should be able to keep it for 48 - 36 hrs
 
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ctdonath

macrumors 68000
Mar 11, 2009
1,511
495
I think they should just let you keep it for 30 days.
Really not too much to ask.

Bingo. 48-hour timeout causes more consternation than its worth.

Not unusual for me to half-watch something, and finish it weeks later. If you're paying for one viewing, so what if a few bytes sit on the server for a month? Heck, even for unlimited viewings - how many people would watch something more than once?
 
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Digitalclips

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2006
1,467
31
Sarasota, Florida
At first I was thinking they could close the loophole by updating iTunes, but then no one would upgrade. Then, I thought they could enforce adoption of the new version by disallowing renting in the old versions. But that's when I realized the change will have to occur in the ATV. But, then no one would upgrade. Then, they could enforce... oh well. Not sure where this goes.

They could do what Apps store does or the SDK down load does ... until you agree to a new EULA you can't go on ... i.e. in this case, until you update it won't work. Just a suggestion... could be wrong. Although it seems perfectly fair to leave as is. If I rent a DVD I can use it until the time is up so why not leave it at 30 days. I suspect very few will ever bother to watch again so it won't impact their networks.
 
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AppleFan360

macrumors 68020
Jan 26, 2008
2,200
690
Gee thanks MacRumors. I might be able to use this one more time before the loophole is closed. You just had to open your big mouth.
 
Comment

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,650
4,463
Update: iLounge claims that the timeout may be silently triggered, meaning this may not work. We are investigating further.
 
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Peace

Cancelled
Apr 1, 2005
19,546
4,553
Space The Only Frontier
Update: iLounge claims that the timeout may be silently triggered, meaning this may not work. We are investigating further.

arn.

There is a silent trigger. If you look at the new Apple TV interface at the top you will see if there is a rental available. Over time the outline changes colors to eventually become red. A few hours after it is red the authorization will end.
 
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