Consumer contracts analysed and explained

Apple inc’s iTune’s software’s licence explained and analysed


Apple inc’s iTune’s software terms and conditions are long (about 5,200 words), and are written from a US perspective but do recognise that Apple inc is subject to overseas (and in particular EU and UK, consumer law).

Note: what follows about the software that Apple inc provides and not the terms and conditions for iTunes store, etc.

Where to find Apple inc’s iTune’s software’s licence

The terms and conditions appear at a particular point when the software installed, with an option to save the terms and conditions to a file. But it is necessary to click on a button that you agree to them before you can complete the installation (or use) of the software

What do Apple inc’s iTune’s software’s licence terms and conditions actually say?

Questions Answers Where
Who is the licence agreement with? Apple inc.The document with the terms and conditions have no further details, but the consumer is entering a contract with, obtaining a licence from or dealing with a US company (incorporated in California). At the top of the document
What law applies? Why is it important? The licence agreements makes a number of statements about which law applies to it:
  1. the law of the state of California is to apply (and intepreted by that state's law)
  2. that part of law of the state of California relating to how a court decides which country's law will apply in particular circumstances does not apply to the licence agreement
  3. a United Nations Convention will not appy
  4. that the consumer is based in the UK then the law where the consumer resides will be the law of the contract. For example, if I reside in Scotland then the law Scotland will apply, but if I reside in England then English law will apply. (Note: resides is not the same as lives in internatinal law.)

This last bit has obviously been inserted to avoid any argument that Apple inc is trying to avoid its obligations under EU law. The actual Regulation (Regulation 9, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999) does not forbid a company for using non-EU law, it states that the law regarding making unfair contracts as expressed in the Regulations would continue to apply as long as the contract “has a close connection with the territory of the Member States”. Presumably a consumer downloading a copy of the iTunes software to their computer, for use in within the UK would come within the meaning of a close connection.

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