Print 42 comment(s) - last by GotThumbs.. on Sep 7 at 1:05 PM

Willis is upset that his thousands of dollars in music "purchases" are the property of Apple

Update: Sept. 3, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Bruce Willis's wife, Emma Heming raised questions regarding the authenticity of the Daily Mail's story, commenting on her Twitter:
Emma Heming

However, she has not responded to subsequent request asking for clarification that Bruce Willis did not discuss his frustrations with the UK publication.

"Let's see you take this under advisement, jerkweed!"

That's the message Bruce Willis, 57, is sending to Apple, Inc. (AAPLaccording to the UK-based Mail Online (Daily Mail).

The Die Hard star, an avid music fan who plays in a blues band called The Accelerators, has a large collection of songs which he legally purchased from Apple via iTunes.  But he was dismayed to discover in the provisions of the iTunes terms of service (TOS) that he did not actually own those tracks, and that he was merely licensing them from Apple.

His plan had been to will his iTunes library to his three beloved daughters -- Rumer (24), Scout (20), Tallalu (18), and his newest child, Mabel Ray, whom he just had with his wife Emma Heming.  Mr. Willis says he has owned "many, many iPods" and was dismayed to discover that Apple regularly shuts down the accounts of users it suspects are passing on their music to family members.

The actor is pondering suing Apple over the TOS and/or lending his high profile backing to efforts in five U.S. states to legislate downloaders' rights, efforts which would grant purchasers ownership rights.

Bruce Willis w. daughters
Bruce Willis with daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallalu [Image Source: FameFlynet]

UK attorney Chris Walton tells the Mail, "Lots of people will be surprised on learning all those tracks and books they have bought over the years don’t actually belong to them. It’s only natural you would want to pass them on to a loved one.  The law will catch up, but ideally Apple and the like will update their policies and work out the best solution for their customers.", Inc. (AMZN) -- one of the largest digital distributors after Apple -- follows an identical policy with its e-books.  Customers license the digital books, but don't own them, despite often paying $10 USD per book or more.

Mr. Willis, who enjoys moonlighting as a singer and guitarist, recently played for U.S. troops serving in Iraq.  While most famous for his iconic appearance as police officer John McClane in the Die Hard series, Mr. Willis's solo album The Return of Bruno peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 in 1987, thanks in part to a strong ensemble of backing artists including Booker T. Jones, Ruth Pointer, and The Temptations.

Updated @ 2:49pm
Bruce Willis' wife has tweeted that the story is untrue.

Sources: Mail Online, Twitter

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Welcome to Apple's world
By masamasa on 9/3/2012 2:13:57 PM , Rating: 5
Better get used to it if you support them. They will own you.

Crapple strike again.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By johnnycanadian on 9/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By BillyBatson on 9/3/2012 3:27:47 PM , Rating: 2
I almost feel like dark matter wrote this article based on this comment on the new Sony music service pricing the other day but of course it's Jason lol

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By dsumanik on 9/3/2012 8:15:05 PM , Rating: 5
Hello world.

Wake up people...there is a massive resource grab out there right now, not just for gold, but for information too, and soon, access to it.

Your friend is bittorrent with an encrypted vpn.

Cover your tracks, RIGHT NOW.

Really this is rediculous...I could pay too much money for media and wind up not actually owning it...

or I simply download it for free with


MPAA RIAA.... can you see any reason why I should do business with you?

The vehicle industry has leasing.
The housing industry has rentals.

The music industry has...licensing?

Yeah PHUCK YOU big media.

When Apple et al starts to play fair, so will I.

Whats fair?

For starters I own what i paid you for.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By glennco on 9/3/2012 8:28:57 PM , Rating: 3
exactly. why pay if you don't even own it. what i don't buy on CD I pirate. Apple has just replaced greedy music execs and the music industry is in worse shape because Apple seems to be the only one making any money

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By Tony Swash on 9/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By JPForums on 9/4/2012 3:10:16 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me I am wrong but I thought Apple removed DRM from music whenever the labels agreed to do so
This is true. They've never been a fan of DRM as it is just another unnecessary expense to them.
Apple's licensing terms for music are largely dictated by the music publishers and labels.
This is also true. The problem is that Apple is the one directly dealing with consumers, not publishers and labels. Therefore, consumers must address the issue with Apple whether they realize where the policy comes from or not. So while it is not necessarily Apple's fault, it is their problem. Apple has a lot of clout to throw around and will renegotiate the terms with publishers and labels when there is enough dissension to warrant it. Until then, I suggest anyone who doesn't like the terms, vote with your dollars. If you really like Apples services, make them aware that they will regain your business if/when the policy changes. When enough others of like mind join you, things will change. Alternately, you can just accept things the way they are and get on with your life.
Everything else Apple does — software, iTunes, Genius Bars — only exists to push up hardware sales and profits.
Jean-Louis Gassée
This is one reason why people get so polarized with Apple. While you may assign great value to certain services, as long as Apple still gets the hardware sale, they are happy. So if you really want to change Apple, it is often an all or nothing proposition.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By GotThumbs on 9/7/2012 1:05:50 PM , Rating: 2
That Bruce Willis is suing Apple or the real important factor...

That anyone who purchased (er...leased?) music through I-tunes does not own it.

Apple would love for all is users to overlook this important item. Just try and leave Apples walled garden. They'll send people to your home and have the police wait outside.... :-)

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By BillyBatson on 9/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By StevoLincolnite on 9/4/2012 1:23:58 AM , Rating: 2
It's actually a whole grey area.

For example, go jump on Steam and try buying a game... It doesn't say "License this game" or "Rent this game" it says "Buy this game".
For that, I own my games in my country because of consumer protection laws/advertising that I'm buying the games and not renting; and the fact that Eula's cannot override my basic consumer rights.

Jump across the Pond to the USA however and it's more of a "Consumer beware" scenario as there has been no one to contest these Eula's, until they are contested nothing will change.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By bug77 on 9/4/2012 9:43:57 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, well, try blocking all connections to Steam and then moving those games to another computer, see if you can still play any of them. Then you'll know who's the owner.

By StevoLincolnite on 9/4/2012 10:17:28 AM , Rating: 3
I'm the owner. I have cracks for all my games if I ever need them for my purchased copies.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By GotThumbs on 9/4/2012 9:47:46 AM , Rating: 3
I think you just hit a home run for all the lawyers out there.

The Buy it Now phrase communicates that you are buying the song or content...not leasing it. It is misleading and could be the source for a million dollar payout.

I am NOT one who likes the sue happy world we live in now, but with Apple being the biggest abuser.......I say it's time to go the mattresses against Apple.

Apples time is long past due for getting called on their wall'd garden ecosystem. Where is the DOJ? Oh, yea....ignoring US Laws and protecting the right to vote for illegals. Sarcastic, but true.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By Silver2k7 on 9/4/2012 1:29:09 AM , Rating: 2
I have not used these online music stores.. but what about if you have your *purchased* music on your local HDD.. shouldn't that be the same as having files from a physical copy ??

the only difference would ideally be that there is no physical copy on your shelf or in a box in your attic... wich would make it more important to make a backup of your files.

lets say that ive got 500 CD's (albums).. but they are also on my local HDD. all in lossless flac files.

if you have 500 CD's (albums) bought and paied for from Apple on your local HDD.. would there be any issues with that scenario ??

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By Mike Acker on 9/4/2012 9:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
welcome to the cloud, boys and girls

everywhere you see newsaganda preaching "things are moving to the cloud"

things are being pushed to the cloud so the cloud owners and seize possession

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By TakinYourPoints on 9/3/2012 3:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft, Amazon, Steam, Sony, this applies to ANY digital purchase made with DRM.

I love services by all of these companies but I would love it if things were somehow transferrable.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By Silver2k7 on 9/4/2012 1:34:35 AM , Rating: 2
so there is drm on the files ??

are the files even in lossless or what kind of quality do you get ??
Ideally for these companies to get more customers.. or to get me as a customer the files should have better than cd quality for less of a price since there is no physical distribution..
and standard format like flac without restrictions.

RE: Welcome to Apple's world
By Samus on 9/4/2012 1:48:48 AM , Rating: 2
I love downloading MP3 albums from Amazon for 6.99-9.99 DRM free.

iTunes Store can go %@#! itself.

By TakinYourPoints on 9/4/2012 7:28:08 AM , Rating: 2
iTunes removed DRM from their music before Amazon did. DRM is still with movies and apps everywhere though

Doesn't matter
By bug77 on 9/3/2012 2:34:57 PM , Rating: 4
People still won't get it: you don't buy music/movies, you rent. As long as it's DRMed, you do not own it.

RE: Doesn't matter
By MadMan007 on 9/3/2012 7:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
Need to remove the second sentence: even without DRM you are only licensing the works.

RE: Doesn't matter
By bug77 on 9/4/2012 5:03:20 AM , Rating: 2
True, but let them try to enforce that. :-D

RE: Doesn't matter
By Fenixgoon on 9/4/2012 12:05:15 AM , Rating: 4
And this is why I buy songs from Amazon. MP3 format. They're mine, and I can do whatever I please with them.

RE: Doesn't matter
By kmmatney on 9/4/2012 2:17:13 AM , Rating: 2
You can do the same with iTunes - the few songs I've purchased were DRM-free, and easy to convert to MP3 format within iTunes.

You know how he'll go in court...
By Ramstark on 9/3/2012 12:29:00 PM , Rating: 4
Yippie kai ei you mother suing F*****!!

RE: You know how he'll go in court...
By GulWestfale on 9/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: You know how he'll go in court...
By BZDTemp on 9/3/2012 2:22:56 PM , Rating: 1
I'm pretty sure nothing has been released under the name "bruno" - maybe you're confused due to the name of the Bruce Willis album. Also afaik there is one compilation album which is pretty much a remastering of the two original ones and if that is ripping someone off then any artist with remasters have been ripping people off.

All in all I think you're being a bit silly and instead you should be glad the Bruce is helping to highlight the issue of music ownership.

RE: You know how he'll go in court...
By BZDTemp on 9/3/2012 7:04:56 PM , Rating: 1

I'd rather not get into a lengthly explanation of the difference between an album title and the name of an artist so here is a quote from the wiki you linked to "The Return of Bruno is the debut album by actor Bruce Willis".

Bonus question :-)
The album "Upstairs at Eric's" was released by:
A. Some guy named Eric.
B. The band called Yazoo.

By foolsgambit11 on 9/3/2012 2:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
Best of, most of, satiate the need
Slip them into different sleeves
Buy both and feel deceived
Climber, new entry, reentry....

By mosu on 9/3/2012 4:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
Really good research...Is it yours or Apple PR?

By MadMan007 on 9/3/2012 1:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
If you still really want to use iTunes or another download source instead of buying physiucal media it's pretty easy to get around this. Backup the tracks then use them however you want. Would Apple know if the hundreds of mp3's you just added to iTunes were originally from another iTunes account (as long as there's no DRM)?

RE: well...
By foolsgambit11 on 9/3/2012 3:07:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think you'd also have to strip out some metadata from the mp3s. If I remember correctly, iTunes includes some info about who 'bought' the song in there, although this would probably only come up if they decided to charge you with copyright infringement at some point. Confirmation?

RE: well...
By TakinYourPoints on 9/3/2012 4:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
There is no DRM with music purchases anyway. Movies and applications are where you still have it

This is Bull Crap!
By Belard on 9/3/2012 10:08:48 PM , Rating: 4
It doesn't matter than the story is fake, but it does bring up an issue.

Its not just Apple, but anyone who does this crap.

The GOOD thing about media-less music/video is a matter of space, transport, etc... like in the OLD days of buying the same tape or album again because the other got destroyed or stolen.

When you buy a $14 CD with 12 songs (typical) - you can re-sell it, give it to a friend or family (if you are dead or not). If you buy an album of 12 songs ($12), those purchases DIE with you?

This is BULL - especially if you have bought 1000+ songs... you should be able to give them to your kids.

I gather they don't want you trading your SONGS in like used CDs.

This is especially BAD for those who buy books - many are $15~30 that are only about 10~15% cheaper than the real books. (Buy a real book and it includes e-version would be cool) There are people who have sold OFF their books and replaced them with Kindle versions.

Imagine the fun some of us have had in converting hundreds of VHS tapes to digital... :( I've converted all my CDs to MP3s then put the CDs in the closet. I still buy CDs... crap like this shows why iTunes and others aren't worth it.

RE: This is Bull Crap!
By Silver2k7 on 9/4/2012 1:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
Ive converted all my cd's to flac.
even tried a few music casettes.. but its usually not worth it.. unless the thing is unavalible in new formats.

Not converted any movies.. if there where larger hdd's (like 10TB) I might have put all of them on there as iso files or something if only for the convinience of having every movie at your fingertips on a htpc. but if a blu-ray iso takes 25-50gb then it will eat lots of space.. and recompressing things to less quality.. nah been there, done that with cd's in vqf and mp3, better mp3.. lossless is the only way unless your watching the thing on your telephone :P

Now I know...
By 3minence on 9/3/2012 2:42:27 PM , Rating: 5
I always preferred to buy the CD rather than buy from iTunes. I never new why, I just liked having the physical CD that I could rip and put onto my Nano. Now I know why.

By Performance Fanboi on 9/3/2012 6:02:09 PM , Rating: 5
The law will catch up, but ideally Apple and the like will update their policies and work out the best solution for their bottom lines."

By jahinoz on 9/4/2012 5:42:05 AM , Rating: 3
he's a musician so he listens to a lot of music. he's not what you'd call "technology savvy" and thought he was breaking the trend by getting all his music from itunes. had some sort of malfunction, lost his collection and didn't back up. Called apple, response was "you have to pay to download it again".

now he refuses to buy apple products. consumer choice is a b!tch.

By Performance Fanboi on 9/3/2012 6:00:33 PM , Rating: 2
"Mr. Willis, who enjoys moonlighting..."

By mrwassman on 9/3/2012 6:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
Get CopyTrans and end all your "worries".

The Daily Mail Song
By Tony Swash on 9/4/2012 10:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
The Daily Mail, the paper that broke this 'story', is a very special sort of newspaper. Here is a song about it.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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