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  1. #1

    Say_Cheese's Avatar
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    Bad Apple store experience
    I went to my local Apple store yesterday and was asking about the Apple TV. When are we going to get movie content on iTunes etc. The sales girl said she did not know but admitted that it is not much use having an Apple TV if you have nothing to put on it. Then I asked this question

    "How do I get DVD's I currently own onto the computer so I can play them through an Apple TV".

    The sales girl nearly jumped down my throat. She went off into a long speil about how it is illegal and morally wrong. How I should be ashamed of myself for wanting to do something that is illegal and that therefore she was not prepared to discuss it.

    I had no idea it was illegal (or I wouldn't have asked the question) and if it is then I can understand why she is not allowed to discuss it. I thought that it was the same as taking a CD that I own and ripping that to the computer. You're allowed to do that (Apple even build the software for doing it into iTunes) why not DVD's?

    Anyway my issue is that the Apple store I was in is not particuarly big and the sales girl was not exactly keeping her voice down so people nearby started looking at me getting this verbal dresing down from the sales girl.

    I felt so embarrased and humiliated because people were looking at me that I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

    I understand that the staff cannot discuss something that is illegal and that they need to inform their customers as such but there is a way to do this politely and there is a way to keep your voice down so that not everybody in the near vicinity can hear.

    Grrrr

    [/rant]

  2. #2

    powermacj7's Avatar
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    You should report the situation to the manager. Apple, as we know, especially the retail stores are very big on customer satisfaction. In fact, I see your point and was wondering the same thing about using your own DVDs. I do not believe this is illegal activity because you are not copying it, or broadcasting for a fee.
    Although I have not had a experience like yours, I often find, because most employees are young, and the turn over rate is high, some Apple Store Employees plain suck. They don't have the knowledge of the Macintosh platform, and often can't answer people's questions.

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Say_Cheese View Post
    I had no idea it was illegal (or I wouldn't have asked the question) and if it is then I can understand why she is not allowed to discuss it. I thought that it was the same as taking a CD that I own and ripping that to the computer. You're allowed to do that (Apple even build the software for doing it into iTunes) why not DVD's?
    Actually if you live in the EU it is illegal, it is only in the US that a test case failed because the jusdge deemed "backing up" bought CD's as "fair usage", elsewhere the terms of the copyright (usually in small print somewhere on the CD insert) apply in law, i.e no copying for any reason.

    Of course noone is going to actually take you to court for personal copying as it would cost them far more than they would possibly gain and if a European Judge made the same ruling as the US one did the negative publicity they would get would not be at all conducive to good profit margins.

    Amen-Moses

  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by powermacj7 View Post
    Although I have not had a experience like yours, I often find, because most employees are young, and the turn over rate is high, some Apple Store Employees plain suck. They don't have the knowledge of the Macintosh platform, and often can't answer people's questions.
    I had a young female employee talk me out of buying some software because "as it isn't universal it wont work on the new Macs", when I asked if it would work under Rosetta she just gave me a blank look!

    Amen-Moses

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Employees lacking knowledge is one thing but choosing to embarass you like that is simply out of order, there's no way I would stand for that. Definitely either go back or call them to complain. Knowledgeable employees would be nice but you should at least be able to expect some courtesy. How much easier would it have been for her to simply say "That's actually illegal sir, I cannot talk about that I'm afraid"?
    I also like the way she called it "morally wrong", I consider it morally wrong to act like that to complete strangers.

  6. #6

    MartinS's Avatar
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    I'd agree that this girl needs to be put in her place: the customer comes first (especially in America, right?).

    However, I'd also say it's worth making an effort to praise good service when it's given sometimes, as it's always easier to criticise. I recently wrote to the head office of Kwik Fit about a nice bloke who change the tyres on my wife's car...
    www.martinsketchley.co.uk

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  7. #7
    Registered User
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    Agreed Martin, I'm so used to bad service here in the UK that I just let it go. When someone goes the extra mile I'm usually so impressed that I'm compelled to tell someone.

  8. #8

    fleurya's Avatar
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    That's just plain bad service any way you slice it. Even if someone was trying to talk about something illegal, aside from trying to rob the place, conversations should be kept as confidential as possible. And they should always show you respect to make sure you bring your wallet back.

    I worked in hotels for a few years. At a downtown hotel where I worked as a concierge we would often get businessmen asking us where they could get some "female companionship. All we could do was politely tell them we cannot assist them with anything of that nature and we would usually hand them a local newspaper with escort serviced advertised in the back. The rest was up to them.

    I would definitely go back to the store and have a few words with the manager if I were you. Even if you feel like it's over now and nothing will really make it right, people shouldn't just get away with being so rude and left to wrong others the way you were. Don't let her get away with it!

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Unless the sales-puppy was an experienced international intellectual property lawyer who was just moonlighting at the Apple store for extra money, she was probably wrong... Ripping your personal stash of DVD movies is one of those really gray legal areas.

  10. #10


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    Quote Originally Posted by Amen-Moses View Post
    Actually if you live in the EU it is illegal, it is only in the US that a test case failed because the jusdge deemed "backing up" bought CD's as "fair usage", elsewhere the terms of the copyright (usually in small print somewhere on the CD insert) apply in law, i.e no copying for any reason.
    This page, dated Dec. 15, 2003, has information on the issue, including a reference to a blank-media tax in the U.S.

    Canadian law allows copying because the music industry charges a levy (not a tax, since it isn't charged by government splitting hairs) on blank media. Many musicians, by the way, say most, if not all, the money goes to the labels, not them. So what else is new?

    Anyway, this tax probably means copying DVDs is legal, too. I can't find anything specifically referencing DVDs except this (and there is no date on the page):
    Blank Audio Recording Media
    The Copyright Act creates a levy on blank audio recording media, which it defines as (a) an audio recording medium onto which no sounds have ever been fixed, and (b) any other prescribed audio recording medium. See section 79 of the Act.

    This has been interpreted to include both CD-R and CD-RW, and moves are afoot to add recordable DVDs, MP3 players, removable electronic memory cards and removable micro-hard drives. You can find out more here.
    The U.S. has such a tax, too.
    The USA is often held out as an example of a place where "this could never happen", but as far as I can tell, it has been law there since December 8, 1994. It is part of Title 17, section 1004, and if you go to:

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/1004.html

    you will find this paragraph:

    (b) Digital Audio Recording Media. - The royalty payment due under section1003 for each digital audio recording medium imported into and distributed in the United States, or manufactured and distributed in the United States, shall be 3 percent of the transfer price. Only the first person to manufacture and distribute or import and distribute such medium shall be required to pay the royalty with respect to such medium.

    Note, however, that in the US there is NO levy collected on "ordinary" CD-Rs When the legislation was last changed (in 1994/1995) CD-Rs were not seen as a media intended for copying music. There IS a levy applied to other digital media, such as DAT and CD-R Audio.
    Canadian law makes for some weird twists, according to the page. I could steal a commercial CD and a blank CD, copy the original but be charged only with theft, not copyright infringement. The page with this information is in no way official. The home page says:
    This is an ad-hoc work that gets out of date from time to time.

  11. #11

    Say_Cheese's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I live about 40 minutes from the Apple store concerned and I don't have the time to go back. I could ring and ask to speak to the manager I suppose.

    Would you ring the manager or wait about a week to go back and then complain? I didn't get the assistants name. I was so disgusted that I just walked out.

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    I'd probably wait and go in person. Makes a better impression. If you know what day exactly you were there, it won't be too hard for the manager to figure out who was working.

    And even if you were going to do something questionable, such as downloading a TV-show because it airs six months after the US where you live, the person working there has no right to give you a hard time about it.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    It amazes me how people are so worried about copyright infringement when the rest of the world is so messed up. Pathetic.

  14. #14

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown Study View Post
    This page, dated Dec. 15, 2003, has information on the issue, including a reference to a blank-media tax in the U.S.

    Canadian law allows copying because the music industry charges a levy (not a tax, since it isn't charged by government splitting hairs) on blank media. Many musicians, by the way, say most, if not all, the money goes to the labels, not them. So what else is new?

    Anyway, this tax probably means copying DVDs is legal, too. I can't find anything specifically referencing DVDs except this (and there is no date on the page):The U.S. has such a tax, too.Canadian law makes for some weird twists, according to the page. I could steal a commercial CD and a blank CD, copy the original but be charged only with theft, not copyright infringement. The page with this information is in no way official. The home page says:

    The difference is, the tax or fee is not directly passed onto the consumer.


  15. #15

    skye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilo15 View Post
    It amazes me how people are so worried about copyright infringement when the rest of the world is so messed up. Pathetic.
    it is just a glorified form of theft, which i hope you do think is a big problem

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