On April 7th, iTunes went
100% DRM-free, but at the same time Apple introduced tiered pricing. And therein lies the crux of this new lawsuit against Apple. Daniel and Barbara Owens of Illinois have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple. The couple has purchased "numerous" iTunes gift cards over the years, but in this case the gift cards were bought on March 1 from Sam's Club and on May 19 from Wal-Mart. Here's what the lawsuit says, in part:
The above-mentioned 99¢ iTunes cards that were purchased on March 1, 2008 from a Sam’s Club in O’Fallon, Illinois both state: “Download $25 worth of entertainment to enjoy your Mac or Windows PC. And, of course, your iPod. Songs are 99¢ and videos start at 1.99.” The above-mentioned 99¢ iTunes card purchased on May 19, 2009 at a Wal-Mart in O’Fallon, Illinois states: “Download $15 worth of entertainment to enjoy your Mac or Windows PC. And, of course, your iPod. Songs are 99¢ and videos start at $1.99.”
It's the text that says "Songs are 99 cents and videos start at $1.99" that is the problem, according to the plaintiffs. The lawsuit adds:
Defendant knowingly and fraudulently misrepresented, concealed, omitted, and/or suppressed the cost to purchase individual songs from its iTunes internet website. As a result, Plaintiffs and members of the putative class have suffered economic harm in that they have paid monies for a product that was worth less than what was represented and/or they have been denied the benefit of their bargain to purchase any song from Defendant’s iTunes Store for $0.99.
The Owens want Apple to refund the 30¢ people have had to pay to buy certain songs with the so-called "99¢ iTunes gift cards," which would amount to as much as $5 million, according to the lawsuit. Read the filing in full below: