Apple on the hook for Breaking Bad “Season Pass” lawsuit

4 Comments

Credit: AMC

Apple had “better call Saul” — or someone like him. Saul is the solve-anything lawyer from Breaking Bad, the Emmy-winning TV drama that is also the subject of a stubborn class action suit from fans who say Apple engaged in false advertising when it sold a season of the show on iTunes.

The lawsuit itself was filed last September on behalf of Breaking Bad fans who bought a “Season Pass” for what they believed to be the final season of the show. Instead, the fans received only 8 episodes of the show — and then learned they had to pay once more to receive the last eight episodes.

The source of the controversy appears to have stemmed from a decision on the part of the studio to split the last 16 episodes into “Season 5” and the “Final Season” — a decision of which Apple appears to have been unaware of when it marketed an iTunes season pass that promised “every episode in that season.”

Apple quickly responded by emailing Breaking Bad fans with an apology for the “confusion” and a $22.99 iTunes credit, enough to purchase the remaining episodes in high definition.

The lawsuit, however, has trundled on all the same. In the latest ruling, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila agreed to throw out some of the claims, but ruled the plaintiffs could go forward with a false advertising claim based on California’s unfair competition law.

The upshot is that the case is now teed up to receive class action status from the judge and, if necessary, go to trial. It’s highly unlikely to get that far, however, as Apple and the class action lawyers will probably reach a quick settlement instead. (As for Saul, the character survived the meth-addled world of Breaking Bad and is the subject of a new show called, you guessed it, “Better Call Saul”)

Here’s the ruling, via the Hollywood Reporter:

Breaking Bad

4 Comments

Louis

There was absolutely no false advertising here. They paid for the complete fifth season and that’s what they got. Apple shouldn’t have given these cretins an extra dime.

rolfwilkinsondesign

All those episodes are called, according to HBO, season 5. There are only 5 seasons of Breaking Bad. These users paid for a season pass for season 5 expecting to be able to watch the whole season. They apple changed the name of the second half of the season to “the final season”. There is absolutely no way a user could have known that they weren’t paying for all the remaining episodes.

I know, I paid for the short “season 5” season pass part way through because it was going to be cheaper than individual episodes. Then, when Apple pulled their flim-flam and wanted me to pay for the last episodes and I complained, they actually straight up lied to me to tell me that I didn’t pay for a season pass, and that I had bought a package of individual episodes.

David W

Did you not read the article?

The studio split season five, not Apple. When the confusion was realised, Apple proactively contacted buyers and extended the iTunes credit. I was one of those and they handled it quickly and professionally.

People are quick to blame Apple, but it is the studios and/or distributors (such as here in the UK) that determine these things, including baseline pricing and availability.

FYI, Amazon sells Seasons 1 to 5 AND The Final Season.

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