Busted! Auckland man uses wrong iTunes card


Chris Keall

Someone from Australia gave me a $20 iTunes gift card.

Nice gesture. (It was my birthday yesterday; loyal readers, please send gifts to the usual address.)

I scratched the card, then fired up iTunes to type in its code.

I was met by this screen (click to enlarge):

My usual critique of online restrictions is that content makers, or distributors, are trying to protect a nice little regional monopoly rather than copyright.

But this just makes no sense.

Why can't the $20 be put onto my iTunes NZ account - which, after all, only has access to music and movies that content makers have deemed to make available for New Zealanders? (I also have an iTunes US account, but that's another story.)

I was about to pixelate the code on the screenshot above.

But then I thought, why bother? At least someone in Australia can pick it up and use it.

The small print on the back of the card does have a warning that you have to be in Australia to redeem the gift card, if anyone reads that before buying.

I usually find Apple makes a pretty good fist of online content with iTunes, and I know the company would go further if various movie and TV studios took a more progressive approach to regional distribution. 

But this is a poor show.


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6 Comments & Questions

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but if this was possible would that then allow you to buy NZ iTunes cards & then credit them to your US account???

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Why not? Then an NZer could gift an American an iTunes card. The key terms & conditions restriction for using iTunes US is a US address.

I'm not trying to commit any piracy here. Personally, I hold no truck with it (though I can understand the frustration with timely commercial availability that drives some people to it; people who would happily pay if there was a street-legal option).

I'm trying to redeem a commercially purchased voucher (which could be adjusted for currency).

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I've had the same problem with Amazon - my sister in England sent me a voucher but when I tried to use it to buy books for my Kindle I was told I couldn't use it in the US store because she'd bought it in the UK store.

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At least people using other countries itunes stores are paying for content and not using more devious means to get access to content. I don't get it !

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Ask Dotcom

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It seems to me that Apple dont want to make money. Perhaps an accountant/tax expert or some other papaer pushing grinch is has been involved in this bizarreness

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