UK iTunes customers get better terms of service than US suckers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Ed Bayley has a great article up explaining how superior consumer protection laws in the UK mean that iTunes customers get a substantially better deal than their US counterparts (though the UK terms leave much to be desired):

For example, as with many TOS agreements, the iTunes U.S. Terms purport to allow Apple to terminate any part of the service, including access to any music or other content available through iTunes, at any time without warning. The U.K. Terms step back from that extreme position. In particular, the U.K. Terms do not allow Apple to affect a user's access to content already purchased. Furthermore, before terminating a user's access to iTunes, the U.K. Terms require there at least be "strong grounds," rather than mere "suspicion," to believe the user has violated the agreement, and also obligates iTunes to provide notice of any planned modification, suspension, or termination to the extent possible. In other words, the U.K. Terms provide customers at least some guidance as to the grounds for termination, rather than leave them to worry their access to iTunes can be terminated at any moment for any reason.

Another area where the new U.K. Terms make progress is in placing restrictions on Apple's ability to modify terms for existing customers. Many TOS agreements, including the iTunes U.S. Terms, claim the right to modify terms unilaterally, at any time, and without notice to the customer. It is refreshing to see the U.K. Terms require notice of the new terms before they become effective, as well as an opportunity to reject the changes without affecting purchases already made. The UK approach makes much more sense than the U.S. Terms' insistence on allowing Apple to act unilaterally without notice. And the fact that Apple can do it for customers in the UK means they can and should do it for customers elsewhere.

Terms of (Ab)Use: US and UK Consumers Dance to Different iTunes