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A fan of AMC’s Breaking Bad has filed a lawsuit over how Apple handled the show’s final season in the iTunes Store. Because the network decided to break the fifth and final season into two parts, both of which are referred to as “season 5″ by the network, Apple broke the iTunes copy of the season into two parts as well.

The only problem is that iTunes Season Pass holders who expected to receive the final sixteen episodes altogether learned last month that they would only receive the first half. Those looking to download the second half of the season would have to purchase a separate Season Pass for what iTunes refers to as “the final season.”

Noam Lazebnik, a viewer from Ohio, insists that Apple engaged in false advertising and filed a lawsuit in San Jose on Friday seeking full refunds for users who had purchased “the final season” on iTunes. If “legalese” is your thing, you can read the entire lawsuit below.

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21 Responses to “Fan files class-action lawsuit against Apple over Breaking Bad’s short season pass”

  1. drbillpuddy says:

    finally! this is my biggest pet peeve with apple and itunes. they always mess with the seasons and episodes just to make an extra buck. btw: apple, there are 7 seasons of futurama, not 10. knock it off.


  2. Better file a clas-action lawsuit over the faulty wifi & bleutooth-chips on the iPhone 4s which are fried and not working after the OS 6.1.3 update ….


  3. I hope everyone realizes that iTunes is just an Apple-maintained front-end for content companies. AMC is the one who posts such content on iTunes. They are the ones who control the price and how the episodes are ordered, not Apple. They just have to follow the interface and content guidelines similar to how the Hulu+, HBO, etc. apps on the Apple TV are created and maintained. It’s also worth noting that (digitally) the same two-part implementation is not exclusive to iTunes. Whoever is pursuing this case needs to consider who is actually at fault here. Apple gives the price guidelines and the controlling company chooses how much they would like to charge as well as how to market it. That being said, Apple should consider enforcing a rule to better convey decisions like this to customers.


    • zrogers5 says:

      Well, the Apple apologists continue to ignore the customer-company agreement regarding the transaction which was between the consumers and Apple. It’s simply breach-of-contract and bait and switch. Apple will need to pursue legal action by filing their own lawsuits against each and every front-end company that is engaged in this kind of criminal behavior (calling it Season 5A and 5B of BB now … give me a break AMC). Pity it has to be this way, but it all has to start with the consumers.


    • the courts shall decide.. i hope they all pay. including Vince Gilligan for adding 3 episodes worth of fluff to the “Final Season” to stretch it from 13 to 16. really.. this is the most boring ‘season’ so far. so drawn out.


  4. This happened with South Park when they decided to split into Spring/Fall runs too!


  5. Why not include in the lawsuit the people that bought the Blu-rays/DVDs which are marketed as “The 5th Season”

    No where on the box does it say that it is only half of the season.

    ….That being said, every other season says “The Complete _____ Season” and the 5th one doesn’t.


  6. kiskaloo says:

    The BBC [BBC America] and The History Channel do the same thing with their seasons for shows like Doctor Who and Top Gear (US). There is a Part 1 and Part 2 to reflect that both shows air the season’s episodes in two halves during the year. And each Season Pass only covers that half of the aired broadcast and is priced accordingly.

    As I understand it, the original Season Pass for Breaking Bad was also priced to reflect the reduced number of shows that would be aired, so the plaintiffs are going to have a hard time presenting their case, IMO, as Apple will be able to use the BBC and THC policies in their defense (plus any other broadcasters that break their iTunes Seasons up the same way.

    As such, I expect the case will be quickly settled out of court for a couple hundred grand, all of which will go to the lawyers representing the plaintiffs while the plaintiffs themselves will probably get a $10 iTunes Gift card. . :rolleyes:


  7. Steve Grenier says:

    This is so dumb. I’d be pissed if Apple didn’t charge 50% less than they did for Season 4. It’s not like any of these people paid $50+ for the season. Quit whining.


  8. I am sure a few lawyers will make out well on this, Noam however, not so much.


  9. lexxkoto says:

    Apple better call Saul!


  10. So this guy can afford a lawyer, but not another $25 bucks for the pass? Sounds like a get rich quick scheme in the making. Apple doesn’t even control this. Take it up with the network.


  11. zrogers5 says:

    I think posters like TechPeeve and Steve Grenier are missing the real point of this particular case. It’s not about a measly $10-20 bucks. Ever heard of setting a legal precedent? That what Noah, the lawyers, and the rest of us that got screwed are hoping will happen – more protection for consumers and punishment for distributors (and content providers) moving forward. One thing is for sure – without consumer/legal intervention this will certainly become a more serious problem in the near future as we quickly move away from the traditional ways of buying and ingesting content. It’s like the wild west at the moment, and we were all out of sheriffs until this lawsuit has started to get publicity. Spread the word people!


    • Except that everyone complaining about this “split” of Season 5 and how iTunes handled it isn’t paying anything extra. The first half of the 5th season was priced the exact same amount, per episode, as the previous seasons. No one is getting screwed here and you guys are all butthurt about *nothing*.


  12. I purchased a TV show off of iTunes (TMNT for those who need to know [yes I am secretly 10 years old]) and my receipt actually says “Series 1″, stating it is the FULL series.

    For a few months I was downloading new episodes as they came out – when I stopped receiving new episodes I went back and checked the iTunes store, only to find that Series 1 had been split into “Part 1″ and “Part 2″!!!

    I would have to pay A SECOND TIME in order to download the second half of the series! My receipt says I am entitled to the entire first series of the show; so I went and illegally downloaded the rest in 1080p. I don’t care, my receipt says I’m getting series 1 so you bet your sweet-bippy I’m going to get the rest of the episodes without paying a single penny.