Apple sued for false advertising after dividing up the final 16 episodes of Breaking Bad into two seasons on iTunes
Last night's episode of Breaking Bad was one of the most intense in the series' history, but for those who haven't seen it yet, don't worry, I won't be putting out any spoilers.
You see, today's Breaking Bad news has nothing to do with Walter White's slow transformation into Scarface, but rather with a legal suit filed against Apple by a Breaking Bad fan.
In a lawsuit that many saw coming, an Ohio man named Noam Lazebnik recently filed a class action suit against Apple upon finding out that the US$22.99 he forked over for a "Season Pass" of Breaking Bad was only good for the first eight episodes of the show's final season.
Perhaps the next time a studio tries to split up a TV season into two parts, they might be advised to heed the words of White and "tread lightly."
You see, the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad contains 16 episodes, but was broken up into two separate installments of eight episodes. That being the case, iTunes treats the show's final installment of eight episodes as an entirely new sixth season.
Naturally, some fans of the show feel swindled.
In a class action suit filed in San Jose, California, Noam Lazebnik says Apple engaged in false advertising by providing only 8 episodes to consumers even though its "Season Pass" page explains that viewers will get "every episode in that season."
For folks like myself who follow the show closely, the show's producers have long held that the final 16 episodes of the series comprise a single season. Indeed, I recall listening to a Breaking Bad podcast where show creator Vince Gilligan explained that the final season of the series was split up into two parts as to ensure that the final episodes received the attention to detail they deserved. In other words, Gilligan and others involved with the show did not want to rush the creative process.
The complaint stresses that when the final season of Breaking Bad was announced, "it was referred to as the 'Final Season' and was slated to include 16 episodes."
Consequently, customers who purchased a Season Pass for the final season understandably assumed that their purchase would include all 16 episodes. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Hence, the allegations of false advertising.
Incidentally, I checked out the going rate for a Season Pass for some other popular Television shows and it seems that $22.99 for eight episodes is about the worst deal around.
The complaint reads in part:
The iTunes informational page regarding the "Season Pass" option explained (and still explains, as of the date of the filing of this Complaint) that "purchasing a Season Pass gets you every episode in that season and at a better price than if you were to purchase it one at a time.
Therefore, customers who purchased a "Breaking Bad: Season 5" Season Pass from iTunes reasonably believed that they would receive access to all 16 episodes of Season 5, as announced and promoted by AMC, the network responsible for producing and airing the program on "live" TV, just as Apple had promised.
The complaint further notes that consumers who purchased the first eight episodes "were specifically informed in writing that they were paying for 'all current and future' episodes of Season 5."
In an age of frivolous lawsuits, I was glad to read that the plaintiff in this case isn't suing for millions of dollars and attorneys fees. Rather, the plaintiff believes he is entitled to $20, a simple refund for a transaction he would have presumably not entered into had he been presented with all the facts.
The full lawsuit can be read in its entirety below:
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