Apple Family Sharing Prevents Pirates, Locks Out Users for a Year - The UpStream

Apple Family Sharing Prevents Pirates, Locks Out Users for a Year

posted Sunday Sep 21, 2014 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple Family Sharing Prevents Pirates, Locks Out Users for a Year

Apple is fully aware that families use their products. Additionally, Apple is aware that some people like to pirate music and movies. When both of those facts, come together, you can sometimes get headaches, which is exactly what is happening with Apple's new Family Sharing feature on its iProducts.

With Family Sharing, you are able to add up to six family members to your account, allowing you to share media from iTunes and iCloud. It's kind of like the Xbox One's feature for sharing Xbox Live Gold membership with others on the home console. At any rate, it's a great idea to allow your family or room mates to enjoy content you've paid for. However, because Apple recognizes people like to pirate said media, apparently the company is preventing users from adding members to the plan for up to one full year.

The Apple forums are ablaze with reports that customers are unable to add members to the account. Specifically, there seems to be a bug where you are unable to share content to those who you've recently added to Family Sharing. For most people, simply removing and re-adding a person would make sense, but Apple doesn't want you removing people who just want to watch The Hangover during the weekend. So if you removed a person and want to add them back, you won't be able to for a calendar year. Woops.

Here's where it gets more interesting. A person is only allowed to be added to two "families" in the course of a year. Even if you leave a family to join a third, you won't be able to for, you guessed it, a full year.

Looking at it from the broader perspective, it makes sense that Apple would restrict people switching back and forth on these accounts. Those switching multiple times probably aren't using the Family Sharing for its intended purpose. However, these restrictions are quite heavy for Apple users, especially those who are trying to add people and aren't understanding why the feature isn't working. These are the same consumers who believed the iPhone 5 was waterproof and that the iPhone 6 can be charged by putting it in the microwave. If Apple didn't think its customer base wouldn't be confused by this new addition to their phone, and would be removing and re-adding people, then they clearly do not have a grasp on their demographic. Quick side note: has anyone actually microwaved their iPhone 6? How has that worked out for you?

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