As digital media continues to supplant physical media, e-commerce sites offering digital content have experienced unprecedented growth. These sites offer consumers access to video games, music, movies, e-books, and many other types of digital media at the click of a button. Although purchasing digital media—as opposed to physical media—has become commonplace for consumers, a recent case, McTyere et al v. Apple, Inc., suggests that consumers’ understanding of terms like “sell,” “buy,” and “purchase” have not fully caught up to our new digital reality. When a consumer buys a book in a physical bookstore, they own indefinitely the physical copy of the book that they purchased. However, when consumers click a “Buy” button on an e-book platform, they almost always receive a license to a copy of the e-book, a license that typically can be terminated by the e-book platform or the book’s publisher under certain circumstances. McTyere has highlighted this important legal distinction between buying physical and digital media and raises the question of whether it is deceptive to describe the licensing of rights to digital media using the same terminology as has traditionally been used to describe the sale of books, CDs, DVDs, and other physical goods.Continue Reading Buy Today, Gone Tomorrow: Is a “Buy” Button for Digital Content Deceptive?
Zoe graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, where she served as the chief articles editor of the Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts. She was also the co-president of the Cyber Law Association of Washington.