Apple sued over splitting of Breaking Bad

An Ohio man named Noam Lazebnik is suing Apple for splitting the final season of Breaking Bad into two individual seasons and charging a separate price to purchase each “Season Pass”.

Two sides here. Apple clearly lists each of the episodes included with the package, so does not appear to be misleading in any way. But the Season Pass description on that same page, says:

This Season Pass includes all current and future episodes of Breaking Bad, The Final Season.

Certainly open to interpretation.



  • Odi Kosmatos

    I went through this, and was frustrated. I don’t remember how much I paid for the last Breaking Bad season, but I thought I had paid for a FULL SEASON. When it stopped after 8 episodes, promising to continue later (this August 2013), and it did, I expected that I had paid for that. To my surprise, I had to pay another bunch of money to get the “Final Season”.

    I was frustrated, but paid anyway. Now the shit is hitting the fan and I’m not surprised.

    Perception is more important than reality. Reality being, I may have only paid for 8 episodes, but perception made me think I paid for a whole season. (I may have, I didn’t check.)

    • http://www.laugh-eat.com/ mdelvecchio

      i went thru the same. i didnt check my purchase history, but all the posters online said the price for the first half was pretty cheap — the standard bundled episode price x8, not 16.

      so we paid the same either way. but it just felt underhanded and wrong.

    • lucascott

      Actually perception doesn’t necessarily win. If Apple had said you were paying for 16 eps and then changed it then they screwed you. If they said you were paying for all remaining eps of the show they were screwing you.

      But a bad perception is not the same as false advertising. Especially from a legal standpoint.

    • Justin D. Hebert

      I went through the same thing buying the season on Google Play. When new episodes started, I quickly and angrily learned that I’d need to shell out more cash for something I had already paid for (in my mind).

      Frankly, if Apple can be sued for this, let’s lump Google into it too.

  • danvrussell

    Apple has nothing to do with setting prices on iTunes, nor splitting it up. This idiot is suing the wrong person; and any ire should be directed at AMC.

    • Richard

      I’m not a lawyer however whilst it’s true that AMC set the prices, he has no contract with AMC, what would he sue them for. His contract for sale is with Apple, therefor his easiest cause of action would be to sue them. Apple should then sue AMC, likely for breaching the terms of the iTunes store by misusing the Season Pass feature.

  • Gedeon Maheux

    I completely agree with this suit, and unlike many others he’s only suing for the cost of the season pass. He’s right and even if it’s AMC’s fault, it’s Apple that is the distributor and the one who takes the money. I’ve been burned by this all too often with season passes for Doctor Who, Futurama, etc. This needs to be clarified for users.

    • lucascott

      I see no evidence that Apple falsely said anything so in that respect I disagree with this suit, particularly since AMC is apparently not included and they are the real party in control what we are given, when, what price.

      But I do support that it was filed and being written about because I believe the time has more than come for the nets to stop some of these games. Releasing deluxe sets with tons of features that require buying a season many already bought for example.

      • Gedeon Maheux

        The wording for the season pass in iTunes states: “This season pass includes all current AND FUTURE episodes of season 5 of Breaking Bad.”

        That in-of itself is misleading. If it’s AMC’s fault is irrelevant. The wording in iTunes is wrong and is a classic bait and switch mentality. At the very least it needs to change to say it may or may not include future episodes of the season.

    • http://www.tumblr.com/blog/his-divine-shadow His Shadow

      Apple that is the distributor and the one who takes the money.

      …for content that Apple only gets to sell if they comply/abide by/agree to/sign off on the requirements of the content provider.

      So, no.

      • Tvaddic

        The consumer has a relationship with the distributor so they go after Apple, who in turn tries to go after AMC.

        If you got food poisoning from a restaurant, your first thought would be to blame the restaurant, not the food supplier, who may or may not be equally responsible.

  • Kip Beatty

    Yeah, this is frustrating, and unfortunately for them Apple is taking the heat for what has become a very devious practice by the networks. I don’t think it’s open to interpretation at all. It doesn’t say “ALL CURRENT AND FUTURE episodes of Breaking Bad, The Final Season – Part One or First Half”. It simply says all episodes of the final season. We should get all episodes of the final season no matter how AMC decided to break them up.

  • David Griffin

    Same here. I was surprised by this but it would have never crossed my mind to sue anyone for it. Then again, if anyone is to blame here, I think it’s AMC.

    • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

      Well, you and others are assuming Apple has no review process here at all. I’ll grant you that might be true, but if it is… it shouldn’t be.

      This was underhanded. Apple should have caught it, or been in a position to catch it.

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    -_-

  • NSSnark

    If this is now a viable business practice, I’m really looking forward to paying $19.95 for OS X Mave, waiting a few weeks, then paying $19.95 again for OS X Ricks.

  • lucascott

    It often only lists the eps at the end of the season. When did he buy it.. If he bought it at the top of the season then he wouldn’t necessarily have that information. Although one would think the price was a big clue. $22 is slightly less than 8x$2.99

  • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

    Google screwing its customers: “Look at how shitty Google is!”

    Apple screwing its customers: “Weeelll… there are certainly two sides here…”

    • gjgustav

      Sorry, when did Dave post an article about Google selling half a season pass calling it a season, then calling them shitty?

      • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

        Come on, if you really want to complain about what I wrote, you need to do better than this. You know perfectly well what I’m talking about.

        • gjgustav

          I think it’s you who needs to do better.

          All of this “if this was Google, or Android, etc.” then it’d be different, is pure conjecture unless we’re talking about the same situation happening in reverse. Different circumstances call for different criticisms and analysis. So unless you have an actual example of Dave being overly generous to Apple and unfair to Google concerning similar situations, I can’t agree with your argument.

          Also, I believe Dave has been writing for the Loop for all of two weeks, so there’s no history whatsoever of him being unfair to Google or anyone else.

          • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

            My point isn’t about Dave. It’s about the fact that articles on this website always add a cynical comment when Google does something shitty, yet suddenly afford a ton of context and understanding when Apple does something shitty.

            I like and read this website because it publishes a lot of interesting stuff. I just wish it wasn’t so mindlessly partisan. Yes, I’m using Apple’s stuff. That doesn’t mean I need to be affirmed about my choice all the time. It’s patronizing.

            I suspect that most readers here are old enough to be treated like adults: when Apple does something shitty, don’t find excuses if there are none. If Google screws up, provide some context, and, for heaven’s sake, publish a follow-up if it later turns out that things weren’t as they first seemed.

          • gjgustav

            Dave wrote the article, so I assumed your comment was directed at him. My apologies.

          • http://ignorethecode.net LKM

            No need to apologize. It’s my fault. I should have been less flippant in my original comment. On the Internet, it’s too easy to get derailed by misunderstanding and poor communication.

        • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

          You should be deciding if a story is “fair” on a case by case basis, rather than by the companies involved.

          The Loop is certainly not 100% fair, but it’s a lot more fair than many sites.

  • Adam

    I’ve always wondered why purchasing a Season Pass on iTunes is so vague. They should be required to tell you how many episodes will be provided, rather than this vague “all current and future episodes in this season.” How are we as viewers supposed to know how many that is?

  • Ryan Jones

    Even better point is that they bought a “Season 5 Season Pass”, and these episodes are Season 5. http://www.amctv.com/shows/breaking-bad/episodes/season-5

    Yet, even better point is that every store (Amazon, Microsoft, etc) split this up into two seasons. So this splitting up is coming from AMC. Apple is being sued for having money, getting attention, and potential to settle. Not because they are the ones that did this.

    • Tvaddic

      He didn’t buy it from those stores, and he is only suing for the 2nd half of the season, which would be reasonable.

      • Ryan Jones

        You misunderstood, probably because of my wording. I just edited it for clarity.

  • http://blog.nicholasmodesto.com/ DigitizedSociety

    This is not open to interpretation. AMC is trying to operate in the gray in order to extort as much cash as they can from the show’s fan base before one of AMC’s cash cows is no longer.

    Season 3 & 4 were $29.99 for 16 episodes. Suddenly Season 5.1 and 5.2 (the final season) will cost fans $44.98 for 16 episodes. To add insult to injury the intentionally priced 5.2 (the final season) $1 higher than 5.1′s 8 episodes.

    Even AMCTV.com has the final 8 episodes that are listed in iTunes as “the final season” as part of Season 5.

  • Terry Maraccini

    Not open to interpretation as wrong. It’s a money grab by those involved.

  • Mark Hall

    When it’s $22.99 for the HD ‘season’, you ain’t going to get 16 episodes. AMC were very clear that season 5 was going to be incomplete.

    An ounce of common sense would manage people’s own expectations of what they’re getting for their money.

  • tylernol

    I have to agree with the lawsuit and most of the opinions here. Someone is misleading us– either it is Apple or AMC, or both. When we are told the season pass will cover the final season but then they split the season into two seasons , 5 and “the final” , it smacks of greed, even if the. cost per episode comes out to be the same, it feels like we are getting ripped off. At minimum the language in the season pass should be clarified and Apple needs to set ground rules with the content providers.

    I believe sci-fy pulled similar stunts with BSG back in the day.