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Apple TV owners lost legal movie playback this weekend

DRM server snafu deprives fanboys of films

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Unconcerned about the insidious impact of Digital Rights Management? You may want to think again when you hear about the many Apple TV owners who found they couldn't play legitimately acquired movies this weekend.

There you are, you've paid for a film through iTunes. You own it. But you can't play it.

Many Apple TV owners are blaming an outage of Apple's DRM server, seemingly a result of the company's data centre re-jiggery pokery ahead of the imminent roll-out of its iCloud online service.

It may also be related to the roll-out of the Apple TV 2 to Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, which is expected to take place this week too.

Apple's support boards are filling up with complaints from punters that their boxes are asking for iTunes passwords all over again. Key in the password, in order to authorise the device for iTunes content playback, and movies still don't play.

The outage appears to have begun hitting users on Friday and was still bothering folk this morning. New posts from punters suggest, however, that the issue might now have been resolved.

But a whole weekend unable to play content you've purchased? Wouldn't have happened in a DRM-free world. Or even with copy-protected optical media.

Apple itself has yet to comment on the matter. ®

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