“You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn’t” The headline from the Register is outragey, and it’s only deep in the article the real story starts coming out.

And it’s not fair to single out just Apple either: pretty much every provider of digital content has the same rules. Amazon got in hot water a few years ago when its deal with Disney expired and customers discovered that their expensive movie purchases vanished over night. In 2009 thee was a similar ruckus when it pulled George Orwell’s classic 1984 from Kindles without notice.

In reality of course, these huge companies go to great lengths to ensure that their licensing deals with the main content companies are retained so the situation happens only occasionally. And such deals are usually worth so much to both sides that they are continually renewed.

With digital media, there’s been a long-running skirmish surrounding who truly owns their media. I don’t think it’s going to be solved anytime soon. What I do know is that if you own any digital media, it needs to be free of Digital Rights Management (DRM) code and it should be on your hard drives. Or you need physical copies.

Or just take the risk.