Interpreting the iTunes Terms & Conditions for Education


Let me begin by saying I am not a lawyer, nor am I speaking as a representative of Apple.  However, in my job I am consistently having to educate teachers on the how the terms and conditions apply in these situations:

  • how their personal Apple Accounts work with devices they own versus how their personal Apple Accounts work with devices supplied by a school
  • how a device is used personally versus how it is used in a school setting
  • the different rules concerning where apps can be downloaded, and how many devices a singly purchased app can be used on
I've color coded the information so that green text is a direct copy/paste from the Terms and Conditions.  That is followed by my interpretation of the it, why it is important and how it might impact a teacher.

If you see any inaccuracies, please feel free to let me know as this is certainly a work in progress.




(Terms & Conditions Version - updated December 3, 2012)

  • APP STORE PRODUCT USAGE RULES: “(iii) You shall be able to store App Store Products from up to five different Accounts at a time on a compatible iOS Device.
    • What it means: You may use up to 5 Apple accounts to add apps to 1 iOS device
    • Why is it important: to be able to use apps from multiple accounts on one device
    • Education Example:
      • School provides an iOS device and is loading apps with the account they are using as management; you can log into the App Store if it is available to add apps from your personal account onto the managed device.
  • ASSOCIATION OF ASSOCIATED DEVICES: (paid content) “(i) You may auto-download iTunes Auto-Delivery Content or download previously-purchased iTunes Eligible Content from an Account on up to 10 Associated Devices, provided no more than 5 are iTunes-authorized computers.”
    • What it means: You may download your purchase on up to 10 devices - devices being defined as iOS devices and authorized computers - that are connected to your Apple account.  No more than 5 of these devices can be computers you have marked (in iTunes) as authorized to use your account
    • Why it is important: there is a limit to the number of devices you can associate with your account for downloading paid content.  (The content itself has its own rules - this is a limit to the number of devices you can connect to your Apple account.)
    • Education Example:
      • You have many devices in your household, plus you are getting assigned devices from your school for your use (not student use).  You can select up to 10 of them to associate with your Apple account.
  • ASSOCIATION OF ASSOCIATED DEVICES: (free content) “(iv) You may download previously-purchased free content onto an unlimited number of devices while it is free on the iTunes Service, but on no more than 5 iTunes-authorized computers.
    • What it means: You may download your free content onto an unlimited number of iOS devices as long as it stays free in iTunes.  There is still a limit of 5 authorized computers.
    • Why it is important: you can use an account to share out currently free content to unlimited devices while it is free
    • Education Example:
      • This is a personal application; however, free content does not have the limit that paid content does when it comes to iOS devices.
  • USAGE RULES: (iTunes content) “(ii)You shall be authorized to use iTunes Products on five iTunes-authorized devices at any time, except for Content Rentals (see below).
    • What it means:You are limited to using your purchased music, movies and tv shows on five devices (including computers).
    • Why it is important: iTunes content can be simultaneously on five devices at one time
    • Education Example:
      • This is a personal application; however, as long as allowed by your district’s policies, Apple gives you the right to load your personal music onto your work computer via iTunes as long as it is counted as one of your 5 devices authorized with your account
  • APP STORE PRODUCT USAGE RULES: (Apps - personal) “(i)If you are an individual acting in your personal capacity, you may download and sync an App Store Product for personal, noncommercial use on any iOS Device you own or control.
    • What it means: You may use any app from the App Store on any iOS device you own or control.
    • Why it is important:  this is a personal agreement - it does not apply to devices being used in schools
    • Education Example:
      • This is a personal application; however, as long as your district’s policies allow it, if you have been issued an iOS device so that you “control” it - you may download your personal apps on it for personal use.  You may NOT download it for non-personal use (such as having your students use it).
  • APP STORE PRODUCT USAGE RULES: (Apps - school) “(ii) If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you may download and sync an App Store Product for use by either (a) a single individual on one or more iOS Devices used by that individual that you own or control or (b) multiple individuals, on a single shared iOS Device you own or control. For example, a single employee may use an App Store Product on both the employee's iPhone and iPad, or multiple students may serially use an App Store Product on a single iPad located at a resource center or library. For the sake of clarity, each iOS Device used serially by multiple users requires a separate license.
    • What it means: School entities can apply apps in one of two ways.  For each copy (license) of an app they purchase, they can either:
      • assign it to a person to use on all their individually used devices (not used by multiple users)
      • assign it to a device used by multiple people
The combination of this would be to assign it to an individual using a single device.
    • Why it is important: schools function under a different agreement than individuals
    • Education Example:
      • Schools must maintain a record of showing that they have purchased one app per device OR one app per student; the ability to use a single app on multiple devices allowed by the personal agreement does not apply in these situations
  • IBOOKSTORE PRODUCT USAGE RULES: (IBooks) “(iii) You shall be able to store iBookstore Products on five iTunes-authorized devices at any time.
    • What it means: You are limited to using your purchased books on five devices (including computers).
    • Why it is important: iBookstore content can be simultaneously on five devices at one time
    • Education Example:
      • This is a personal application; however, as long as allowed by your district’s policies, Apple gives you the right to load your personal ebooks purchased via the iBookstore onto your work devices via iBooks and/or computer via iTunes as long as it is counted as one of your 5 devices authorized with your account

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