There's a reason pirating TV shows is so popular, and it's not because millennials get a thrill out of racing to close the eight pop-up ads that come with every illegally-streamed episode of Homeland. It's because a lot of us are damn broke, and when we can't find content cheap and easily through the provider, we know there are other options. This logic — that basically just calls for networks and studios to make their content readily available to us at competitive prices — is also at work in the brains of the Breaking Bad fans who are suing Apple right now for splitting up the fifth season of the show on iTunes.
For those 18 people in America who aren't tuning in to the final season of Breaking Bad, here's the context: The fifth season of the show was broken up into two 8-episode halves. One aired last year, the other is airing right now. Everyone — from the network to the critics to the fans, to Jessie and Walt themselves if they were meta enough to I'm sure — is in agreement that the sixteen episodes total will equal one unified season. Except for iTunes. Which is charging fans for two separate season passes — twice the cost — for access to both half of the season.
This pissed some people in California off so much that they decided to sue. Here are the most notable excerpts of the complaint:
When a consumer buys a ticket to a football game, he does not have to leave at halftime. When a consumer buys an opera ticket, he does not get kicked out at intermission. When a consumer buys a “Season Pass” to a full season of television shows on iTunes, that consumer should get access to the full season....
The iTunes informational page regarding the Season Pass option explained (and still explains, as of the date of the filing of this complaint) that “[p]urchasing a Season Pass of a television show gets you every episode in that season and at a better price than if you were to purchase it one episode at a time.”
This lawsuit probably isn't going to change the world. It probably won't change television, or even Breaking Bad. If they win, the total payoff will probably be about ten bucks per person. But hey, it might save you another ten bucks down the line if it results in iTunes changing its split-season policy.
It's the small battles.