How-To: iTunes TV Shows & Movies For Non-US Citizen

UPDATE – September 16th 2009: It seems the Danish media finally found out about this tip, as articles today so far has featured in Politiken, DR P3 News and According to Danish lawyer, Peter Lind Nielsen, it’s not – seen from a Danish legal point of view – nothing illegal about this method as nobody will lose anything (since you can’t buy the products in the Danish iTunes Store) so it’s not considered fraud. That’s good news. Let’s just hope Apple doesn’t mind it too much either…

iTunes StoreDisclaimer: I originally wrote this in Danish over a year ago, but it should still apply today. I also take no responsibility for anything. Not even if your coffee machine starts making tea!

Even though iTunes Store TV Shows & Movies are available in some countries in Europe by now, there’s still many countries not having access to the goody bag. To be honest, it really sucks. Lots of users would like to pay for their content online, including me, but they can’t because the rights holders and networks can’t seem to agree on some sort of deal and make their content widely available.

Instead, sites like ThePirateBay and Newzbin (free trial for UseNetServer) are flourishing with all their illegal content that users can download for free.

So if you live in a “non iTunes TV Shows & Movies friendly”-country you basically have 2 options to get online content within TV shows and movies:

  1. Download illegal as mentioned above.
  2. Break a few iTunes Store rules and pay to download your content legally.

Just to clarify, I cannot guarantee for how long this tip will work or if it will work for you. You also run the risk of Apple closing your (new) iTunes account and seize the funds within, if you’re caught. However, I’ve never heard of that happening and I haven’t had any problems myself either, having spent several hundreds of dollars on TV shows and movie downloads/rentals on iTunes Store over the past few years.

You should also prepare some “fake” details you can use. Find an address somewhere in California (for tax reasons), pick a hotel or something, so you don’t involve an innocent person. You should also consider using an “American” name for your new iTunes account and make sure not to use an e-mail address that is too local (non-US). Consider signing up for a free Gmail/Hotmail account.

UPDATE – September 29th 2009: Apparently the “none” option from step #5 below has been removed by Apple. There’s another workaround which is reported to work:

  1. Go to the US iTunes Store.
  2. Find a FREE application for iPhone / iPod Touch (look in the App Store, right column)
  3. Click on “Buy now”. When the account field appears, click “Create account” – and then it should work.

Unfortunately I cannot provide more information at this time, but I hope it works for you!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. iTunes $20 gift certificateFirst you need to buy an iTunes Store Gift card/certificate. You might be able to find them on eBay but check the sellers feedback first, so you don’t get scammed. A $50 iTunes gift card might go for $55, so the seller will make a small profit on you. If you’re having troubles finding it, contact me and I can set you up with the lady I’ve been using for over a year (quick electronic delivery too).
  2. Get into the iTunes Store in your iTunes application, logout from your current iTunes account if you’re already logged in (important). Now make sure you select the “United States” iTunes Store from the drop-down box at the bottom of your iTunes Store homepage.
  3. Once in the US store, click “Redeem” in the right column. Enter the code from your iTunes gift card you received from the eBay seller.
  4. Agree to the terms & conditions displayed. After this, it is very important that you click “Cancel”. Otherwise, if you continue, you will be asked to enter credit card details and that credit card will have to be an American credit card, which you probably don’t have…?
  5. Now, click “Redeem” again from the right column. Create a new iTunes account. In “step 3 of 3” you should see the option “None” marked under payment method. If “None” is not selected and you cannot select it, you have to start over and try again. Once your iTunes account is created you should be all set.

Hopefully it worked for you and you can now download all the TV Shows and Movie Rentals you like until you have no more money available in your account. You can also use your new iTunes account to watch TV shows and rent movies from Apple TV, including HD and surround-enabled movies.

Even though it sucks having to break the rules just to spend money, I prefer breaking iTunes T&C’s and pay for my content, rather than downloading it illegally from torrent sites etc.

I know it’s wrong… but what are the alternatives?

14 thoughts on “How-To: iTunes TV Shows & Movies For Non-US Citizen”

  1. Thanks! That’s really helpful. Does this also mean finding non-us shows on i-tunes or is that not possible yet? (Just recently bought an ipod, and am seeing the US only everywhere in i-tunes and wonder whether other countries shows/programmes are there) Would be good if it was worldwide, and not just offered in the US. Going to read your post again, and give it a go when I’m good and ready. Thanks for stopping by my site. 🙂

    • Hi Ana and thanks for stopping by. If you use this method, you will be using the US iTunes Store, that means you will get all the content from the US including all the great shows, well, most of them anyway.

  2. Hello Klaus,
    Thanks for getting back to me.
    I don’t watch any American shows.
    What I meant was (sorry for it not being clear), is that is there any possibility of getting access to non-US shows via i-tunes?

  3. Ana,
    It really depends on whether or not the shows are published to iTunes Store. I assume you’re in Netherlands? I don’t recall anything being said about NL being included in iTunes Store for TV Shows / Movies yet, only Music, iPhone/iPod apps etc.

    But it’s easy – just launch up iTunes, select your country from the drop down list below and start browsing around – or search for what you’re looking for. It doesn’t require an account to just look, you can even look in other countries iTunes Stores as well. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though.

  4. Hello Klaus,
    I live in the United Kingdom.
    I’ll do some searching and see.
    I noticed that would be the case, everything inclined to the US-as it seems very standardised.
    Thanks very much for your info!
    I love your site by the way, it’s very informative.
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Mutual Friendship =-.

  5. P.S-Out of curiosity what is your first language?
    As English is neither my first language, though now will be nonetheless. My first language is split between two languages. 🙂
    Would you like to have another guess at that one.
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Mutual Friendship =-.

  6. Hi again Ana. UK does have *some* video content in the UK iTunes Store. I don’t really remember if it’s tv shows or movies – or both. But there’s no doubt that the selection is a lot smaller than in the US store.

    My first langauge is Danish. And as a result of being Danish, I have a funny accent when speaking English like most Danes do 🙂

    Well to be honest, I just looked at your IP address and thought it said Amsterdam, but it now seems that I looked the wrong place, it does in fact say UK. Oh I really have no idea what your “real” first language is then, please tell?

  7. Hello Klaus,
    That’s always a start. I’m gathering it won’t have much or any of it in Portuguese though. That’s my first Language, from Portugal.
    You know whenever I look at visitor’s IP addresses on my system, it also says that the majority are from Amsterdam. I have a feeling they aren’t. Funny that-the way it is set up to show people from Amsterdam.
    Hope you are having a lovely evening.

  8. Using the “Whois link” that WordPress sends you in the e-mail upon new comments, doesn’t give me any good results either. I think I’ll just stick to putting the IP address into whenever I’m curious about something.

    Portugal, never would have guessed it – not bad 🙂

    You too have a nice evening.

  9. Thanks for the tip Klaus.
    That looks a much more accurate site to use.
    .-= Ana´s last blog ..Mutual Friendship =-.

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