Amazon takes away access to purchased Christmas movie during Christmas

Notable: when the same thing happened with Disney purchases at the iTunes Store, it was categorized as a “glitch” and a Disney spokesperson said they’d be working with Apple to restore access to these titles for customers who’ve already paid for the titles:

Apple Pulls Some Disney and Pixar Titles From iTunes Store and iTunes in the Cloud [Updated]:

(read the updates)

One wonders if Amazon doesn’t have the same “pull” with Disney that Apple does. Still, this is concerning.


From the post:

Yes, Disney is stupid and evil for doing this. But when Amazon decided that it would offer studios the right to revoke access to purchased videos, they set the stage for this.

The point is that Amazon is the one who set up the system where media can be removed at any time. It is also Amazon who intentionally misleads people into thinking that they are buying something.

It is interesting that of the four posts you currently have here, two of them complain about Disney.


The original reddit post is here.


The problem is amazon is selling this for purchase.

You’re not purchasing anything when all you’ve got is a stream.


It seems reasonable to me as well. Why isn’t there some sort of indication that use of the streamed media can be interrupted with extreme prejudice by the license owner (e.g. Disney)? Kind of like the indication on every freaking inflatable thing sold in America that says it shouldn’t or can’t or won’t be used as a flotation device?
My cynicism tells me that the reason they don’t is that the license for practically every piece of streamed media is so bulletproof as to allow the license owner to do whatever they want with your access, including revoking it entirely. Hooray new media.


It’s better covered above but if this is the case then there should be no difference between a purchase and a rental when it comes to digital content. If I “purchase” a video from anywhere online I expect it to ALWAYS be available. If this is not the case it should be implicitly stated whenever you make any digital purchase. You should be able to have enough faith in the system to not have to “purchase” something, stash it on a hard drive (just in case) and consider the streaming/cloud option as a “nice to have”. If you can’t provide the content, don’t offer it, or at least give full disclosure.

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Is this sort of thing actually limited to streamed media? When I look at my Amazon “purchases” (I think I got them free when I ordered the DVDs), there is the option to download the video files. Their help section says that once you download the files, you can watch them without an internet connection using their video player. I would not be surprised, however, if a file gets locked or deleted if you connect to the internet and Amazon has decided to remove access.

Good question, but I’m leaning heavily to the side of no. In the situation you mention, hell yeah they could lock you out, easy as pie. That said, if the videos they provided do not have DRM and they’re of a format that can be read by any standard movie player (and not just their proprietary player), then you’re likely in the clear. Of course, that’s speaking in a functional sense. Via licensing, I’m sure the corps always have a legal method they could use to require, or at least demand, relinquishing all specified content.
EDIT: Came back to say that ownership in any strict tangible sense seems to be going the way of the Dodo.

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Amazon is not alone in this. They didn’t “give the right” to Disney. Disney required it. Same thing can happen to your content on other streaming providers. Movies and shows disappear from Netflix all the time. Ditto iTunes. Guess what I’m saying is that I find your ire misplaced. This is the intellectual property dystopia of corporations and a bought and paid for political system in which we live. That’s where my ire is aimed.


Netflix is a subscription rental service. I’m not paying them to give me permanent access to anything.


Disney is irrational in this. Their actions only serve to alienate paying customers for a perceived exclusivity. Any Disney title I want can be downloaded/torrented/‘shared’ from a variety of sources, without kinks, strings or DRM. As has been the case since forever, the pirated version provides greater value for less than the paid version, so why does anyone pay? Confusion, fear, ignorance, laziness?

I think artists should be compensated for their work. The creators at Disney have produced some wonderful entertainment, and we have over the years paid an enormous sum of money to build our VHS collection, then to convert it to DVD as those titles were released. I won’t spend more money to go digital if I can’t be sure of watching what I want, when I want and where I want. If it’s not available on hard media… maybe I won’t get it.

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Yeah, when I “bought” content from amazon, it worked with linux with no problem, now it doesn’t, just the other day, I tried to watch it again, I didn’t feel like jumping throught the hoops yet again kluge things, so I just torrented it. I got some other stuff too (I had 4 seasons of River Cottage, now I have the 5th and some other bits as well). So, I’m pirating things, explicitly because their drm has screwed me.

And now that I’m off to the torrent sites…

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I already quit buying Kindle books only because they mark up the price of everything I would order by two dollars, all because I purchase them using a non-US credit card, thus I must be a foreigner who should be gouged since that internet had to reach out of America to send me my book.


I think this is a case of bad formatting, as apparently it is some guy named Bill, not Corey who bought this from Amazon. The Feedly version of this article is different than the full article, omitting the “Bill sez” at the beginning. But who is Bill? Where is the quote from, a mail or a blog Corey follows?

@doctorow, if you read the forums, please clear this up for us. Thanks!

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And this is a happy story you can share with those family members who don’t understand why you get angry over copyright.

Once they turned the content into “intellectual property”, it was easy to sell them on the idea that they retain rights to it.
Because some people don’t respect those rights, they tighten their grip on the consumers willing to still accept these rights making them less likely to care.

If you buy a plastic disc of content, they still remind you 5 times not to steal the item you just paid them for. They make money for advertising other things, and remove your right to not be marketed to. They might have replaced the original music because it is someone else’s “IP” and they gotta get paid again too. They will not tell you that it will not match your memories on the outside of he package, because most people wouldn’t bother buying it if they didn’t lie. Playing by the insane rules gets you a worse product and experience.
Now you can get a license to watch content from the magical “cloud”, the IP holders love this because it gives them more control. You can pay the price the market will bear, but they can collect the money and suspend your right to watch it until they want to offer it again. They can control how, on what, where, how often you watch it… all for the full price.

And we wonder why some people look online to find…
A project where they ripped all of the original audio and offered it as a replacement to the crap offering.
You press play and your in the movie, not 5 minutes of marketing.
A digital copy that you can watch anywhere without restriction.
Content they feel doesn’t have enough market to justify the “cost” of making it available, where the costs most often are because of the lawyers and agreements trying to get an extra penny for music, images, etc.
A copy of something they would stream on the service they are paying for, because the ISP seems to always have problems delivering content from a competitors service but not their own.

Perhaps it is time for a bill of rights for people who purchase IP offerings, and stop the abuse of customers.
If we stopped allowing every insane new idea, maybe they would have to adapt to the new markets.

The property is imaginary, and the rights we let them think they have are from the darkest part of the imagination.


For which they reserve the right to lock you in an actual cage.

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Not according to German law, which penalizes the removal of DRM only, “if the act is not carried out exclusively for his own private use of the perpetrator or the perpetrator personally connected persons.“ [Wenn die Tat nicht ausschließlich zum eigenen privaten Gebrauch des Täters oder mit dem Täter persönlich verbundener Personen erfolgt.] –

I’d really like to see Amazon or publisher actually sue someone who frees his purchased e-books for their private use, e.g. converting it to epub to read in on another device.

Note that §95a (which concerns the sale of DRM-removal software) doesn’t mention uses and laugh about § 95d , which specifies that works which are protected by technical measures are to display visibly information to identify about and the the characteristics of the technical measures. Which Amazon consistently fails to do.

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Same goes for Steam. You’re not buying it, you’re renting it indefinitely, but the button still says ‘buy now’.

If only they didn’t sell me so many cheap games :frowning:

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*Depending on where you live.

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Besides the fact I think reddit looks like something I’d see on a mid 90’s internet site, you get this gem:

This post was just blogged on Boing Boing

Uh oh, hipster alert.

Yup, real quality crowd over there.

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