Come August 31, 2022, German and Austrian customers will have their digitally purchased Studio Canal movies removed from their library as per Sony News:
“As of August 31, 2022, due to our evolving licensing agreements with content providers, you will no longer be able to view your previously purchased Studio Canal content and it will be removed from your video library.”
This affects 314 films in Germany and 137 in Austria, an official list is available here.
While it is understandable that licensing deals to expire and change over time, this does not bode well for “digital ownership” as your ownership evaporates all of a sudden and your extensive movie library you may have amassed over the years suddenly looks all sad and empty, a very expensive sad and empty library.
When SingStar shut down on the 31st of January 2020, at least you could still access your purchased songs offline, albeit with the move from PS4 to PS5 you again lost some songs due to “licensing issues”, yes, they did not have the rights to distribute some songs on PS5, only on PS4, meaning if you migrated from PS4 to PS5 you lost some songs without any means to even “repurchase” them. Crazy? Yes. Capitalism, baby.
Back to digital movies and series. You “own” the right to view your digital content as long as the service is operational and the license agreement doesn’t expire and a whole lot of other legal details are explained duly in the company’s EULA and TOS which no one reads. So much so, that there was a study where people were invited to sign a contract where the TOS stipulated that they will hand over their firstborn, and should they not have any, they get until 2050 to do so.
No one reads them EULAs and TOSes. Nobody. Well, nobody really “needs” to buy digital content, either. (Digital) Ownership is dead. Just stream, rent, and view on demand. But what if you DO want to BUILD a movie/tv series library? Go physical? Some do make digital backup copies, which may or may not be legal even if you own the original, depending on the country’s laws. Be that as it may, buying something one day and then some time in the future it gets taken away from you is just wrong. Even if you would never use or watch ever again. You paid for it, only to own it for a little while. Possessions, eh? You could choose not to own digital movies. Let’s see where the capitalistic predators strike next. Remove your apps from your phones? Done. Remove (online) games from consoles. Done. Did you buy cosmetics in those online games that are now shut down? Too bad. All gone. So is your money.
Moral of the story? Don’t own digital movies and say no to micro transactions, while you are at it. Period.