Buying Movies On Amazon Doesn’t Guarantee Future Access

That old, seemingly outdated DVD might be more reliable than a digital version of the movie

We’ve talked here before about how the convenience of buying movies digitally is in place of the guarantee that you’ll be able to access it for a long time into the future (see: What happens if the streaming company you “own” a movie or TV show from goes out of business? Yes, you lose it).

When you buy a physical disc — Blu-ray, DVD, etc — as long as you have a player to play the disc and the media isn’t damaged — nobody, thieves aside, can take that away.

Digital licenses are not currently and never have been permanent. Amazon is admitting what’s already stated in their TOS (Terms of Service):

When an Amazon Prime Video user buys content on the platform, what they’re really paying for is a limited license for “on-demand viewing over an indefinite period of time” and they’re warned of that in the company’s terms of use. That’s the company’s argument for why a lawsuit over hypothetical future deletions of content should be dismissed.

Amazon Argues Users Don’t Actually Own Purchased Prime Video Content | Hollywood Reporter

So, keep this in mind that buying a bunch of movies digitally doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to watch it tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Buying the physical media is not exactly without obsolescence, just go back to betamax, laserdisc, HD-DVD as formats that have been replaced by newer, better technology.