Amazon Says Any Films You Buy On Prime Don’t Belong To You
The idea of ownership in the internet age is an interesting question. Just how much of what we post, subscribe to and buy online do we actually own?
It turns out Amazon thinks not much of it, with the company apparently claiming that customers don’t actually own the movies and TV series they buy through Prime Video.
The claim comes after the company was recently sued for unfair competition and false advertising by a woman from California named Amanda Caudel. In her lawsuit, Caudel claims that Amazon ‘secretly reserves the right’ to remove customers’ access to content purchased through Prime Video.
Essentially, Caudel is arguing that the ‘buy’ option on Amazon Prime Video is misleading. In the olden days, this would be a pretty cut and dry concept. If you bought the DVD of a film, and then the shop you bought it from stopped selling that DVD, it’s not like the shop would then come to your house and take away your DVD. But on Amazon, if you buy a film that later gets removed from Prime Video, you lose access to that film.
The internet has changed the way we do all sorts of things, especially as far as shopping and entertainment are concerned. According to Hollywood Reporter, Caudel’s lawsuit argues that when it comes to buying films, the same rules should apply. If successful in her class action lawsuit, Amazon could have to pay compensation to anyone in California who has bought a film on Prime Video in the past four years.
This week, Amazon has responded by saying that according to the company’s terms of service, videos ‘bought’ on Prime are actually only rented by the customer ‘over an indefinite period of time’.
In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Amazon attorney David Biderman wrote:
Digital rights have become a bit of a legal battleground over the past decade, as rights groups argue with big tech companies over ownership of digital data and content, and now it seems like Amazon are getting in on the action.
As much as this raises some awkward questions for the company, it doesn’t seem likely that this is going to convince people to go back to watch things on Blu-ray anytime soon.
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The Hollywood Reporter