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WMGroomAK

PSA: A reminder on why you should maintain copies of movies

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Posted · Original PosterOP

An article on The Register serves as a good Public Service Announcement (PSA) on why we should maintain local & backed up copies of movies and music purchased in digital format. Essentially, what has happened is that a biologist found out that three movies he had purchased through iTunes had disappeared from his library.  When inquiring with Apple as to where his movies had gone, he learned that Apple had lost the licensing rights to those movies.  Basically, if he had not downloaded and saved a copy on local storage, he lost those movies completely.  Apple did offer up something in the way of recompense in the form of four movie rentals up to $5.99 a piece, however that was more a discretionary offer.  

 

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/09/12/apple_film_rights/

Quote

Biologist Anders Gonçalves da Silva was surprised this week to find three movies he had purchased through iTunes simply disappeared one day from his library. So he contacted Apple to find out what had happened.

 

And Apple told him it no longer had the license rights for those movies so they had been removed. To which he of course responded: Ah, but I didn't rent them, I actually bought them through your "buy" option.

 

At which point da Silva learnt a valuable lesson about the realities of digital purchases and modern licensing rules: While he had bought the movies, what he had actually paid for was the ability to download the movie to his hard drive.

 

"Please be informed that the iTunes/App Store is a store front that give content providers a platform or a place to sell their items," the company informed him. "We can only offer what has been made available to us. Since the content provider has removed these movies… I am unable to provide you the copy of the movies."

 

Sure, he could stream it whenever he wanted since he had bought it, but once those licensing rights were up, if he hadn't downloaded the movie, it was gone – forever.

...

If other words, Apple has complete discretion over whether to refund you in full, in part, or not at all. And in this case it used its discretion to grant him another two movie rental credits of $5.99 or less.

 

Of course from Apple's perspective, it is being perfectly reasonable: it literally does not have the right to provide access to a movie if and when the licensing rights expire. And in good faith it has offered him $24 in equivalent credits to make up for his loss.

 

But it's safe to say that almost no one understands that when you "buy" a movie online, you are only buying the right to grab a digital copy on that day. Apple suggests that people may want to download their purchases – but it's far from clear how many people actually do.

...

And it's not fair to single out just Apple either: pretty much every provider of digital content has the same rules. Amazon got in hot water a few years ago when its deal with Disney expired and customers discovered that their expensive movie purchases vanished over night. In 2009 thee was a similar ruckus when it pulled George Orwell's classic 1984 from Kindles without notice.

 

In reality of course, these huge companies go to great lengths to ensure that their licensing deals with the main content companies are retained so the situation happens only occasionally. And such deals are usually worth so much to both sides that they are continually renewed.

...

And while the answer is to download movies, the reality is that they take up an enormous amount of space. The base level AppleTV for example comes with just 32GB of space. A DVD quality movie will typically run to around 4GB, and a Blu-ray movie to 7 or 8GB: meaning you can only download between four and eight movies before you're out of space.

 

It's something that is only likely to be resolved when there is a big punch-up between two big companies and the lawsuits start flying. Of course it would be much easier if before that happened companies like Apple implemented a raft of new measures, such as giving customers that have "bought" a movie advance notice of the need to download a movie; or negotiating new digital download rights to fit with the modern streaming era.

 

But that is unlikely to happen until it has to. Which means that the best advice is quite simple: if you want to own a movie, buy it in a physical format – a DVD or Blu-ray disc. And if you don't, rent and stream it. 

So this serves as a good reminder that no matter which platform you purchase your digital content on, it is worthwhile to download a local copy to storage and not just count on having it available and retained in the distributors system.  Reminds me that I should probably see about getting more space on my NAS at home.  xD

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There's a reason I buy physical DVDs and CDs.


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Too bad everything on Spotify is encrypted. :D

That must suck though. I feel like they should be able to just keep the stuff up for those who purchased it.


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All my iTunes Music purchases are DRM free (thanks Apple) and saved locally across 3 different devices and in iCloud. My Movies are also all saved locally across 2 devices and my DVD rips are local and by virtue of being a DVD, are physical as well. 

 

I do rather enjoy buying those Blue Ray + Digital download combos though.  


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Good thing I live in Australia, as an Australian consumer I would be entitled to a full refund.


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16 minutes ago, Newenthusiast said:

Why am i not surprised that its Apple pulling this shit lol  

Apple isn't the only one who has to succumb to the DRM & copyright moguls of the MPAA and RIAA - Google Play Music & Movies must also comply as well, just as cable TV providers must as well when it comes to On Demand content disappearing overnight. The reality is that there needs to be a way for consumers to maintain their licenses to this content even if you can no longer purchase new licenses on these cloud platforms. Solution is to allow users who already own an appropriate license to re-acquire a copy of the media, but prevent any new purchases from being made.

15 minutes ago, Cyberspirit said:

Too bad everything on Spotify is encrypted. :D

That must suck though. I feel like they should be able to just keep the stuff up for those who purchased it.

Spotify (and Apple Music) subscriptions are different since you don't purchase rights to an individual track or album - you subscribe to a media library that varies based on your geographical location because something about exclusivity rights still makes sense to copyright holders, and totally most definitely doesn't contribute to piracy because you can't listen to or watch something that your friend in another country can. Nope, not at all.


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If this is true and works the way it seems at face value, then Apple has structured the deals it makes with movie companies, and its customers incorrectly.  Apple should be providing a platform through which people can buy movies, not purchase the right to access them until the deal expires, and if they do want to structure it like the latter, that should be made clear at the time of "purchase".  I don't see this as a flaw of online purchases in general (unless other companies are also doing this), this seems like an issue specific to Apple and its services.

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2 minutes ago, kirashi said:

Apple isn't the only one who has to succumb to the DRM & copyright moguls of the MPAA and RIAA - Google Play Music & Movies must also comply as well, just as cable TV providers must as well when it comes to On Demand content disappearing overnight. The reality is that there needs to be a way for consumers to maintain their licenses to this content even if you can no longer purchase new licenses on these cloud platforms. Solution is to allow users who already own an appropriate license to re-acquire a copy of the media, but prevent any new purchases from being made.

a grand father clause of sorts probably and like those who already own the appropriate license, can get access to the media from the copyright holder or allow the distributor to allow the media as a ""download" only type of deal


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4 minutes ago, RorzNZ said:

Because you're old

 

No he's right, physical copies are better.


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56 minutes ago, Cyberspirit said:

I feel like they should be able to just keep the stuff up for those who purchased it.

Apple losing the license to sell the product, shouldn't prohibit them from still distributing it to those who have already paid for it.

4 minutes ago, Ryujin2003 said:

So, what does this mean if you compare it to Steam, Uplay, Origin, and other online video game repositories?

Well, we know Steam already has a system in place, to allow downloads of products that were purchased prior to being pulled from the store.  As UPlay is solely for Ubisoft (last I checked), I can't see them losing the rights to their own products.  Same with Origin/EA.  GoG - if I recall correctly - has the same policy in place as Valve, allowing downloads of product which have been purchased then pulled.

 

I can't speak to any others (such as GMG), since I haven't used any other digital distribution services.  Well, I used D2D once back in the day, but that was such a horrible service.

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Yay DRM... so much fun. Not clearly anti-consumer or anything. 

 

Anyways. Side topic, a good HEVC encode of 720p video of noticeably better than DVD quality runs around 1GB. 1080p from BluRay of indistinguishable quality, runs around 3-4GB. Stock is 4/32.


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9 minutes ago, Curufinwe_wins said:

Anyways. Side topic, a good HEVC encode of 720p video of noticeably better than DVD quality runs around 1GB. 1080p from BluRay of indistinguishable quality, runs around 3-4GB. Stock is 4/32.

What level of audio?  One of the largest parts of the encoding is the audio quality.

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29 minutes ago, RorzNZ said:

Dan still uses VHS

I'm aware he does, *cough* take a look at my sig...

 

 


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31 minutes ago, RorzNZ said:

Dan still uses VHS

And? Physical copies are still better.


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54 minutes ago, DaPhuc said:

This threat encourages pirate in which I support it. Putlocker anyone? 

if I bought the thing on itunes and was told apple lost rights to it and therefore I can't have it. 

I would pirate it.. I paid for the thing. They got my money....

 

not saying it'll fly in a courtroom but that to me is legitimate and makes sense in that situation.


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1 hour ago, Newenthusiast said:

Why am i not surprised that its Apple pulling this shit lol  

It seems a little forced to blame Apple for following bullshit laws, not to mention they're far from the only company who does this.


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