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Amazon court argument : you do not own your Prime Video purchases ; what is bought is an on-demand viewing licence

Summary

Amazon filled a motion to dismiss a lawsuit about Prime Video purchases, saying their ToS are clear ; Prime Video purchases are an on-demand viewing licence, you don't own the movie / TV show that was purchased.

 

Quotes

Quote

Amanda Caudel in April sued Amazon for unfair competition and false advertising. She claims the company "secretly reserves the right" to end consumers' access to content purchased through its Prime Video service. She filed her putative class action on behalf of herself and any California residents who purchased video content from the service from April 25, 2016 to present.

[...]

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.

 

My thoughts

Not surprised that's what they're pushing, Prime Video is a subscription based service, if you or Amazon stop your subscription, you won't have access to your purchases anyway. I'm interested in how the court case is going to evolve, the plaintifs are claiming false advertising, and I see their point ; on Prime Video, the "purchase" option does look like you're buying a digital version of the movie, not a licence that could be revoked.

 

And with that, I'm wondering what happens if something you purchased get taken down, can you get a refund?

 

Sources

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/amazon-argues-users-dont-actually-own-purchased-prime-video-content

https://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/amazon-argues-prime-video-customers-dont-own-purchased-content

https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/10/28/amazon-says-users-dont-own-content-bought-on-prime-video

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Just now, wkdpaul said:

And with that, I'm wondering what happens if something you purchased get taken down, can you get a refund?

what if they did something like audible and you could trade your now no longer available series or movie, for one of equal value?

 

dont know about profit magins tho

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I'm sure there's some contractual outline in the TOS and who reads that anyway? So I doubt Amazon will have trouble winning this case

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This is why I like digital copies (ie the file mp4 or what ever) or physical copies.

not viewing though said app

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1 minute ago, wkdpaul said:

I see their point ; on Prime Video, the "purchase" option does look like you're buying a digital version of the movie, not a licence that could be revoked.

If there's no way to download the media and play it outside of Prime then you don't own that media. 

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Just now, Monkey Dust said:

DVDs & Blurays may be old school, but they have their advantages. 

even digital copies of music

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5 minutes ago, Velcade said:

If there's no way to download the media and play it outside of Prime then you don't own that media. 

Agreed, but that's a distinction most of us here understand, but like I said, their point is that the purchase options are misleading, and for someone that doesn't know that you need a video file to actually own the media, it does seem to be misleading on the part or Amazon.

 

Keep in mind that the vast majority of the population is EXTREMELY tech illiterate, nowadays, most don't know the difference between WiFi and Internet.

Edited by wkdpaul

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This is one of several reasons why I just stream video stuff from less than legitimate sources. That, and signing up for prime where I currently live would make packages arrive precisely zero days faster 99% of the time.

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12 minutes ago, wkdpaul said:

Agreed, but that's a distinction most of us here understand, but like I said, their point is that the purchase options are misleading, and for someone that doesn't know that you need a video file to actually own the media, it does seem to be misleading on the part or Amazon.

 

Keep in mind that the vast majority of the population is EXTREMELY tech illiterate, nowadays, most don't know the difference between WiFi and Internet.

While I'll agree that most people probably don't understand...I'd prefer a "purchase" button over "Indefinite purchase of a license".  Purchase is a good term for it (in my opinion)...just like a purchase option for insurance.  Ultimately, while people might not understand, purchase in a digital world is really just like a lifetime subscription.

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11 minutes ago, wkdpaul said:

Keep in mind that the vast majority of the population is EXTREMELY tech illiterate, nowadays, most don't know the difference between WiFi and Internet.

Haha, yes this is true.

Some people wont understand the concept of streaming.

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16 minutes ago, wkdpaul said:

Agreed, but that's a distinction most of us here understand, but like I said, their point is that the purchase options are misleading, and for someone that doesn't know that you need a video file to actually own the media, it does seem to be misleading on the part or Amazon.

 

Keep in mind that the vast majority of the population is EXTREMELY tech illiterate, nowadays, most don't know the difference between WiFi and Internet.

This isn't really Amazon's problem.  If you're not educated enough to understand 'term's of service' that burden does not fall on Amazon.

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How many people really buy movies anymore? I personally don't see the point. Want to watch it again? Rent it. The chances that you'll want to watch it more times than the cost difference is, is pretty low. Plus with services like Netflix, there's always movies to watch on there. Really love it? There's other places you can go to get a copy.

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1 minute ago, Velcade said:

This isn't really Amazon's problem.  If you're not educated enough to understand 'term's of service' that burden does not fall on Amazon.

And again, I agree, I'm just saying I understand their point of vue ; I have to deal with end users that have a hard time understanding what's an icon on a desktop, or what a "tab" is ... so yeah, I never said I agree with the plaintifs, only that I understand where they're coming from.

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29 minutes ago, Monkey Dust said:

DVDs & Blurays may be old school, but they have their advantages. 

It's just delayed expiration .. . 10-20 years after purchase, good luck playing the disc, as the medium goes bad (unless you keep it in a sealed box in controlled environment.

 

at least if you're willing to break the law by ripping the media then you can say you truly "own" that movie and nobody can take it from you.

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image.thumb.png.9079ddf422b22e224086571c0058c877.png

 

Pretty straight forward.

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This is why I think having a copy of it to download, or owning a physical disc is so much better.  Although streaming is convenient and I can understand people might not realize they don't own the video through a streaming service, Amazon could make that more obvious for people that don't understand how streaming works.

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3 minutes ago, Blademaster91 said:

copy of it to download,

*looks at flash drive

it has about 100 dollars or more in music

yep a ton of albums

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well yea, aren't all digital products like that?

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1 minute ago, poochyena said:

well yea, aren't all digital products like that?

Not all, no. If you can download a file, then you do own a copy for offline viewing / listening.

 

The issue here is the language on the platform, most people won't understand that "purchasing", doesn't mean you own a copy of the movie / TV show.

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42 minutes ago, Velcade said:

This isn't really Amazon's problem.  If you're not educated enough to understand 'term's of service' that burden does not fall on Amazon.

From my point of view and many others, IT IS Amazon's responsiblity (as with every other corp. out there) to explain the ToS in a easier way not to confuse the consumers. This kind of talk is just defending the ways how companies deal their ToS which has been a problem for quite some time. They make it so complicated that on many occasions it can be hard for the regular consumer to understand what it contains. 

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Amazon tried it a while ago in Germany. They denied access to ebooks, audiobooks and other stuff but the courts already decided that customers need to have access to their bought stuff or get a full refund.

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No lie, this gains traction Ill jump all over it.  I have hundreds of Prime Videos - what Id like to see this result in, is the ability to download the file itself.

 

But I dont think this has a leg to stand on in court, unless its the court of Social Justice.

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7 minutes ago, wkdpaul said:

Not all, no. If you can download a file, then you do own a copy for offline viewing / listening.

 

The issue here is the language on the platform, most people won't understand that "purchasing", doesn't mean you own a copy of the movie / TV show.

Though it seems it's like that even for digital versions of games (and sometimes even physical copies). Like many games these days are completely online. It's only a matter of time the developer is just going to pull the plug on the game servers and all of a sudden, that 60 dollar game + 100s worth of expansions you've paid for is completely inaccessible. 

 

Take the Destiny franchise. The moment Bungie moves onto the next IP (which is rumored to be happening), who knows when they will pull the plug on Destiny and Destiny 2 servers. And those two games are completely online. You cannot even launch a basic story mission or get past the welcome screen when you're not connected to the servers. Once they pull the plug, that game is 100% dead, no one will be able to play it anymore. 

 

So this case probably will set major precedents outside of video streaming. 

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