Whenever I purchase movies or videos, I do so on DVD or Blu-Ray exclusively and never as digital content on the Internet.
The reason is simple: if I purchase it on DVD or Blu-Ray, I can watch the film whenever I want to, regardless of online access or other restrictions that may be in place.
Amazon Instant Video users who have purchased select Disney movies in the offered digital format are in for a surprise this Christmas season as it is currently not possible to play them anymore.
Update: Extremetech reports that Amazon claims that the removal of the videos has been "caused by a temporary issue", and that "customers should never lose access to their Amazon Instant Video purchases. Some videos at the time of writing are still not available though on the site at the time of posting that update. It can be however that they are available for users who purchased them earlier.
Movies and shows affected by this include "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas" while other Christmas themed movies such as "Disney's a Christmas Carol" or "Mickey's Magical Christmas" are still available.
The reason? Disney pulled them for Christmas, likely to push the films on the company's own TV channels (ABC airs the Muppet Christmas Carol on ABC Family and ABC Family HD for example).
So, you cannot watch Christmas themed movies during the time you are most likely to watch them. Who watches Christmas movies in Summer?
What many users of Amazon's service do not know is that rights holders can pull videos and movies whenever they select to do so.
Purchased Digital Content will generally continue to be available to you for download or streaming from the Service, as applicable, but may become unavailable due to potential content provider licensing restrictions and for other reasons, and Amazon will not be liable to you if Purchased Digital Content becomes unavailable for further download or streaming.
What this means is that users who have "bought" the film on Amazon in digital format cannot play it currently. If they want to watch it, they have to watch it on Disney's TV channel -- along with all the ads and fixed schedule -- that comes along with that experience.
Some may be able to play it if they have downloaded it previously to their devices, but that needs to be confirmed first.
It is not clear why only some movies have been pulled by Disney from Amazon's service for the time being. What is clear is that Disney's decision is going to irritate many legit customers who have bought those movies on Amazon.
Disney's strategy is short-sighted at best. Some customers may decide to watch the show or movie on TV instead, even if they are disgruntled by that. Others may turn to the dark side of the Internet to gain access to the contents.
It is near certain that some will stop buying Disney movies in digital format as a consequence of this.
For me, it is just another confirmation that it is not worth buying digital contents as you give up control over when and how you can access those contents. (via Torentfreak)