Amazon to Prime Video Buyers … You Don’t Really Own That

Remember when Amazon said you don’t own the ebooks you purchased for your Kindle? Well, that goes for those Amazon Prime videos you may have purchased, too. 

“In 2020, most of us buy more digital content than physical, whether it’s music, games, movies, or even TV,” writes Eric Frederiksen in Game Spot. “Despite how much is available on streaming subscriptions, lots of very new and very old content requires an individual purchase. When you buy a Blu-ray, you can come home and put it on your shelf or hide it under your mattress. What about those digital purchases? Amazon says you don’t actually own that thing you just bought from them, according to a motion filed in a California lawsuit.”

It comes down to the company’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) terms, which has become a “buyer beware” situation no matter the company, Frederiksen explains.

Amazon Prime Video’s terms of service “expressly state that purchasers obtain only a limited license to view video content and that purchased content may become unavailable due to provider license restriction or other reasons,” he writes. 

They are no different from many other companies that sell access to digital content, including Microsoft, which shut down their e-book platform in 2019, taking everyone’s digital content with them.

“If you dive into the Terms of Use on any digital content marketplace, you’ll find similar language; purchasing digital content is a buyer-beware situation across the board no matter whose marketplace you’re using,” Frederiksen continues.

Amazon currently has at least one lawsuit in play against them, claiming they are too secretive about their ability to revoke access to purchased digital content. Yet they do seem to be adequately covered in the fine print. We shall see. 

In the meantime, be warned. If you really want to keep a copy of that movie you just bought, buy the Blueray or DVD.