Lawsuit Confirms that Customers Don’t “Own” Movies Purchased on Amazon Prime
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Gone are the days of walking into a video store and renting or purchasing the hard copy of a DVD or VHS. For the most part, movies are now being purchased as digital copies from online retailers/streaming services like Amazon Prime. However, without a tangible DVD copy to point to as proof of ownership, how do viewers know whether or not they actually own the movies they purchased? This question seems to be at least partially answered by a recent lawsuit against Amazon Prime.
A California class action complaint brought this question to light.
Amazon moved to dismiss the lawsuit.
Additionally, they claim that Caudel has not suffered any harm in her actual complaint; in fact, she has continued to purchase videos from Prime since and none of the titles ever purchased by the plaintiff have become unavailable. Amazon’s legal team points out that, as nice as it would be to provide ownership of a digital copy to their customers, due to the licensing agreements the company itself is bound to, doing so is not possible.
As simple as this issue seems, with so much media turning to digital-only sales, it seems likely this will not be the last lawsuit of its kind.
The success of this and similar future lawsuits remains to be seen, but it does bring up the idea that perhaps we shouldn’t forsake all hard copy media right away. While the days of Blockbuster Video might be over, DVDs continue to exist and do not carry any significant threat of sudden unavailability. While streaming services have done and will likely continue to do as they please for the most part, the days of tangible media ownership are only as over as we let them be.