Aside from being able to stream movies digitally, companies have also allowed users to purchase digital copies of movies, but therein lies an interesting legal question – do these digital downloads mean that you own them? It’s like if you were to buy a physical copy of a movie on DVD or Blu-ray, you would own that particular copy (to a certain extent).

However, according to Amazon’s argument, it seems that movies purchased through its Prime Video platform are actually not owned by the customer. This stems from a lawsuit in which a certain Amanda Caudel sued Amazon for what she alleges is unfair competition and false advertising, where she also claims that Amazon “secretly reserves the right” to end consumers’ access to content purchased through its Prime Video service.

Amazon, on the other hand, argued that movies purchased through Prime Video are actually not owned by the customer, and that they are essentially renting the movies for an indefinite period of time, at least until it is removed for whatever reasons, such as license restrictions.

According to Amazon attorney David Biderman, “The most relevant agreement here — the Prime Video Terms of Use — is presented to consumers every time they buy digital content on Amazon Prime Video. These Terms of Use 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.”

It is an interesting age we live in where subscription services are on the rise, where in some cases, you might save a lot of money as you no longer have to purchase content piecemeal, but at the same time, you’ll have to deal with the fact that from time to time, such content may be removed.

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