The movie industry gets all in lather over people downloading copyrighted works, but then behaves in way that just begs people to turn to piracy. This week Disney, in a move away from the tried and tested idea that if you offer convenient (and reasonably priced) legal options then most people will prefer them to illegal options, has removed access to several of its top Christmas videos from the US Amazon website.
Even worse, customers who had previously bought videos through Amazon have seen their digital purchases disappear from their accounts! One customer complained on Sunday that ‘[Last] December I bought some favorite Christmas specials for my kids with the idea they could watch them every year. Went tonight to watch one (‘Disney Prep and Landing 2’ if you’re curious) and it was gone from our library and couldn’t be found on the site at all.’
When he contacted Amazon about this he was told that ‘Disney can pull their content at any time,’ and ‘at this time they’ve pulled that show for exclusivity on their own channel.’ In other words, Amazon sold me a Christmas special my kids can’t watch during the run up to Christmas. It’ll be available in July though!’
Amazon has denied this, claiming that the whole incident is just a mistake, ‘a temporary issue with some of our catalog data’ which is now fixed; ‘customers should never lose access to their Amazon Instant Video purchases.’
Be that as it may, although Prep and Landing 2 is now available again from Amazon following the PR disaster caused by its removal, a number of high-profile Disney films are still not, including The Muppet Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Lady and the Tramp, and various Disney TV shows.
So Ho Ho Ho!
Although only tangentially related to VPN, the whole affair clearly demonstrates copyright holder’s high-handed arrogance (and reach), while at the same time showing their utter lack of understanding of market forces. If fans cannot readily obtain their favorite Disney movies through legitimate means then it only stands to reason that they will turn to their favorite BitTorrent indexing site instead.
While we can of course not condone such activity, it would be remiss of us not to point out that VPN gives you a very high level of privacy on the internet, and if you chose a provider who permits P2P downloading then you need never worry about DMCA notices and the like again…