Sony stopped flogging films and television shows through the PS Store a little while back, but it promised to honour existing purchases. However, as of 31st August in Germany and Austria, it will begin the process of removing content from French film production and distribution company Studio Canal, meaning even if you paid for them you’ll no longer be able to access them.
A legal notice blames the removal on “evolving licensing agreements with content providers” and points out that “you’ll no longer be able to view your previously purchased Studio Canal content and it will be removed from your video library”. A list of films affected by the change includes the likes of John Wick and Paddington. There’s no mention of a refund or rebate.
It’s also unclear, as of now, whether this will apply to customers outside of Germany and Austria, but we’ll contact the company and try and get clarification. Either way, it’s a reminder that in an all-digital future, there’s always the possibility of your purchases being taken away – regardless of what content providers promise or say.
[source playstation.com, via gamesindustry.biz]
Obligatory ‘this is why I purchase physical media’ comment. 😄
And people say you should buy digital. No wonder most of the PS5s sold have a disc drive...
Considering how litigious Germany and Austria are, this won't go down well there at all.
I understand Sony can no longer allow customers to stream/download the affected films due to the changing licensing agreements, but that said the absolute bare minimum is a refund for the people who have actually purchased these films themselves.
This one isn't going away anytime soon.
@Th3solution Indeed! To be fair, stuff like this really doesn't help, and even if it takes decades — there will come a time when digital stuff goes away.
I guess people just need to determine whether they care about that or not.
Paddington is the best!
This is why I like subscriptions. Being honest, how much do people really replay games; especially these days when there are so many we don’t have time for them all. Physical and Digital won’t last forever so it’s a losing battle anyway.
I feel likes Movies are different as they are shorter and you can passively rewatch them so yea good to have access to them. Shame this stuff happens.
Absolutely rubbish, should be laws protecting digital purchases. Hope it's not uk as I've bought a few films on ps store
@nessisonett Appreciate the hard stare gif. Spot on.
If they don't refund these people, Sony is basically stealing money from them... Shameful.
''Digital media is the future!" Yeah.. I think not.
For starters at least Sony apparently sends people a notification which is something Apple doesn’t do!
This is why I hate the move to digital purchases. I still have Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1 games all these years later that I can fire up and play without any issue. I understand the license thing, but it seems wrong that when something that has been purchased is taken away. For me it’s the principle of the situation. Maybe they should change the option from purchase to lease.
@sanderson72. You are right.i would never buy a digital ps5.even if it was 100$. 😝.yuck. I prefer my ps5 with a physical disc.word up son
@sanderson72 Who says 'buy digital'?
I can only imagine people that don't prioritise picture and sound quality.
At least refund people who will no longer be able to access content. This is shady
@K1LLEGAL games collect player data now, so it's actually known how many people replay games. It's something like 30% will even finish a game and maybe 2% will replay it.
Probably in the absolute minority these days, but tis why I still buy physical bluray/4k blurays. (for movies and games).
Just the other day my 7yr old nephew asked me why I still buy discs and I told him because the likes of Netflix/Disney+ etc can just remove films whenever the license expires. He was shocked they can just disappear.
So much so he asked me to get him the 4K bluray of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 so he can have it forever.
Today I bought Final Fantasy XII for PS4 on disc... It took me 3 years of waiting, but it is mine... even if internet falls, I can play it. ...you see the point...
Studio Canal is an absolute nightmare when it comes to licensing deals. I still can’t find a decent copy of Ran thanks to them.
@Perryg92 not only that but the picture quality (Blu-ray) is miles better than anything you get on the streaming services, even when it’s 4K streaming with fibre broadband.
Streaming is much more convenient but if you value picture quality, physical media is still the best option. And that’s just Blu-ray, 4K is better still.
Blocking digital purchases is shocking but not surprising. Perhaps they’ll be more outrage when it starts happening with videogames too.
This is why I won't go digital with films or games.
Just use a vpn and download the movies they remove for free online. If they steal from you…
Situations like this have made me weary of going digital with my games. To eventually lose access to a title due to licensing, or worse an entire collection due to a service going down would not sit right with me. I have no issue buying some less expensive and indie titles digitally but for full priced titles I pretty much always go physical.
@BritneyfR_ee of course! I have a full on home cinema room (4K projector and Atmos surround) to cater to the superior picture and audio quality of 4K blurays
To me, it's very apparent the difference. But strangely alot of my friends don't notice it.
I fear this may happen to games
Slowly upgrading my fav 1080 Blurays to 4K ultraHD. Yh it can be a little expensive at times upgrading and the 4K player itself but I only purchase my fav 4K movies that I know for a fact I will be watching multiple times when I want and no worries about it leaving. Streaming wise some of these movies are tied to multiple different subs and per month can get very expensive. This is why I cherry pick my fav physical 4K movies. Never seen the point in Netflix cause well over 90% of its content I will never touch and they don't always have the movies I want to watch there and then. Streaming for me might be a thing in the future if 8K doesn't go physical with 8K movies only being available streamed?
Is this even legal?
The only digital movie I own on PS4 is Interstellar. Glad it's not on the chopping block.
I have been on PS Plus & PS Now since 2018. I rarely replay games because there are so many to go through and not much time.
I have replayed maybe 3 games in the past 5 years.
A disturbing development but not entirely without precedent regarding the gaming side of things. Didn't Konami effectively have PT yanked off the psn so if anyone that'd played it but deleted it couldn't redownload it?🤔
Also think Take-two/Rockstar snuck out a patch for ps3 GTA IV which removed several songs from the play list even if you'd owned it on disc after they didn't bother renewing musical licenses?
This sucks butt. At least with gamepass/ps+/netflix/hulu we've known upfront, there would be a rotation of content, etc. But with store fronts xb/ps/amazon/googleplay there was no mention of things being "longterm rentals". I believe refunds should be in order, if not, I can see class action lawsuits and precedents being set.
@Woogy Well, Sony for starters - so they can sell you the same game for a rip-off price as opposed to half that amount on a pressed, packaged & distributed disc!
Digital is cancer, go physical
For movies, I always go physical, so not a big deal for me personally. Blu- rays and 4K not only let you actually own the thing, but they also usually have way better picture and sound quality. Games are a bit different because most of them rely on servers and need to be installed anyway, with the disc being not much more than a 'license', so I alternate on that front depending on price.
@sanderson72 Sony produced more Disc versions than non disc versions. There has not been open market about that to see what would be in real life scenario.
@Perryg92 Same here 😁
I think some people genuinely can’t see it (or don’t care enough to see it), which is just crazy to me. It’s the only explanation I can think of why DVD’s are still on sale.
@Robocod in addition to those, with the upcoming Ubisoft server shutdowns, you won't be able to download or play the DLC for those games on PC. Those DLC on console are luckily safe for now.
This news and hearing Ubisoft doing the same thing with the PS3 games DLC their shutting down in September makes me want to stop buying digital as much as I can going forward.
@get2sammyb But digital is to preserve.
@GoodGame you can be locked out of playing physical games 😂
@LightningLeader having psychical games these days won’t save you either . your ps4/5 can lock you out of accessing the game .
I think this is the first time I've heard of a digital media platform simply remove access from purchased content after sale. There is something very wrong with the licensing arrangements on Sony's movie service if this is possible at all. Maybe that's why they shut it down to begin with, maybe they realized they had a serious licensing problem from the start?
If they remove access....you didn't purchase it.
I'm not sure "buying physical" is the best plan either. We play a lot of games these days. How many mountains of plastic boxes can we realistically warehouse forever? I have literal towers of game boxes going back to the 70's...I switched to digital because after multiple landslides of them falling all over I realized how ridiculous that is. I could have been killed by Knack falling on my head.
There should be no exceptions that once legal tender has been presented for a license, that license is for the lifetime of the owner as long as the distribution mechanism exists. Content should never be able to be pulled from a purchaser because business arrangements expired between the seller and distributor. That shouldn't even be a topic of conversation. If Sony ended all movie streaming and the platform doesn't exist, that's fair game. It's like buying a Betamax library and then they stop making players. But as long as the streaming platform exists, "distribution rights" should never - ever- apply to existing purchased licenses. That should never even be debatably legal.
There should be laws in place that protect users in such matters as this. Sony should have worked it out so content could be retained somehow. For example, I remember years ago when Microsoft decided to get rid of their music store, they gave everyone the opportunity to download unprotected versions (no DRM) of all the music they bought. Sony should be required to do something similar here. Work out a deal or return the funds back to the user for a product they sold and are now revoking access to. Where in the non-digital world where would anybody stand for this?
@sketchturner Give it time. I am sure Sony is mulling completely getting rid of their video store. The store is no longer selling anything. That means it no longer is bringing in money. Yet Sony still has to continue to pay for licenses this obviously means they are losing money now. So, one step at a time. Before you know it Interstellar may be on the chopping block. It is not like it is a Sony/Columbia studio movie.
How does that poem go "first they came for....."
I truly do prefer digital. Maybe I am a sucker for that in the end, but everything has been so less cluttered around the house going away from digital media. This doesn't necessarily scare me away from that mentality, but it is concerning.
Like others have said, there should be laws protecting digital media purchases.
@LightningLeader Lets be honest each has pros and cons. For example, my digital collection is over 1200 movies/tv series. (Not on Sony thank God) It is easily accessible almost anywhere in the world. Plays on a phone, tablet, computer, console, TV without the need of a disc player. I can give access to anybody. It doesn't get misplaced (unless Sony misplaces ), It doesn't get worn out or damaged. If I loan it out (ie give my account info to a friend) I never have to worry about it being returned, damaged or lost. My digital collection has grown so large mainly because I have kids (lots of kids) of various ages. So giving them access to digital, easily accessible visual catalog rather than allowing them to handle discs, possibly damage another player(s) and put discs in the wrong box is an obvious bonus of digital.
Of course, physical has benefits digital doesn't. This very situation being one. No need for the internet (ever) to play a movie. The quality is real 4K or HD not the overly compressed versions that we stream digitally. Larger selection of movies/TV to buy and add to your catalog. Your catalog is in one place. Whereas digital may be spread across different apps/stores. Physical contains the bonus features often not part of digital versions. My physical collection currently stands around 800 discs (many duplicated digitally)
I suspect you will see legislation start to appear that protects the rights of users who buy digital video content from things like this Sony situation happening again and again.
@Th3solution Yeah, I don't buy physical or digital movie media. If it's not streaming, I'm probably not going to see it. You do have to think that any digital media purchases won't live in perpetuity. At some point the service changes or the company goes defunct, or any number of things. So, yeah if you really want to OWN something , physical is probably the way to go but just ask my wife who has a box full of VHS Disney movies with nothing to play them on.
TL;DR NOTHING lasts forever...
@Mauzuri with it just being this one studios movies it sounds like it's them forcing Sony to remove these movies from their servers so I think it should be a joint responsibility between them to pay for refunds
@ah41 yeah, Apple have taken "purchases" out of my library without telling me. Must have been ten years ago that I learned the lesson the hard way.
I would say this is why I buy movies physically, but lately I just prefer streaming thru subscriptions or cheap Amazon rentals.
Not Obligatory "this is why I pirate digital media" comment
Oh not, not my Films AND Movies!
@Robocod No, only the digital and PC copies of GTA IV had music removed — the PS3 and Xbox 360 disc versions still have the full original soundtrack. (Though if somebody installs the 360 disc to an Xbox One, the console downloads & installs a ported version with the new inferior radio stations.)
@YorkshireNed Audible/Amazon has done it to my mother several times as well. Usually it seems to be a case of the company de-listing an audiobook she purchased (so it's shown as 'unavailable') and posting a 'new' version she doesn't own that's identical aside from newer cover art. A few times, though, audiobooks she paid for and listened to simply vanished from her library seemingly without reason.
If your device is connected to the internet, like a PS5 then buying physical won't save the disc from becoming a piece of plastic in the future when software can prevent a game from playing. That is why digital doesn't bother me. None of us are likley to be here forever, so our content doesn't need to be.
Why the hell didn't Sony negotiate a licence agreement which gave them the right to stream those films in perpetuity when they were, you know, advertising those films as available for purchase and viewing in perpetuity...
@MiaowMinx yes, they did that to me once. The audiobook was not available any more but when I searched the store it was still there and I could not spot any difference.
What worries me is that we seem to be heading into losing so much art (music, games, film) if we only release them digitally. It's going to be a repeat of all those lost films and TV shows of the 20th century.
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