Warning for people with digital-movie collections purchased via YouTube, VUDU, iTunes, and/or Amazon's Prime Video

Note to moderators: If this thread is more appropriate for the General Discussion sub-forum, move it there.

As the gentleman in this YouTube video points out, you actually don’t own the digital movies in question. When you purchase a movie via VUDU, you are actually purchasing a license to view that movie. Access can be taken away at any time. Yes, physical media has its drawbacks (it’s generally not as convenient as digital media, for one), but…

So, here is an interesting slant on things…

A case can be made for me sharing music.

I was a disc jockey for many years. This was the time of vinyl records (45’s and 33 1/3’s). Record producers and artists gave us their records and albums with the understanding that we would play and promote them to as many people as possible. We never signed a contract and although the records had a copyright notice on them, that was all.

So does that mean that I can share that music with the world? Granted, they are not the highest quality compared to todays quality…

You can give away your copy. That’s it. The copyright owner can sue you for doing any of the things listed in 17 U.S.C. 106, such as making copies, publicly performing the music, or making derivative works. You might argue that you have permission to play them as a DJ, but the farther you stray from that use, the less likely you would win. You probably would need to pay to do an internet or radio show nowadays.

I do admit to buying digital videos myself. In fact, I just bought a digital video of the 1964 movie Lady in a Cage last night. To be honest, if I’m just interested in seeing, like, one or two episodes of a certain TV series, I generally would rather purchase such episodes digitally than buy an entire DVD set containing a whole bunch of episodes from that series, especially if such a DVD set costs a considerable amount of money. However, this 2018 video from Rich of ReviewTechUSA brings up a big downside of digital distribution.

Whether a movie is digital or analog makes little difference. The film, tape or digital file is simply a container to store and allow the licensee a way to consume the contents of that container. The contents are intellectual property and subject to copyright(s) and distribution restrictions.

If you don’t have physical possession of that container you risk losing access to it’s contents.

A case could also be made for the owners of the records you received. They could say they had a verbal contract with you to promote their music. And since you are no longer in a disc jockey, and no longer able to promote their music, they could demand you return their records.

That’s a losing case. Even more than Lavarock’s hypothetical distribution.

If I was a lawyer and you paid me enough, I’d pitch it!.. :nerd_face:

You’d have to pay me a lot to risk sanctions by the court for bringing a frivolous claim.

Not if it was these 10 records: :face_with_monocle: