Is it just me, or is the whole point of buying seasonal videos (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yule, etc) to watch them during that season?
In a recent story on TorrentFreak (originally reported on BoingBoing) which I unfortunately missed during the holiday season, it was reported that Disney temporarily pulled several Christmas-themed videos from the Amazon Instant Video service during the holiday season. The reason? So the videos would be exclusively available on Disney’s cable TV channels.
From the article, quoting a customer only identified as Bill:
“Amazon has explained to me 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,” Bill notes.
“It’ll be available in July though!” he adds.
I think Disney has hit a new low here and has unintentionally brought a whole new meaning to the term “Mickey Mouse operation.” It defies pretty much any type of logic to sell a video intended for viewing during the holiday season, and then make it unavailable during said holiday season. In essence, it’s “thank you for your money, now subscribe to the Disney Channel which will require even more money.”
Disney needs to apologize profusely for this, if they have not already done so. Should Disney fail to do so, I can count at least one Star Wars fan who will not give Disney one red cent to watch the new Star Wars films. (I do plan to watch them; it’s a question of whether or not Disney gets any money from me when I do. How I watch some movies without paying for them is left as an exercise to the reader.)
Amazon has disappointed me as well. I would rather have seen Amazon not budge and tell Disney where to stick their “we can revoke access at any time” clause in the contract. Maybe that means that Disney’s holiday-themed videos wouldn’t be available anywhere (I am assuming Netflix didn’t have them). And maybe that’s a good thing, as it is paramount to giving Disney the figurative shotgun and shells to figuratively blast themselves in the foot.
Moral of the story: if you want to be sure it’s there when you’re ready to watch, don’t trust the cloud. Get a physical disc or DRM-free download.