Due to an expiring license agreement, the PlayStation Store will remove over 300 shows and movies from customers’ libraries in Germany and Australia. Customers who paid for titles like Django, King of the Hill, and John Wick through the PlayStation Store will completely lose access to such titles on August 31st.
For those who missed it, the PlayStation Store stopped selling movies and TV shows in March of 2021. At that time, it promised that “users can still access movie and TV content they have purchased through PlayStation Store for on-demand playback.” But that was a lie.
As explained by PlayStation Germany (and spotted by Exputer), an expiring license agreement with Canal Studios (one of the world’s largest distributors) is the reason for this change. Sony hasn’t explained why it can’t renew the license with Canal Studios. But judging by how Sony handles the aging PS3 store, it probably thinks that honoring old purchases is a waste of money.
Now, this change will only occur in Germany and Australia. But everyone who bought movies or shows on the PlayStation Store should be worried. Sony has no legal obligation to honor digital purchases. Its digital rights agreement basically states that customers do not own what they buy.
People may try to sue Sony for revoking access to movies, but such lawsuits will probably fail. The court has already set a precedent here—when a customer sued Amazon over digital ownership, the judge dismissed the case. (Though in the Amazon lawsuit, the plaintiff hadn’t actually lost access to anything they’d paid for.)
If you’re sick to your stomach … well, tough luck. Media corporations are transitioning to cloud-based streaming for their movies, shows, music, and games. This will ensure endless profitability, as customers won’t own what they purchase, and content can be locked away at any time.
To those who are reading this in the 2030s, I hope you’re having fun with cloud gaming.