You don't own the movies you buy on Amazon Prime Video

Amazon storefront
(Image credit: Amazon)

When you click "buy" or "purchase" on a video on Amazon Prime, you're not actually coming into ownership of that movie of TV show. Instead, you're merely paying for a limited license for “on-demand viewing over an indefinite period of time", as warned in the very small print on the company's website.

If you didn't know that, then you're not alone. The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that a woman is suing Amazon claims the company "secretly reserves the right" to end consumers' access to streaming content purchased through Amazon Prime Video. She first presented her case on behalf of herself and the citizens of California on April 25, 2016.

Amazon has now moved to dismiss the motion, arguing that they have no grounds to sue because the plaintiff (person who filed the complaint) has not been injured, and pointing out she has purchased 13 titled on Amazon Prime since first filing the complaint. 

The streamer's attorney, David Biderman, wrote in the new motion to remove the complaint: "Plaintiff claims that Defendant Amazon’s Prime Video service, which allows consumers to purchase video content for streaming or download, misleads consumers because sometimes that video content might later become unavailable if a third-party rights’ holder revokes or modifies Amazon’s license.

"The Complaint points vaguely to online commentary about this alleged potential harm but does not identify any Prime Video purchase unavailable to Plaintiff herself. In fact, all of the Prime Video content that Plaintiff has ever purchased remains available."

Amazon also points to the user agreement, which clearly states that "purchasers obtain only a limited license to view video content and that purchased content may become unavailable due to provider license restriction or other reasons."

Even if the complaint is eventually thrown out after Amazon's latest motion, it's a reminder to read the small print when buying digital items. If you're not wanting to buy anything on Amazon but have a Prime account, then be sure to check out the best movies on Amazon Prime right now.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.