The fine line between stupid and… and clever
In news spotted by GamesIndustry.biz, PlayStation will be removing certain purchased content from certain user accounts next month, citing “evolving licensing agreements with content providers.”
The content in question belongs to movie publisher Studio Canal, whose titles will be removed from the German and Austrian versions of PSN on August 31. Not only will this render some 100 films unavailable for purchase, but users who have previously purchased the affected content will also be unable to access the films once this date passes. You can check out the full list of affected films here — remember, this (currently) only affects German and Austrian PlayStation users.
The Studio Canal situation is an inevitable part of PlayStation’s shuttering of PSN’s movie rental/purchase market. While the discontinuation of film purchases came into effect in the spring of 2021, the continuing “rolling over” of licenses suggests that Sony will be forced to come to terms of closure with each and every studio that has offered its film and TV properties for purchase. Clearly the agreement between PlayStation and Studio Canal has come to an end.
Of course, there are a lot of specificities here. We are, for now, only talking about purchased content involving one particular studio in two particular territories. But the prevailing concern is obviously focused more on the fact that publishers of any digital content — music, film, gaming, TV — have the essential right to remove and/or withhold access to any and all paid content at the drop of a hat. This may not be the last time such a story crops up in our headlines.