How The Walt Disney Company (DIS) Just Ruined Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Amazon.com, Inc (AMZN)’s Week

Disney, Apple, Amazon: Just imagine your vast children’s video library in your house. You have DVDs of virtually every Disney movie and Disney Channel show ever made, and your child wants to watch the video of “The Lady and the Tramp” that he just watched the previous night. But then imagine when the child  looks at where that movie was on the shelf, and it’s not there.

In fact, imagine  if, all of a sudden, all of your movies produced by The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) or Pixar Studios were no longer in your house. One night they are there for you to access anytime you want; the next day they are all gone and you can no longer watch them, even though you bought them.

That’s what just happened to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) online users. As if Apple didn’t have enough on its plate.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 8.33.15 PM

 

Note: Companies don’t release sad product images, so we had to stick with this one. Just imagine this couple is on the verge of tears, and it will make sense with the story.

Anyway, here’s why the Disney digital cupboard is now bare.

If you are a user of the iTunes Store, iTunes in the Cloud by Apple or Amazon Prime, you may have very well noticed that your digital shelf of Disney movies is suddenly bare. You see, it was reported recently by a 9 to 5 Mac reader this week that Disney and Pixar Studios productions have disappeared from the iTunes store, and even from those libraries on iTunes in the Cloud or Amazon Prime.

In other words, not only have users now been prohibited from purchasing these movies from the digital marketplaces, but even those copies which were actually purchased by users and stored in the cloud are no longer available to be used. Users were given no advanced notice about this, however.

So what’s up?

While there is no official admission from anyone at this point, it appears that The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) pulled its productions from the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes Store and the Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) Prime Instant Video services due to some licensing issue.

Things seemed to be just a glitch in the iTunes Store at first based on the report of the aforementioned 9 to 5 Mac reader, but another source from the website AppAdvice reported that the Amazon Prime library also had the Disney movies missing from its library. The interesting thing was that the deletion applied to movies that were stored in the cloud, copies which were already purchased by users and stored into their personal libraries.

While the Amazon Prime website mentions specifically that these movies were no longer accessible due to licensing agreements, the iTunes Store does not mention it. However, it is reported that in the Terms and Conditions of iTunes, there is a mention of the possiblity of some titles being pulled from the library.

What to do?

The latest update to this story seems to indicate that this Disney “blackout” may be temporary, at least in one way. While no one is talking about the licensing agreements being restored or re-negotiated, Disney has said it plans to work with Apple to resolve the issues so that those users who purchased The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) movies on iTunes will get their access restored.

But again, there are no details about the timetable for that resolution, and there are no indications that the full licensing agreement will be worked out, whether for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes or for Amazon Prime.

We’ll hope to keep you updated.


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