Think You Own That Online Video Game You Bought? Think Again

When you buy a Blu-ray or DVD movie or video game, they’re basically yours to keep forever. If, however, you purchase the same movie on a streaming service or download a game from a website, you’re basically putting yourself at their mercy. That’s because the digital purchase grants you a “temporary” license to that media that can be revoked at any time. This information is likely highlighted in the media provider’s terms of service, which almost no one ever reads. Nearly every piece of media is its own can of worms when it comes to licensing, copyright and intellectual property. Digital storefronts rely on physical server space to store all their data, so if the company goes out of business or chooses to migrate its servers, old servers can simply be switched off and you can no longer watch that movie or play that game you downloaded. So, what recourse do you have when media licenses are revoked? Pretty much none, given the fact that you were warned in the terms of service that you likely never read. The best thing to do is purchase movies in Blu-ray or DVD form and buy video games that are yours to keep. That doesn’t mean you can't enjoy streaming movies or playing online games; just remember that they’re not yours to keep.