I wonder how it works if a partner decides to leave. From what I understand, when Microsoft left the Disney program, Disney movies shared to your Microsoft account stuck around and Disney movies shared from your Microsoft were still available on the rest.
That being said, this launch has been nice for letting my digital copies work with more apps, and it liberated a few titles I had stuck back in Google land.
And yes, movies stay on both sides of a disconnection.
Unlike Steam code resellers these aren't primarily sourced from credit card fraud. Instead, collectors purchase Blu-rays for their own use and then resell the digital license, recouping some of their costs. There are also Redbox operators and the like reselling those codes.
Anyway, long story short, you can generally purchase an Ultraviolet HD code for a movie you want to watch for approximately the same price as renting it, and you get to keep it forever. I can't vouch for any of these sites personally but there are various communities on Reddit and elsewhere that offer that function.
And now with Movies Anywhere, if you link to both Vudu and iTunes, and it's one of the participating studios, you get a license for the 4k HDR movie too. Not too shabby.
Though arguably, they can't stop you from legally reselling your disc, and the code can't be transferred away from the initially redeemed account. And since they can't track the code prior to redemption, they can't do much to stop you from selling a slip of paper or the letters contained on it.
Another questionable practice if you haven't heard, is using Vudu's Mobile Disc 2 Digital (MD2D) service via a UPC code generator. Basically, it's intended for you to scan the barcode of movies you own. It location locks to your home address, but it's easily circumvented with a list of UPCs online. This lets you buy any Ultraviolet-supported movies for $2 a pop (and they will transition to Movies Anywhere correctly), but the assumption when they "sold" them to you is that you already owned them.
Personally I avoid both techniques because I feel heavy abuse of these unintended methods will lead to a crackdown/worse experience for everyone else.
Reselling digital codes may be contrary to their terms of service, but is legal under first sale doctrine. But that's not what puts it on the side of the angels for me-- the key point there is that every digital code came from an actual physical sale.
As for "why not just pirate", I would guess one time purchases that cheap may actually save you money on storage, backup, everything's in the cloud, etc. And of course, most pirates have excuses/justifications for their behavior: I've regularly heard "at least they get something, people would pirate it otherwise" used in reference to it.
Everybody thought iTunes Match would be shutdown really quickly too because it was so easily exploitable. That was the service where you could pay $25 and iTunes would essentially replace all your Kazaa/Napster-pirated music with real iTunes licenses. But those fears were never realized, it was not widely exploited and is still available today years later.
My feeling is that if you have to pay and the only actual benefit is a legal license, pirates won't do it. Period. Money involved, and they stay away.
The DMA/MA disconnect/reconnect method can actually be used to share movies permanently too, since each title remains on both sides when you disconnect, and a connection shares all your titles across both ways. Say you connect Vudu to MA today, and six months later, you can disconnect them, and use your MA account to share with another Vudu account, and your Vudu account to share with another MA account. Six months after that, each of those can split off and share with others... Add the fact that there's four retailers and this is extremely exponentially gameable. My hope/assumption is that Disney bothered to develop some sort of way to look out for abuse, but they might just be assuming it won't be commonly exploited.
The PS4 has Amazon Video, Netflix, and its own movie store.
Chromecast for everything else.
But did you notice yet that iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and the Playstation Store all stream from the exact same catalogue at the exact same prices. I mean sure, they are all attempting their exclusive content, but when you are looking for a blockbuster movie or old show its all the same selection and prices.
But you see, that's the problem, I shouldn't be making device purchases based on who I've bought movies from.
Not always. Google has a smaller selection of 90s Nickelodeon shows than Apple (Kenan & Kel, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, etc). It's not a huge issue, but there are discrepancies between the catalogs.
"I authorize Movies Anywhere to share personal information regarding my Movies Anywhere account, together with my video titles, descriptions, and other video activity information (collectively "Video Data") with:
Each Digital Retailer to which I connect my Movies Anywhere account and its service providers;
Participating Studios and their affiliates and service providers; and
Service Providers of Movies Anywhere."
Yeah, not gonna happen.
I think it makes sense that retailers would want to sync your "video activity information" and that studios (who bear the cost of running MA, unlike UV, which retailers ate) would want to see usage activity and be able to correlate that with how well their films are marketable long-term.
Having a whole network of companies know what you watch, when, the rating (if they have ratings), etc, is fairly intrusive in my view, but we all have our own threshold.
When you give up control of your data, act accordingly. Given the scope of the disclosure, it is probably best to assume that any data you give this service will eventually be stolen (perhaps made public), resold (if possible, if not, watch for retroactive assignment of rights), requested by law, etc.. Basically, there's a not-insignificant probability that at some point, anyone who is interested will be able to see your activity or some portion of it.
That said, it's probably best to steer clear if privacy is a concern.
This is a very pro-consumer move.
At this point, I'm going to say "Fuck it." I've never pirated. (Well, there was that time in the 90's when I used, as an experiment, Napster, to download a French music album I couldn't even buy in the States, at that time. Oh, and, by the way, it's on Spotify, now... And I also now a bought and paid for physical copy, courtesy of a visit to Montreal or Germany (I forget which), not too long after my Napster experience.)
Anyway... fuck it. I'm willing to pay, but it's going from hassle to outright security risk. I'll taking pirating over this.
Netflix is brain-dead easy to use. I don't always know what I want to watch so I browse and can watch anything. Movies Anywhere sounds like more work than it's worth.
(not to mention physical media is usually cheaper, you can loan them, sell them, servers are never down for maintenance, etc.)
You don't have to rip the disk in order to use it in different devices, especially devices that can't physically take the physical media.
Good luck passing an actual bluray on your tablet using physical media etc. Possible to do, technically, but a total faff.
But this way, load the code into the locker and it "just works". And you still have your physical disk. Win win.
"Unable to register. Please try again or contact Movies Anywhere Customer Service."
Turns out after digging through the site:
"Eligibility. Only legal residents of the United States, all U.S. territories, and the U.S. associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau (collectively, the "Territory") are eligible to register for a Movies Anywhere account, provided that the Movies Anywhere Service is subject to availability of Digital Retailers and Movies Anywhere Content in the Territory."
Another incredibly useless waste of time, just like Youtube Red.
I also thought that the app was going to ask Me for my itunes password because in 13 years of being an iTunes user, I’ve never known Apple to let you use your iTunes credentials to authenticate with a third party platform.
Buying a digital movie is still a no go for me because the rare movie I want I could find cheaper physically. But the main complaint I had against buying a movie digitally - being tied to one service is gone as long as the movie is available on Movies Anywhere.
Even if this service does go kaput, I still have access to the movies from Apple, Amazon, and Google.
How will that work?
Obviously more studios need to sign-on, and then we need to add TV shows into the mix at all. (HBO, for example)
Studios that are signed on should be committed to putting their entire library on it.
For example: despite Disney having signed on, Disney Channel movies like "Halloweentown" are not part of Movies Anywhere.
As a parent, the fact that children's movies aren't part of these lockers (like Elena of Avalor, like Disney Channel original movies, etc.) is the bane of my existence.
Seriously, this sounds great.
1) All of your watch history on all services are shared with the other services and the studios.
2) This gives studios and providers an argument against loosening DRM/lock in.
3) This locks out new services unless the group lets them join.
After signing up and looking at preferences, I see they do allow you to opt-out of sharing data with the studios and their "service providers".
Not available outside USA.