For consumers, this should all serve as a cautionary tale. Sure, right now, it’s only one studio’s movies in Germany and Austria – but other licensing deals are going to expire and more movies will be removed from libraries. It does not stop here and, more importantly, this is not limited to PlayStation. Let us not forget that Apple can and has removed purchases from its libraries as well. Heck, this problem is not even reserved to just movies and TV, it can extend to any form of digital media out there.
Music streaming services are just as vulnerable to this sort of thing. Artists can pull music from services at any time and, more importantly, those services only exist for as long as the company exists. If Spotify ever were to go under, say goodbye to all of your playlists. This is a wider digital media problem. Movies, TV, books, music – all of it is vulnerable. So, first and foremost, understand that making a purchase in the digital realm is not the same as doing so in the physical realm. It’s a glorified long-term rental that can be taken away at a moment’s notice. Period.
Granted, not everyone wants to bury themselves in a tomb of CDs, comic books, and Blu-rays like I’m bound to do, but this does firm up the continued importance of physical media in the modern age. Sure, digital is convenient and not using it at all would be silly. But if something is extremely important to you, be it a movie or any other form of media, maybe consider not only having a digital copy, as that is not remotely permanent.