Disney Updates Terms of Use, Including Digital Movie Codes

With more than 90 million over-the-top video subscribers across Disney+, Hulu+ and ESPN+, Disney has begun informing customers about updates to “Disney Terms of Use” in the United States and Canada.

The media giant said the updates, which include Disney, ESPN, ABC, Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm (Star Wars), ABC News, FX and other brands, are intended to make the “Terms of Use” easier to understand, including rephrasing and reorganizing some of the legalese and its applications to Disney products and services made available through third-parties.

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In particular Disney cited the use of digital codes included in branded DVD, Blu-ray Disc and Blu-ray 4K UHD releases as proprietary only to the customer of the original packaged media purchase.

Disney said the codes could not be sold separately and must be redeemed only by an individual who obtains the code in the original disc package that contains the code, or by a family member of that individual.

“Digital codes are not authorized for redemption if sold separately,” Disney said in the updated terms of use. “You may use digital movie codes to obtain licensed access to digital movies only as specifically authorized under this agreement and the terms and conditions of the participating provider of digital content through which you access or download the digital movie.”

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Disney said movie codes sold, distributed, purchased, or transferred inconsistent with this agreement would be invalidated.

In 2019, Disney and Redbox reached a settlement in a two-year-old lawsuit in which the kiosk vendor agreed not to separately sell digital download codes for movies included with combo disc packs.

Redbox, which doesn’t have a distribution deal with Disney, had been removing the codes from packaged-media purchases and selling them separately — claiming the move was protected under the “first sale doctrine” that allows legal consumers of a disc to sell or dispose of the intellectual property on their own.

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Disney in 2017 filed litigation for breach of contract and other charges. Redbox countersued, accusing Disney of anticompetitive conduct to protect its pending streaming service, Disney+.

In the updated terms, Disney said anyone not willing to agree to movie code conditions could return the disc/code package for a refund subject to conditions provided in this link.

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