Warner Brothers Extends Digital Copy Expiration Dates to 2017

August 18, 2012

Warner Brothers has made a big change to many of its Digital Copies bundled with select Blu-rays and DVDs. In particular, Warner Brothers (WB) has extended the expiration date of its Digital Copies out till May 17th, 2017. The change also covers movies that had previously expired. From what I’ve seen, before this change, many of WB’s Digital Copies expired usually a year after the initial release of the Blu-ray or DVD (the Target Harry Potter Blu-rays originally had a shorter window). Apparently, the expiration was put in place to help drive the initial sales of movies on DVD and Blu-ray. However, for consumers it could sometimes create a frustrating experience. Warner Brothers first stafted to show some flexibility with expiration dates when they pushed out the date of the Target edition Harry Potter Blu-rays by a few extra months.

Earlier this year, Digital Copies became more attractive when movies authorized via iTunes also became available to stream or download from Apple’s iCloud to any of your authorized Macs or iOS devices including Apple TV. Before this upgrade, Digital Copies had to be downloaded to your computer’s hard drive first and then synced to portable devices. Once Tech of the Hub discoverd this new functionality, I went through my Blu-ray collection and started entering all the Digital Copy codes I could find. Some movies did not appear in iCloud due to licensing restrictions. Most of the restrictions have been cleared up with the studios. However there are still a few notable hold-outs including X-Men: First Class. While currently limited to SD video quality, the iCloud versions sometimes support Dolby Digital surround sound.

For me, it was frustrating to find that my Digital Copies of both Watchmen and Terminator Salvation had expired. I wrote to Warner Brothers customer support a few months ago. I was politely told that there was nothing they could do at the moment. However, they also hinted that the expiration dates might change down the road. I have to give their support team kudos as they sent a follow-up email a few days ago informing me of the change in expiration dates. The change in expiration date has also been made on WB’s Digital Copy support site (link is to the updated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Blu-ray) (photos of Watchmen and Terminator Salvation below). My random survey of movies found most titles getting their expiration date bumped out to 2017. The only exception I found was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I which had a 2013 expiration date. When I entered my authorization code into iTunes it would still not work, WB support promptly issued new ones for both movies. Now, I’ll be able to get my dose of Rorschach no matter where I am.

I’m curious to know if readers can get their expired WB codes to work or if they have to write to support. Feel free to share in the comment section.

Watchmen Digital Copy Insert

Watchmen's original Digital Copy insert stated a July 2010 expiration date

Watchmen Support Site WB

WB's support site now shows a 2017 expiration date


Terminator: Salvation Digital Copy insert

Terminator: Salvation expired in December 2010

Terminator Salvation New Expiration date

Is this the work of SkyNet?


Watchmen Blu-rayTerminator Salvation

Tags: Apple TV, Digital Copy, Harry Potter, iTunes, Terminator, Warner Brothers, Watchmen, X-Men

11 Responses to Warner Brothers Extends Digital Copy Expiration Dates to 2017

  1. Jeremy on August 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Sweet! I have the Watchmen & TS blu rays, I will definitely check when I get home because I would love to have those on my ipad for my upcoming trip. Thanks for the tip

  2. ernest leitch on August 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    I just checked my Bluray copy of the Watchmen and it didn’t work. I’ll try contacting the support team.

  3. Jeremy on August 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    My copy of Watchmen doesn’t have a digital copy (I feel jipped) and my TS digital copy code didn’t work so looks like I need to contact the support team. Turns out I have a lot of dvds and blu rays with digital copies that I have not redeemed and now they have expired. sucks for me!

  4. Kevan on August 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Following WBs digital copy support instructions, the discs (several) keep launching an older version of iTunes, while trying to launch Safari (for Apple confirmations I assume) which isn’t installed. Then prompting me with an error stating it requires iTunes version 7.7 or later?!! WTF? I’m on Lion, with a fresh install of iTunes 10.6…..

    WB may have extended the dates, but they are making redeeming them without “DIRECT SUPPORT” impossible.

  5. Watchman on August 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Today, WB contacted me regarding my query for help a year and a half ago and told me that my code will work again, and if I can’t find my old code, they say that contacting them will result in a replacement code.

    While taking a year and half to follow-up on my request for help is the very definition of ridiculous, I am glad they decided to extend the expiration dates. Thank you, Warner Brothers. After all, my digital download code was *already* expired when it arrived as included in my purchased new copy of Watchmen Ultimate Collector’s Edition from an online retailer.

  6. Stephen on September 2, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Good news that WB has extended digital codes until 2017, bad news is that for Australian customers the website doesn’t recognise Watchmen – anybody got any bright ideas of how I can get a little justice?

  7. Od C. on January 20, 2013 at 12:34 am

    Not at all!! I have an expired digital copy of Watchmen Director’s Cut when I go to redeem there’s prompt that says “The code entered is invalid” in red. I want my digital copy of Watchmen, I missed my opportunity to download it first time. When I heard the WB was extending their digital copies until to 2017, I was phsyched but when I wasn’t successful. I’m opened any suggestion!

    • Gabe Gagliano on January 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Best bet is to contact Warner Brothers Digital copy support.

  8. Daniel on August 2, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Hey, just wanted to thank you for this post, which I found through a Google search. I just bought the DVD myself and as expected the included code was not valid. Just contacted support as per your recommendation, and we’ll see what happens.

    Thanks again,

    • Daniel on August 2, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Woah, they responded to me within half an hour of my ticket submission. They gave me a new code that works.

      I’m actually quite impressed with this level of service. I was expecting it to take a week at least.

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