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.