October 24, 2013
Update #2; Oct. 24, 12:24 p.m. PDT We heard back from Disney about that issue. According to a spokesperson, "The Lion King" is just one of the movie titles currently unavailable for streaming. By contrast, "Remember the Titans" will become available tomorrow, Oct. 25. The spokesperson also noted that they don't pull content that has already been purchased in the iTunes Store -- even if that content is no longer available for new purchases. Disney was not aware of this issue until seeing the original 9to5Mac report, and our followup. Since that time, they are working with Apple to resolve whatever issues do exist, to ensure that purchased content is once again available for streaming and download purposes. If we hear anything else on this issue, we will be updating this post again. Update: Some of our readers have wondered how previously purchased content could be pulled, in the event that you wish to download it again. In Apple's iTunes Store - Terms and Conditions is the following key paragraph:
As an accommodation to you, subsequent to acquiring iTunes Auto-Delivery Content, purchased (i.e. not rented) movies iTunes Products and TV show iTunes Products (each, “iTunes Eligible Content”), you may download certain of such previously-purchased iTunes Eligible Content onto any Associated Device. Some iTunes Eligible Content that you previously purchased may not be available for subsequent download at any given time, and Apple shall have no liability to you in such event. As you may not be able to subsequently download certain previously-purchased iTunes Eligible Content, once you download an item of iTunes Eligible Content, it is your responsibility not to lose, destroy, or damage it, and you may want to back it up.This definitely absolves Apple of any responsibility. However, I don't recall ever seeing something like this happen in practice. Post, as original published: Some Disney and Pixar movies have been pulled from the iTunes Store, including “The Lion King,”“Beauty and the Beast,” and “Remember The Titans.” Some folks who had previously purchased these titles are also reporting they are no longer available for download in iTunes under “Purchased Items.” Initially reported as a glitch by 9to5Mac, this issue could be anything but. As reader Kevin Shain rightly notes, Amazon has also also pulled the “The Lion King” from the company’s Instant Video service. A search for the digital version of "The Lion King” via amazon.com, brings up this message: “Due to our licensing agreements this video is currently not available for purchase or rental.” The same message greets those searching for "Beauty and the Beast" in digital format. We’re still trying to get to the bottom of this, and will let you know what we find. While there is nothing extraordinary about movies being pulled from sale, especially those from Disney, it is interesting that previously purchased copies are also no longer available. If you can no longer play or download previously purchased content in iTunes, let us know. See also: Mickey Video 2.0 Features New Custom Player, iCloud Sync And Other Enhancements, Disney's Story App Gains New Features And Enhancements Through First Major Update, and New Disney Animated App For iPad Offers The Complete Story On All 53 Classic Films.