By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, I read your post on Netflix giving away 10 free rentals to the DVD subscribers. Do we get to keep the discs? It seems like we would because Netflix is closing the DVD business, right? And what are they going to do with all those discs when they end the business?! — John, Phoenix.
John, as you know, Netflix announced last April that it will discontinue its DVD/Blu-ray mail rental business after 25 years. The last disc to ship will be September 29, the company says. But Collider reports that Netflix has one big surprise left before it closes shop for the disc biz. The company has sent an e-mail to disc subscribers offering up to 10 free disc rentals if they opt in before August 29. The subscribers have to click on a link in the email to opt in for the 10 extras.
I have received a few e-mails from readers asking if they can keep the discs. But a Netflix spokesperson tells NPR that you have to return the discs by October 27 so they are not free. They are rentals just like any other. In fact, legal experts tell the public radio service that Netflix couldn’t give away the discs even if they wanted to. The company has the rights to rent the discs, but not provide them for free. “The filmmakers and property rights owners give Netflix a license, and then they can sub-license it to their subscribers,” attorney Lindsay Spiller told NPR. “But they can’t give anybody ownership. They don’t have it themselves.”
Netflix has not said what they will do with its disc inventory after the DVD rental biz closes on September 29. The Netflix spokesperson told NPR that it will reveal those plans later. But it sounds like there will not be one big giveaway.
Update: Netflix announced late Monday that it will allow subscribers to keep the discs as long as they want. “We are not charging for any unreturned discs after 9/29. Please enjoy your final shipments for as long as you like!,” the company said on X.
John, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann