Plex to Shut Down Plex Cloud Service on November 30

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Plex today announced on its forums that it is planning to shut down the Plex Cloud service as of November 30, 2018.

Plex introduced the Plex Cloud option back in the fall of 2016, providing Plex users with a way to store their media in the cloud to make it accessible from anywhere without the need for a local server.


Since its launch, Plex Cloud has suffered from issues, which led Plex to stop allowing new Plex Cloud servers in February to address performance, quality, and user experience problems.

According to Plex, it has not been able to solve its Plex Cloud problems in a cost effective manner.

We hold ourselves to a high standard, and unfortunately, after a lot of investigation and thought, we haven't found a solution capable of delivering a truly first class Plex experience to Plex Cloud users at a reasonable cost.

Starting on November 30, 2018, Plex Cloud users will no longer be able to access their Plex Cloud servers. Plex Cloud worked through a connection to services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, so all content will remain available to users through those services. Plex also plans to unlink all third-party cloud storage services from Plex Cloud on November 30.

With the discontinuation of Plex Cloud, Plex media content will be accessible only through local libraries, with the company recommending that people store former cloud content on a NAS. Plex says that the end of Plex Cloud will allow it to focus on improving core functionality and adding new features and content.

Top Rated Comments

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27 months ago
I think they're afraid of getting in trouble for hosting pirated content. Terrarium TV is shutting down too.

Though we do frequently see that companies underestimate just how much people will store when you give them unlimited cloud storage. Crashplan just discontinued their consumer service (to focus on business services). This was because a small number of users (less than 5% from what friends who work there have said) stored numerous terabytes of backups. This made the consumer service financially unviable for them (when you factor in all the other costs like support, infrastructure, bandwidth, and more) when they were charging $99 or less per year for their service. There will always be those that push things and ruin them for the larger majority.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 months ago
When even your own blu-ray rips are considered a DMCA violation I can't blame them.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 months ago

Crashplan just discontinued their consumer service (to focus on business services). This was because a small number of users (less than 5% from what friends who work there have said) stored numerous terabytes of backups. This made the consumer service financially unviable for them (when you factor in all the other costs like support, infrastructure, bandwidth, and more) when they were charging $99 or less per year for their service. There will always be those that push things and ruin them for the larger majority.

At the risk of getting flamed, I had several terabytes of data backed up with Crashplan, but I didn't consider that as "pushing things"; they offered unlimited storage so I paid for the service and used it. I didn't exploit any loopholes or anything like that, it was all above board. It seems like if they couldn't maintain profitability with that policy then they should have charged more for additional storage, you know?

But Crashplan had other issues, too. They had that sluggish Java UI, and for years they kept promising a native Mac client without delivering. I've since moved to Backblaze and don't miss Crashplan at all.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 months ago

Makes sense. Plex clearly knew what their users were going to use the storage for. It was silly of them to think they could get away with allowing users to host pirated content through Amazon cloud storage.

To be clear though, the term "pirated" is a loaded term. I don't consider movies I ripped from DVDs/BRs that I purchased as pirated, I consider them fair-use copies (regardless of what the MPAA thinks, and this topic has been discussed ad nauseam). However, movies in peoples' libraries that came from torrents or other file-sharing services (if they didn't own a copy on another medium) I consider truly pirated.

Problem is, there's almost no way to distinguish between the two, and Amazon and other cloud services know this and obviously err on the side of the movie industry with their large cadre of copyright lawyers. Yes, Plex should've known this would be an issue.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 months ago
I think the subscription cost is what turned off most people. Too many of them nowadays.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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27 months ago

That may be what you think, but the FBI thinks otherwise.

That FBI warning is such BS. While it is technically true that infringement without monetary gain could be criminally illegal, it's a crazy narrow standard. The most common criminal infringement by a huge margin is through monetary gain. I studied this while in law school for a journal article I was helping write: I could not find a single instance of a conviction based solely on 17 USC 506(a)(1)(B) or (C) - they were all based at least in part on (A) which requires financial gain. Granted I was only looking at searchable databases on LexisNexis, so it's possible there are guilty pleas or something I couldn't easily find. Nevertheless, the FBI's threat to investigate criminal infringement that doesn't involve financial gain is laughable.

Also, there are a few cases (some that post-date the MPAA) that have held it is fair use to make archival copies of CDs or DVDs for the purposes of having a backup in case the original is destroyed (e.g., making a copy of a disk and never using it until the original is destroyed). Notably, more convenient use is not fair use (e.g., using a rip on a NAS because loading disks is inconvenient).

At the end of the day, I think most people that make personal copies don't have to worry at all. The harm is so de minimis that nobody will ever care.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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