When are people going to wise-up and stop supporting DRM-infected media? They’re learning, even if one at a time. Take Allan Wood. He’s a regular Joe who also is a die-hard Red Sox fan. Major League Baseball opened up a digital download service allowing fans to buy videos of old games for just $3.95 each. Given the low cost, Wood started downloading. He bought nearly $300 worth of games.
Imagine his surprise last year when he tried to watch a game he’d purchased and was instead presented with a message informing him he needed to obtain a license to watch the video. Given that he paid money for the file, there must have been some sort of mistake, right? A link took him to a page where he could confirm he did have a licence. Even more surprisingly, the page was gone.
What happened was Major League Baseball changed DRM providers. Maybe they got a better deal. Who knows exactly why, but you can damn-well bet that money was behind their decision. Switching DRM providers, and therefore DRM schemes, isn’t such a big deal. The fans who bought videos still have the videos and they can still watch them, right?
When you want to play a video, the player first verifies your right to view the video by confirming your licence. No licence, no video. When they changed DRM providers, the licence infrastructure, and the licences themselves, disappeared. No one who bought games protected by the old DRM system will ever be able to watch them.
Seven months later, the Major League Baseball site still carries this same message about the digital download service:
As part of MLB’s continued desires to improve customer experiences, the Digital Download Service is going through an extensive upgrade. We appreciate your support and ask you to check back soon to view this improved section.
What they don’t say is this upgrade will not allow previous buyers to watch the videos they purchased in good faith. Will the previous purchasers be given the games they’ve bought under this new upgraded system? No, they won’t. Will they offer a refund of any sort? No, they wont. Major League Baseball told Wood the games he bought were “one-time sales” so he’s left with a bunch of files he will never be able to watch.
Well thank you very much Major League Baseball, for fucking all your customers in the ass. Here’s hoping they won’t continue to feed your bottom line now that you’ve shown them how much you truly value their loyalty.