MLB's Latest Efforts To Screw Fans: All That Content You Bought? Gone, Thanks To DRM Change

from the swing-and-a-miss dept

It's really amazing how far Major League Baseball goes towards pissing off its fans. From trying to limit fantasy sports by insisting that MLB owns facts, to deleting fan websites, to trying to stop fans from using a Sling Box to watch games, to the ridiculous blackout policies that stop fans from watching games, to the decision last year to prevent certain TV providers from showing Major League Baseball, it just seems like the sports actively tries to antagonize some of its biggest fans. The latest may be the most ridiculous. MLB.com was certainly a pioneer in offering video online, including the ability to purchase and download videos of games. Like so many content companies, MLB.com falsely believed that it needed to wrap the content in copy protection software. However, as read tijir alerts us to, the DRM that MLB chose involved having the content always check in with an MLB.com server to make sure it could be played. That's just dandy... until MLB.com changes its DRM provider and takes down the old authorization server. At that point all of the content everyone had purchased becomes totally useless. True to its fan-unfriendly nature, MLB.com's response has basically been "tough cookies." Specifically, a representative from MLB.com claims that since the products were "one-time sales" there are no refunds. Of course, if they were one-time sales... then why do they need to get approval from MLB.com every time they want to play? They're clearly not one-time sales. The sale was for a service -- which included regular authorization to play the content. MLB has now failed to live up to their end of the deal and should provide at least some kind of refund.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Don Shula, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 1:30pm

    what a ridiculous organization

     

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    Bob, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 1:32pm

    MLB has a lot of money

    So I suspect that some enterprising crook, errm lawyer, will file a class action suit on behalf of all those harmed. I'd say it'll be an easy win.

     

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      Kevin, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 6:06pm

      Re: MLB has a lot of money

      There won't be a win, easy or otherwise, except for the attorney. He'll file for $500 million dollars, they'll settle for $10 per member of the suit, which totals much much less than $500 million, then the attorney will take 40%-60% of that amount, meaning that if you go through all of the hassle you'll be able to file and get a check for $5-$6.

       

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    Kyle, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 1:39pm

    You know you're a fan when

    you know youre a fan when: you pay for DRM'd content.

     

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    MLB-S, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 1:42pm

    Stopped watching baseball after the strike of 94

    I'm not surprised.

     

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    Internet Troll, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 1:48pm

    Easy fix

    Easy fix for this. Stop watching baseball. I dunno how you can stand it anyway.

     

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    Rob, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    I'm sorry, but I just can't work up any sympathy for the people burned by this. Every time you buy DRM'd content, you are basically bending over and spreading your cheeks. We need to see more and more of this happen, until the American sheeple finally wake up and stop wasting their dwindling dollars on this crap.

     

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    Beefcake, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 2:11pm

    The Further Incredulous Adventures of Brainless B

    The list of his previous crimes against the game is too long to post here, but since this owner (can you say "conflict of interest") took over as Commissioner, he has relentlessly driven the game into the toilet.

    As long as Brainless Bud is calling the shots, continue to expect more utter stupidity.

     

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    mt, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 2:16pm

    There's still such a thing a baseball

    Haven't seen a baseball game this century and have no intention to break the streak.

    Between steroids, Bonds and DRM why would I want to.

     

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    mt, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 2:16pm

    There's still such a thing a baseball

    Haven't seen a baseball game this century and have no intention to break the streak.

    Between steroids, Bonds and DRM why would I want to.

     

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    CharlieHorse, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 2:27pm

    MLB moving on thin ice.

    Can anyone say: "Class Action Lawsuit" ?

    sure it was perhaps not the wisest thing for folks to "trust" MLB and buy its' DRM'd content

    however

    they did and that's the point - they held up their end of the deal by paying up and agreeing to abide by the idiotic drm rules. why should MLB get a pass and not have to continue to hold up their end of the deal and provide said content ?

    A fat class action lawsuit might go a long way to waking up the bozos in mlb.

    ....

    but somehow, I doubt it ...

    *sigh.*

     

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      Terry, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 4:05pm

      Re: MLB moving on thin ice.

      My first question is: did any of these folks bother to read the EULA that they clicked on before buying the DRM'd content? Before any class action lawsuit is filed, someone had better go back the read that EULA carefully. MLB executives may not "get" the internet, but I'm pretty sure they have clever lawyers who probably put some language in the EULA to cover their asses in this case. I agree that anyone who downloads and purchases DRM files is a naive fool, but they have only themselves to blame if they didn't read the fine print of the "contract" they signed.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 3:07pm

    MMM "sale?" gee I thought the whole idea was that we were only "Licensing" the material. If it was a sale, then I am free to resell it, rent it, distribute it, etc. Right?

    As for the poster above who accidently said "crook" when he meant lawyer...so if anyone does anything to you, the first person you will run to won't be a "crook" to defend your rights?

     

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    Bill, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 3:42pm

    blaaah

    Almost as big of BS as the MLB letting TBS have the World Series which doesn't broadcast in HD so I had to watch the games in terrible SD.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 12:14pm

      Re: blaaah

      LOL the world series was on FOX, the ALDS was on TBS and I got it in HD just fine. Complain to your cable company.

       

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    dan, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 4:44pm

    the true american pastime

    screwing over people that try to enjoy a hobby or sport or anything els for that matter

     

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    BW, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 5:05pm

    The fools that pay for DRM'd stuff deserve what th

    Don't count of the fools that pay for DRM'd content to get smarter. It's a suckers bet.

    The fools that pay for DRM'd stuff deserve what they get and are too stupid to notice that they got F**** anyway

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 5:19pm

    like they didn't drive away enough fans with the strikes? I guess they're going for the knockout punch.

     

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    Bill Moyd, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 5:31pm

    Baseball

    Baseball.... Yeah...

    Used to watch baseball on TV. Even went and bought tickets for the kids and drove to Atlanta to the stadium to watch (and buy snacks and souvenirs) in person.

    Until they went on strike.

    Never watched a game since. Don't even know who the teams are today.

    Like they say, "fool me once...."

    Thanks Big baseball for showing me your colors more than a decade ago; you saved me a lot of money.

     

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    DigitalRAGE, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 5:42pm

    Someone just crack the damn DRM on it. By switching DRM providers the MLB is admitting it is not effective, there for completely legal to crack.

     

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    Neverhood, Nov 7th, 2007 @ 6:35pm

    Not the only place this happens

    My god... MLB really takes the crown for screwing their most loyal costumers.

    I was at a restaurant yesterday, which i visit often. And because there was a misunderstanding last time and i got a beef soup instead of lamb, this time they offered me a nice salad for my meal free of charge.

    This is even a really cheap restaurant, and if they make much more than around 2$ off me every time i come, then that would surprise me.

    If they where owned by MLB, the chef would come out personally , take a dump in my soup, and still smile.

     

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    Danny, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 5:23am

    Funny...

    Didn't the World Series just finish up a week or so ago? I hope not because that would seem very convenient to change the DRM right after the end of the season. Let's see if they change their DRM scheme around this time next year as well...

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 8th, 2007 @ 5:25am

    DRM Is Worse than You Think

    While this post specifically concerns MLB, the problem of DRM from the consumers point of view is that the use of this technology virtually allows ANY company to disable the customer's use of a program at any time. The consumer is simply being reduced to a "revenue unit" without any rights.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Nov 9th, 2007 @ 6:37am

    NY Times Article - Nov. 7, 2007

    Staci Kramer writes: "But it turns out that MLBAM can something after all. I just got off the phone with MLBAM spokesman Matthew Gould, who said fans who purchased games with the now-broken licenses will be able to get every game replaced free of charge by versions with the right license."

    While this could be considered a "success" since MLB will now provide an "upgrade", it nevertheless points to continued ongoing efforts by corporations to use underhanded tactics to screw their customers. Fortunately, the web, through forums such as this, allows customers to quickly protest.

     

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    Elvis, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    They still play baseball...? I had no idea...lol

     

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    Elvis, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 2:04pm

    They still play baseball...? I had no idea...lol

     

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