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. was certainly a pioneer in offering video online, including the ability to purchase and download videos of games. Like so many content companies, 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 server to make sure it could be played. That’s just dandy… until 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,’s response has basically been “tough cookies.” Specifically, a representative from 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 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.

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Companies: mlb

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

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Kevin says:

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.

Beefcake says:

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.

CharlieHorse says:

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


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 …


Terry (user link) says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Bill Moyd says:


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.

Neverhood says:

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.

Steve R. (profile) says:

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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