by Mike Masnick
Wed, Nov 7th 2007 1:09pm
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.
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