Update: Just got off the phone with a MLB customer service supervisor.
“MLB no longer supports the DDS system” that it once used and so any CDs with downloaded games on them “are no good. They will not work with the current system.”
Why does baseball continue refusing to treat its die-hard (read: highest spending) fans with any sort of respect? There was the video game exclusivity deal to virtually eliminate competition in the market. This released Take-Two of any motivation to produce an entertaining baseball video game.
Then the Extra Innings package fiasco handcuffed fans to a single service provider, which again reduced competition in the market in exchange for makeing a quick buck. This plan was eventually canceled after fans and lawmakers took a collective whiz in baseball’s Cherios.
The newest fan screwing move from those geniuses has apparently deleted the data needed to view downloaded video content from the MLB Advanced Media website. This is comparable to an employee breaking into your home and cracking legally purchased movie discs in half, without warning or a refund.
The software that decides what is viewable is called DRM, short for “digital restrictions management“. It allows the content provider to retain control long after it is paid for, indefinitely. It is precisely this power that detractors of DRM warned is possible if consumers choose to accept and pay for it.
Check here for updates as MLB throws up on itself in response.
Note: Anyone who claims DRM stands for “digital rights management” is just kidding.
Update 11/8: The New York Times picked up the story:
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.
Of course this means any burned CDs are now useless. It also isn’t clear what the process will be to get those replacement files. As the Times story points out, this is a prime example of why consumers need to be extra cautious when purchasing any content that uses Digital Restrictions Management.