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Fans shafted as Major League Baseball revokes DRM licenses

The crack of the bat, the smell of the grass and the pain of losing your purchased content to DRM deactivation. In what can only be called the biggest bonehead move since Bill Buckner's error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Major League Baseball has deactivated a DRM license server used to verify your worthiness to play back video of games you purchased online.

Due to an earlier decision to switch DRM providers, MLB's new content and old content are managed by different license authentication servers. After making the switch, MLB has arbitrarily decided it has no intention of honoring its earlier commitments to fans who purchased downloaded games under the old system, thereby rendering many fans shut-out.

Claiming the full-game downloads were "one-time sales", MLB is completely unapologetic to fans who've lost their purchased content to the horrors of DRM death. Quoted on Boing Boing, baseball super-fan and author Alan Wood writes, "Just got off the phone with a MLB customer service supervisor. [who said] '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.'"

Shame on you Major League Baseball, this is fraud. We've warned Download Squad readers that buying DRM "protected" media is a crap-shoot, but when issuing those warnings we were mostly concerned about smaller media sales outlets going out-of-business in an ever evolving digital media landscape. This goes so far beyond those fears, with an active and profitable business making a clear and informed decision to yank the DRM rug out from under your purchased content.

Is it any wonder non-drm downloads via P2P are so popular? It's not simply about "free" in the base, capitalist notion of how much money changed hands, it's more pointedly about "freedom", the freedom to do what you wish with the content you've collected. If consumers aren't given options which allow them to get their content free as in freedom, they'll take that content free as in beer.

Tags: anti-drm, copyfight, DRM, major league baseball, MajorLeagueBaseball, MLB, news