Major League Baseball Strikes Out With Internet Video

Nov 8th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Movie Store, Digital Video Downloads, Internet TV, Video

Major League Baseball Strikes Out With DRM'd Videos

Major League Baseball (MLB) has struck out with at least one baseball mega-fan, author and blogger Allan Wood. He got thrown a curve ball when MLB changed their online video service, dumping their DRM provider and rendering fans’ older video purchases unplayable.

Wood’s a vocal, major-league fan of baseball. He’s written a book about Babe Ruth, blogs about baseball and has purchase 71 game videos from MLB’s Internet video site. That’s $280.45 worth of game videos that no longer work, because MLB changed the Digital Rights Management (DRM) service that they used.

Fans trying to view these videos will see a error message, as the player tries to verify the license for the video and finds that the licensing site has been taken offline.

Say It Ain’t So, Joe!

When it comes to ripping off your biggest fans, one strike and you’re out. Major League Baseball’s bush-league stance is telling its biggest fans not to play ball.

“Diehard baseball fans have paid tens of thousands of dollars to MLB to download games,” notes Wood, “and MLB has pocketed the money and is now making it impossible for those fans to watch the games.”
“MLB has stolen your money,” adds Wood.

“Paying customers are at the whims of content providers and whatever DRM clearinghouse they happen to be using at the time,” notes Ars Technica’s Eric Bangeman. “It’s no wonder so many sports fan turn to BitTorrent for game footage.”

Fans Don’t Don’t Let Other Fans Buy DRM’d Video

MLB’s rip-off of baseball fans is one more example of why purchasing DRM’d content can be risky. Internet media fans have beens stranded before, when Google killed its video store and when Microsoft changed its strategy for Internet music.

The lesson for Internet media users is this: don’t buy DRM’d media.

“I buy NOTHING that depends on DRM to control my fair use, which includes HD-DVD and BluRay,” says Geek News Central’s Matthew Greensmith. “We can complain about DRM, but the solution is in our own hands. As soon as consumers en-mass tell companies with our wallets where they can stick their DRM, the problem goes away. My boycott has already started, and I am sure that stories like this will ensure I am not lonely.”

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