PlayStation Won’t Delete Your TV Show Purchases After All (Updated)


PlayStation won’t delete the content after all

Sony has updated its support page to explain, “Due to updated licensing arrangements, the Discovery content removal planned for December 31, 2023 is no longer occurring. We appreciate your ongoing support and feedback.” That’s good news for now, but it’s still a reminder that you don’t actually own your digital library.

As we’ve transitioned to an increasingly online world, it’s likely many of you own at least a few digital things, whether that’s games, shows, or movies. However, you can’t really “own” anything with DRM, and a new move by Sony might make you even more concerned about your digital items over the next few years.

Sony has begun sending out emails to users warning them that, as a result of a content licensing arrangement expiring with Discovery, a bunch of shows and content will be removed from user libraries on the PlayStation Store. That means that if you ever purchased any shows licensed by Discovery, such as Mythbusters, you will be losing access to them on your PlayStation console on December 31st, so you have until the end of the year to give them all a rewatch and enjoy them before they’re gone, presumably for good. In an email, Sony said that “due to our content licensing arrangements with content providers, you will no longer be able to watch any of your previously purchased Discovery content and the content will be removed from your video library.”

Equally concerning is the fact that you don’t really have a reliable way to access the content in the long term even after it’s removed. You could download it to your console and never delete it (although the wording in the statement indicates that you won’t be able to “watch” the content anymore, not just download it), but even if you’re able to do this, it’s only good until the console dies, or you manually delete it.

The PlayStation Store has offered shows and movies since 2008, with the PlayStation 3, and the service is still available on modern Sony consoles and other devices. Still, the fact that a content maker, or a publisher, can unilaterally discontinue access to something a user has supposedly purchased to own forever is turning out to be extremely concerning. It’s one thing to remove content from a streaming platform you’re paying a subscription to, where you don’t own content but rather you’re just given access to it, and it’s another thing entirely to remove access to content owned by users.

Content storefronts have insisted over the years that the content you purchase, even if it’s digital, is yours to keep and access whenever you like. It’s increasingly looking like that’s not the case, at least for some content providers.

Source: Kotaku


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