It’s one of the drawbacks of “buying” (and storing) in the cloud: losing your content without being able to avoid that. It’s exactly what happens at Sony PlayStation.
That video streamers are far from having a constant supply should come as no surprise. Things come and things go. But: if you buy a movie or video (series), you should expect it to remain yours and available forever. Right? Unfortunately, in practice this is not always the case. Which, behind the scenes, has everything to do with licensing. In this post on flatpanelshd, we read that users of the Sony PlayStation platform have received an unwelcome email. It states that all TV shows purchased from Discovery by users of the platform will be removed. A total of 1318 shows are involved, including such resounding names as Mythbusters, Naked and Afraid and Shark Week.
Purchase gone, money gone
Extra annoying is, that purchases once paid for and now deleted will not be refunded. In short: purchase gone and money gone. It shows once again how risky it is to invest a lot of money in a purely digital collection. Or better: a DRM protected collection and even worse a ‘private’ collection that is only accessible via a cloud service. It seems effectively pointless to spend money on that, more and more. In the case of DRM, if the provider pulls the plug, the necessary digital keys can no longer be downloaded and all you have is a worthless binary blob of random numbers instead of (for example) a movie file on a hard drive. In the case of cloud storage, you never even saved the material locally and can no longer access it at all.
Physical media again after all?
Be careful when buying digital media. It’s only interesting in case it has no DRM. Never buy material that is only stored in the cloud under the management of a provider. By the way, in the case of Sony PlayStation, this is not the first time an action like this has been carried out. And every time, for very understandable reasons, it evokes enormous resistance from users. If you want to play it safe, just buy content you really don’t want to miss on physical media.