Monday, December 4, 2023

Sony Removing Purchased Discovery TV Shows

PlayStation Store (via Hacker News, Reddit):

As of 31 December 2023, 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.

It isn’t that streaming content is no longer available; they actually admit they’re removing content that people purchased.

Sophie McEvoy:

Over 1,300 seasons of shows will be removed as listed by PlayStation, including Animal Planet Presents, Cake Boss, Deadliest Catch, How It’s Made, and MythBusters.

Last year, PlayStation removed purchased content from Studio Canal due to “evolving licensing agreements with its content providers,” leaving users unable to view purchased content in their library.

Kara Phillips:

Yet, no efforts to explain whether or not you will be compensated for the loss were touched on either. Rather, the email continues: “We sincerely thank you for your continued support.”

Wesley Yin-Poole:

The decision has sparked a backlash online, and fuelled concern around ownership of digital media. Video game preservation is a hot topic within the industry, but the issue of content removal from digital platforms is top of mind of movie and TV makers, too. Last month, Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro backed Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan in championing physical media amid controversial moves by streamers that have seen some films pulled from availability.


There is currently no way to back up purchased PlayStation Store video content from a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. They cannot be transferred to a disc by any means.


It’s worth noting that when Sony stopped selling TV shows and movies from the PlayStation Store in 2021, it said users would still be able to access existing purchases.

Kind of like how Apple says that HomePod can play iTunes music purchases, but due to bugs and/or content licensing arrangements this doesn’t actually work for many older purchases.

Ethan Gach:

This isn’t the first time Sony has done something like this and it won’t be the last. I’d say just buy your favorite shows on Bluray instead, but Sony and Microsoft also appear to be planning to slowly phase out optical disc drives in the future. Even the new PS5 slim’s detachable disc drive will require an online DRM check every time you plug it in.


Update (2023-12-06): Nick Heer:

I spot-checked the PlayStation list and found many of these shows are not officially available in a hard copy format. Sure, nobody is entitled to own them at all, but if you want to ensure you retain access for whatever reason, you often have no legal option. “Okay, well, you know what that means: steal it”.

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Apropos of nothing, I hear piracy is on the rise again.

Dunno who said it first, but: if buying isn't owning, piracy isn't stealing.

@Plume, brilliant!

I was looking at my boxes of DVDs the other day and thought "Soon there will be people willing to pay for these again".

So glad I have the complete Airbender series for example.

this sentiment seems quite rude but I wholeheartedly believe it:

if you watch streaming video, if you wilfully view ads, if you purchase "access" to content which may be remotely revoked at any time - you're technologically inept and/or hopelessly lazy.

furthermore, it is your Idiot Tax that is subsidizing the content I'm consuming.

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