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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Joy of Sox:  MLB Has Stolen Your $$$ And Claims “No Refunds”

“If You Purchased MLB Game Downloads Before 2006, Your Discs/Files Are Now Useless; MLB Has Stolen Your $$$ And Claims “No Refunds”

Just got off the phone with a MLB customer service supervisor.

“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.”

Great. Just effing great. ... As I told the supervisor, this is right in line with how wrong-headed and stupid and ass backwards MLB does everything.

I was told there is absolutely nothing MLB can do about these lost games. Plus, they said my purchases were all “one-time sales” and thus “there are no refunds”.

No refunds? As Lee Elia would say: “My ####### ass!”

Repoz Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:22 PM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, community, media, special topics

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2606853)
Yeah, that's pretty lame.

Of course, I hate DRM of all types.
   2. Dr. Vaux Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:41 PM (#2606859)
It certainly seems that a class action lawsuit is in order. If you bought something, you have to be able to keep it or get your money back, period.
   3. Rally Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2606866)
I've only bought one of those downloads, the 2004 Angels clincher over Oakland. I watched it once, and I guess I'll never get to watch it again.

I don't expect to get my 3.95 back, but I'm pretty sure I'll never buy another download from them again. I don't know how to get around DRM and retain the highest quality of picture, but I see no reason this wouldn't work:

Buy the download, play it on an HDTV, set a camcorder right in front of the TV. Record. You'll never have to worry about checking in with a website, though you'll have to be careful about adding your own sound effects, walking in front of the TV, or children or housepets getting curious about the whole thing.
   4. Toolsy McClutch Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2606880)
Oh god, that's an awful solution. There are apps that will capture something in a window. So you run WMP, run this app, have it capture it in a normal format, and bob's your uncle. I think it is a bit lossy though.

I have no idea what the app is called though. DRM must be pretty easy to break though, non?
   5. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2606884)
Pretty typical MLBAM bullshit.
   6. Randy Jones Posted: November 06, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2606893)
If this is just a DRM issue, I would be surprised if there wasn't already a crack to fix this. DRM and any sort of digital copy protection is just a waste of time and money.
   7. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 06, 2007 at 07:09 PM (#2606895)
I'm an IT guy, and I would say Spencer Brown is a doofus, to put it kindly. If a customer came to me screaming that my software didn't work any more, the onus is be on me to fix it, irrespective of his attitude. They shouldn't have to be nice to me just to get me TO DO MY MOTHERF-CKING JOB!!!11111oneoneone. My position in those cases is to be as nice to <u>them</u> as I can, because they paid me good money, not t'other way 'round.
   8. Rally Posted: November 06, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2606934)
Oh god, that's an awful solution. There are apps that will capture something in a window. So you run WMP, run this app, have it capture it in a normal format, and bob's your uncle. I think it is a bit lossy though.


I'm sure there are much better solutions. But if you have no idea how to work them, this one's easy enough that a caveman could do it.
   9. redsock Posted: November 06, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2607004)
Thanks for posting this. I'm really pissed.

I'd rather have the games than my money back -- but that seems like a pipe dream at this point.

It would be great if there was a way to break the code. MLB cannot be that smart.
   10. redsock Posted: November 06, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2607009)
AROM -- you should make a call and let someone know about the problem and that you will never purchase their products again.

866-800-1275.

There might be an outside, slight chance they could actually fix this.
   11. redsock Posted: November 06, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2607015)
"Buy the download, play it on an HDTV, set a camcorder right in front of the TV. Record. You'll never have to worry about checking in with a website, though you'll have to be careful about adding your own sound effects, walking in front of the TV, or children or housepets getting curious about the whole thing."

****

Okay, so first I buy an HDTV.
Then I buy a camcorder.
Then I buy a download to a August 2004 Red Sox game that is no longer for sale.

...

Any other ideas?
   12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: November 06, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2607024)
Drop a line at BoingBoing. They eat up DRM issues, and they have a HUGE audience.
   13. Colin Posted: November 06, 2007 at 10:10 PM (#2607136)
Any company - be it MLBAM or iTunes or Microsoft - should not be able to use the word "sell" when it comes to tracks with DRM. "Loan" seems to be the more appropriate term.
   14. Grumbledook Posted: November 07, 2007 at 01:45 AM (#2607375)
I downloaded two playoff games from the MLB website last year (I think they were games 1 and 3 of the Mets-Dodgers series). I immediately found out that the files were DRM-encrypted and could not be converted into iPod video format (thus defeating the purpose of downloading them). I soon found at that the files could be converted into DRM-free files and then re-encoded in MP4 format, but the conversion seriously degraded the quality of the video. (Apparently the program just captures the playback of the DRM file; it's like circumventing DRM encryption on a CD by playing it back and recording the CD on your computer). Annoying as well was the fact that the games had all the commercials intact, so while watching them, you have to skip past the commercials.

No more. I built a MythTV box this year, and I installed a PC-hd5500 on it (for recording HDTV broadcasts) and a Hauppauge PVR-500. It was a pain getting it to work (getting the HD card to work required a recompile of MythTV, and apparently the irqbalance daemon has to be disabled for the video card drivers to work properly), but now I have a DRM-free way of recording and archiving programs. Nuvexport doesn't completely work on my system, but I can export files into MP4/XVid/DVD format. Moreover, all recordings can have their commercials flagged, and if I want, I can re-transcode the programs to permanently remove commercials (I usually do). And if the FCC decides to revive the HD "broadcast flag", I won't have to worry about it. It's not a project for everyone, but I'd recommend it to anyone with even a moderate level of technical knowledge.
   15. Greg Franklin Posted: November 07, 2007 at 11:06 PM (#2608649)
This blog post just hit Ars Technica today. Expect it to bubble up the next few days to the various techie sites.

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