According to an Ars Technica article, PlayStation 3 owners who download video through the PlayStation Network Video Store are allowed one official download, and if necessary, one additional download after contacting customer service. The files cannot be backed up and moved to another hard drive or copied onto a CD or DVD.
An Ars Technica forum poster found this out the hard way after he deleted video content to make room on his hard drive and then found he could not re-download the content. Sony’s official policy is “Purchased content can be downloaded to a single PlayStation 3 or a single PSP system”, and "Purchased content can be played on a single PlayStation 3 system and up to 3 PSP systems simultaneously". Their policy on downloads is, “Content cannot be re-downloaded once it has been downloaded to either a PlayStation 3 or PSP system”.
Ars Technica looked in to this policy and received a response from Lincoln Davis, who handles media relations for the PlayStation Network, "If a consumer deletes a purchased movie from their PS3, they will not be able to re-download the movie without assistance from SCEA's consumer services". According to Davis, allowing paying customers to download their purchases more than once is a courtesy, "Consumer service can issue a re-download as a one-time courtesy, as provided by our guidelines”.
The implications of Sony Corp’s policies are consumers who encounter more than one instance of hard drive failure or accidental file deletion may be out of luck. Despite being a system with multiple hard drive configurations and actively encouraging do it yourself hard drive replacement, Sony Corp’s policies appear to be designed to limit free use of content purchased for your PlayStation 3
quote: No games do activation/DRM stuff at install time....
quote: I don't care for Steam. I don't want an extra program running all the time. I don't want restrictions on something I buy. And I like retaining a hard copy of the software. I know that makes me a bit "old school" but so be it. I used Steam a couple years ago for CS:Source but when I installed a new hard drive later that year, I never bothered to reinstall it. Life's been better without it. =P
quote: ... this policy is practically identical to the one used by iTunes?
quote: When you buy a song or album from the iTunes Store, you are entitled to download it only once.