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Sony to allow one official download per purchase

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

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Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By dsx724 on 9/24/2008 12:30:41 PM , Rating: 5
Until the day they build a platform unrestricted by DRM, no company can hope to replace the PC. However, that same company would have to either ignore piracy or make their prices competitive.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By joemoedee on 9/24/2008 1:02:51 PM , Rating: 4
I agree.

Whereas I know a lot of people do not like Steam, I for one, love it.

My account keeps track of games I've purchased.

So, if I say, reformat my drive, I can re-install Steam and download the game again. Pretty simple, and effective means of preventing piracy without harming me, the consumer.

Why Sony would not go with a similar system is ridiculous.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By jay401 on 9/24/2008 1:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
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

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By abscoder on 9/24/2008 1:48:46 PM , Rating: 4
I agree, I don't particularly like Steam either. My solution has been to buy a game, toss the unopened box in the closet, and download a cracked copy. The developer gets their rightfully earned money and I get the ease of use I want.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By mmntech on 9/24/2008 2:05:12 PM , Rating: 4
Yet you're still a pirate in their eyes. The whole mess with DRM is the primary reason why I have never used iTunes or any other sites to purchase media. All it seems to be doing is encouraging piracy. The Playstation Video Store isn't available in Canada so this doesn't affect me, but the way legitimate consumers are being treated is obscene.

I'm dreading the day they drop physical media entirely. As the others point out, hard drives crash, flash drives can get fried. At least with DVD and Bluray, I have a disc that will play on any Region 1/All player out there. If my DVD player breaks, I can buy a new one. No problems, no questions asked.

By Ticholo on 9/24/2008 2:53:26 PM , Rating: 3
DVDs, CDs and the like can also break, get scratched and all that.
Their advantage there is that if you store and handle them well they probably won't stop working (being read) for a long time.
But one of the things I find more amusing in products with DRM is that, as a customer (!= "consumer"), the mindset seems to be that you apparently purchased a license to use/view/whatever that content. To the manufacturer/publisher/developer what matters is not the disc itself, but the content and how/where you use it.
Yet most times they probably won't replace your disc when it brakes or stops reading. "Tough luck, #$&* happens."
If my disc broke, why is my license void? If my license is tied to the stupid disc, why force DRM on me? Surely some "competent" copy-protection would suffice.

Apply that to downloaded content and you get some practices that are borderline psychotic! Apparently, we're all "out to get" these companies that put out these products. If we buy them, we're the ones bombarded with stupid checks or problems to install/re-install/play-on-older-equipment.
It used to be worse in PC games, but now it seems they're just applying the same formula to everything. (though music DRM seems to be headed in the right way = extinction)
When the public at large realises that it is MUCH easier to wait a few hours/days/weeks to get something cracked that they can basically play as they like, these systems will drive the respective businesses into the ground! Hell, it's happened already, to a degree, with music!

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By joemoedee on 9/24/2008 2:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
Cracked copies aren't always reliable, plus its more of a hassle to go that route when you legitimately own the product. (Finding the crack, making sure it's not a trojan, etc... )

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By Ticholo on 9/24/2008 3:03:49 PM , Rating: 1
With the way games DRM is going, I don't know... And with increasing numbers of even console games being released with big bugs and a "We'll patch it later" mentality, I don't see the disadvantage for him.
These last versions of Securom impair your use of your purchase, and we've seen before that DRM can take forms not really unlike trojans.
The argument that "We will/They may eventually release a patch to remove the need for online activation" is just stupid. In the meantime all the paying customers have to work their way through customer service for something that should basically be there from the start: the ability to install and play your purchased game!

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By ShaolinSoccer on 9/24/2008 5:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
They can even be worse than trojans. They can be like malicious rootkits. Rootkits can be harder to get rid of and sometimes, you have to reinstall your operating system just to fully get rid of it.

By hrah20 on 9/24/2008 9:25:43 PM , Rating: 2
That is why virtualization is your friend, you got a virtual version of XP working and test the crack in there

if it work good, if it's a trojan or virus there's really no harm done, I just load a copy of of virtual xp and im ready to test again.

I always buy my pc games But hate that to play you have to have the cd in the tray, I always download the crack, but I use the original cd or dvd of my game to install, I would really hate it if I had to download the games from the net, im not that patient besides I like to collect my games cases, Pretty nice collection too!

By BladeVenom on 9/24/2008 3:14:17 PM , Rating: 4
Legitimate copies aren't always reliable. I think a crack is less hassle than DRM.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By BZDTemp on 9/24/2008 6:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
No reason to download full games to get ease of use. Just get a no-cd hack and follow the instructions that come with it.

Usually it's simply a case of doing a full install from the orginal CD/DVD and then replace an exe-file with a hacked one not loading all the DRM crap. No games do activation/DRM stuff at install time, so this way you get to play with ease and without downloading warez.

By kilkennycat on 9/24/2008 7:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
No games do activation/DRM stuff at install time....

Er, you seem to be a little out of date, at least with respect to DRM on PC games. Bioshock is SecureROM protected and activates on-line at install time. A "no-CD" crack will get around having the disk in the machine to play the game, but does not get around the on-line activation at install which uses a Steam-like decryption of key play-disk contents at install-time. Also, the PC version of Bioshock used to have a 5-activation limit, but the limit was removed by the publisher (2K Games) mid-June this year, now that the bulk of this game's sales are over. Have you noticed the huge uproar with regard to SecureROM DRM with limited activation-counts on current and future EA games for the PC - Spore, Mass Effect, Red Alert3 etc....??

By piroroadkill on 9/25/2008 6:52:02 AM , Rating: 2
I did that with Oblivion.. Still factory wrapped!

By someguy123 on 9/24/2008 1:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, I like it. I mean, it is a downside to not have a hard copy of something that you can just put in and play, but I do like steam's ability to download the software you've bought on any computer with an internet connection. I don't really see anything wrong with having steam open, unless of course you have a limited amount of ram where steam does take quite a bit of ram.

In comparison to other anti piracy schemes I think it's a god send.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By FITCamaro on 9/24/2008 2:19:19 PM , Rating: 4
You don't have to run Steam all the can turn it off. It just has to be running when you play your game. It's not like it uses anything.

I don't use it because I prefer to have a disc.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By joemoedee on 9/24/2008 2:40:11 PM , Rating: 3
I have way too many disks as it is. Also, making sure you have the right one in the drive is occasionally a PITA.

Added to the fact that I have ended up with lost or damaged media... Steam (or some other similar distribution system) works for me and seems to be the best way to not be too intrusive while protecting a product.

By Ticholo on 9/24/2008 3:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
Why would they need to protect a product every single step of the way when you use it?
I'm not saying Steam is that bad, but I just don't see the need to make a suspect of every single one of your customers.

PS: I'm not just after your posts! Honest!! :D

By Diesel Donkey on 9/24/2008 5:13:17 PM , Rating: 2
You don't even have to turn it off. You can set it not to start up with Windows, so then the only time it comes up is when you run your game. I guess once you're done you do have to turn it off again, though.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By Meinolf on 9/24/2008 3:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
I think Steam works great you can turn it off when you are not running a game not very difficult. You never need disks again knows what licenses you have and can reinstall them without the need for any codes right from the steam software. Never have to keep boxes of software. Hard drive crashes, House burns down Steam has all the software to download and install at anytime.

By FITCamaro on 9/25/2008 9:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
If your house burns down I think the last thing on your mind is your video games. :)

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By afkrotch on 9/25/2008 9:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
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

You can backup your Steam games via Steam. I personally, just copy the whole Steam folder and store it on my file server. If I reload my gaming machine, I just install Steam, then copy the saved folder back over.

By PhoenixKnight on 9/25/2008 8:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
You don't even need the full Steam folder, just the Steamapps folder from within the Steam folder.

By Meinolf on 9/24/2008 3:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
People that can't figure out Steam I don't get it. You never have to worry about disks, loss of media/codes

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By walk2k on 9/24/2008 3:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
Steam, what does Steam have to do with this? Do they have movies and TV shows on Steam now?

As far as games, PSN allows you to re-download any games you have purchased as many times as you need to. They allow you to download AND play them on up to FIVE different PS3, so technically you and 4 of your friends can go in on a game.. or if you have more than 1 PS3 in the house (as if?) you can play it on all of them.

By Staples on 9/25/2008 9:37:42 AM , Rating: 2
People are arguing that DRM sucks and we says Steam is their answer but they disregard it because they do not like efficency.

By Locutus465 on 9/24/2008 4:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
XBL-Video Store does this as well, though it's the only service I'm personally aware of that does this with purchased/rented content. As far as I know with iTunes you're responseible for keeping your own backups.

By Domicinator on 9/24/2008 7:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I don't know why everyone is lumping Steam in as the same thing that Sony's doing. Steam not only lets you re-download your games, but it also ties the game to the ACCOUNT, not the computer you're installing on. I've used Steam on three different gaming towers now, and for all three I've been able to migrate all my games over simply by logging in to Steam and letting it run over night. When I wake up in the morning, all my games are back, just like they were on my last computer. PLUS, for the people who like to have physical copies, Steam does allow you to make backups of your game files. No big deal at all.

If you're going to go to the world of digital distribution, Steam is where it's at. I've also had good luck with Direct2Drive.

By Staples on 9/25/2008 9:33:20 AM , Rating: 2
The resistance against Steam is ridiculous.

Hey guys who hate Steam, Steam has saved me tons of time looking for, installing and entering the disk every time I play.

Steam has been the best thing that has come to PC Gaming in the last 10 years.

RE: Nothing will ever overtake the PC
By RW on 9/25/2008 10:10:03 AM , Rating: 2
Here u go DRM just show how much you SUX.

Everyting that has DRM SUX it's a proof.

It's DRM you know it SUX.

$15 for rental
By mattclary on 9/24/2008 1:09:26 PM , Rating: 3
Don't the downloaded movies at the PS3 site cost ~$15? Anyone who pays that much for something which they have no real property rights to deserves what they get.

RE: $15 for rental
By jay401 on 9/24/2008 1:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
Very true. Keep buying into this crap and they'll keep feeding it to you, consumers.

RE: $15 for rental
By walk2k on 9/24/2008 1:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
No, the prices vary but they aren't that much.

SD rentals are usually about $3, HD rentals are $4-5.

TV shows (SD) episodes are $2 each.

SD movie purchases are usually $9. There are no HD purchases available, SD only.

Prices are generally about the same as iTunes or Xbox.

As other noted, the policies are the same too. You can't download a song from iTunes more than once either.

RE: $15 for rental
By mattclary on 9/24/2008 2:06:52 PM , Rating: 3
Yep, $9.99, just looked.

$10 is still too much for what amounts to a rental. IMO.

RE: $15 for rental
By mattclary on 9/24/2008 2:08:49 PM , Rating: 2
And most of the movies I am seeing there are OLD. So you are paying what you could get a DVD from Wal-Mart for, yet can't give away or sell. Seriously? "My Girl"? "Empire Records"?

RE: $15 for rental
By walk2k on 9/24/2008 3:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think they have plenty of modern releases as well.

Again the prices are pretty much in-line with similar services from Apple and Microsoft. It's not like Sony is overcharging with respect to the rest of the industry. They also have the same restrictions, 1 download only (actually 2 so they are better than most - go tell Apple your iPod battery died and you'd like to re-download all 40GB of your music - yeah right).

That said, I don't use the service either, for all the reasons listed here. $10 for a DVD quality video, only without the disc (not to mention all the extras, bonus features, commentary, etc etc...) is a Rip. Off.

But the same can be said of most media downloads. Like iTunes, $10 for an album when I get get the CD from for $8-12? No thanks I'll take the uncompressed full quality hard copy with album art etc etc...

This is nothing new, it's not like they just "implemented" this like the headline suggests, it's been the same since day one, and again is pretty much the same across all download services...

RE: $15 for rental
By foolsgambit11 on 9/24/2008 3:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
But backing up your iTunes purchases is easier - certainly something an average computer user should be able to do. Not so much with a PS3.

RE: $15 for rental
By walk2k on 9/24/2008 4:03:58 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, all you have to do is connect a media device that has enough space (i.e. external USB drive) and select "back up system" from the menu. Poof, it's done. Don't see how it could be any easier than that.

RE: $15 for rental
By FITCamaro on 9/25/2008 9:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
So what happens when you overwrite your back up that had a certain movie on it but has since been deleted from your system?

Poof, it's gone.

RE: $15 for rental
By Alexvrb on 9/24/2008 9:14:18 PM , Rating: 2
If you used the XBL marketplace, you'd know that the policies on Xbox Live are *not* the same. XBL keeps track of what you've bought, and they are OK with you downloading it again and again. There's no reason to limit this, since you can only play it on your authorized 360 (the model linked to you, which MS can change if you get a new unit), or on a friend's while logged into your gamertag. Either way, they're verifying you have the rights to the media.

Why do people pirate media?
By pauldovi on 9/24/2008 12:38:31 PM , Rating: 5
I simply don't understand.

Buying it legitimately is so much easier and hassle free.

RE: Why do people pirate media?
By odessit740 on 9/24/2008 12:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
Truthier words have not been spoken.

On a side not, I am glad the makers of 'The Witcher' decided to opt out of DRM. Not only did they rerelease a better product than was the original, but they spent time and money making it better, at no extra cost to those who've purchased it already. A company that truly stands behind their products.

RE: Why do people pirate media?
By jay401 on 9/24/2008 1:08:24 PM , Rating: 2
Except when it comes restricted with DRM that makes it more trouble for the legal owner than for the pirate who never had to deal with the DRM in the first place. That's the problem, you see: Those of us who buy our media legitimately are the ones who are now being forced to suffer with ridiculous DRM that content providers are trying to excuse by pointing at piracy. Hello, the people buying your media generally aren't the pirates nor are they the source of large-scale piracy.

RE: Why do people pirate media?
By clovell on 9/24/2008 1:52:14 PM , Rating: 2
You only just elaborated on his point; he was being sarcastic.

RE: Why do people pirate media?
By fuser197 on 9/24/2008 2:09:12 PM , Rating: 1
Because it's free.

By therealnickdanger on 9/24/2008 4:23:20 PM , Rating: 3
"Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding."
- Henri Ducard


RE: Why do people pirate media?
By amanojaku on 9/24/2008 10:29:26 PM , Rating: 3
I "pirate" when the software isn't available for purchase, like American McGee's Alice. And only if the pirated software is easy to find in, say, 10-15 minutes. I'm too old to pirate software I can afford, and too impatient to spend weeks looking for a potential piece of crap. And since I'm too old to be cool I don't mind buying old games at $10 and $20.

Same as iTunes
By MozeeToby on 9/24/2008 1:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
Am I really the only one who noticed that this policy is practically identical to the one used by iTunes? This isn't even DRM, it's just a limit on the number of times you can download the movie.

To be fair, I won't be buying movies of the PSN while this policy is in effect. But that doesn't make this policy extreme or even out of the ordinary. I've said it every time someone brings up the idea that Blu-Ray will lose out to download service, I will give up my physical media only when there is no other option.

RE: Same as iTunes
By Generic Guy on 9/24/2008 1:40:53 PM , Rating: 3
... this policy is practically identical to the one used by iTunes?

iTunes lets you store backups on another volume, and restore it as long as the 'key' matches your iTunes account.

Sony doesn't even allow you to backup the files. When your PS3 drive croaks or you need to make room - -Poof! - there goes your supposed 'purchase'.

Sony really needs to make it more like Steam (or Nintendo's WiiWare) where purchases are all tracked, and you can delete and re-download from your account at anytime.

RE: Same as iTunes
By tastyratz on 9/24/2008 1:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
Same here. I sure as hell won't be downloading any movies from them on my ps3 if I think I have to sit on the phone with India to get my movies back if something happens or I decide to upgrade my hard drive.

Amazon unbox allows multiple re-downloads based on account purchase history.

Sony even allows multiple downloads for ps3 games purchased through the psn store which is easily exploitable!

1 download per movie without a phone call is just pure asinine.

If the movie is DRM restricted to the ps3 itself then who the hell cares how many times we download it? Most consumers wont really download the movie more than a time or 2 but that's BAD pr which is BAD for business.

I hope they respond to this article just like the people behind SPORE and change things.. for their own sake.

But I guess its better than putting a rootkit in our movie though isn't it?

RE: Same as iTunes
By walk2k on 9/24/08, Rating: 0
RE: Same as iTunes
By Kierphe on 9/24/2008 2:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
Not true. Xbox Live allows you to re-download your purchased content as MANY times as you want. I've even downloaded it on other 360s--you just have to import your Gamertag.

RE: Same as iTunes
By Alexvrb on 9/24/2008 9:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! I guess I can't blame them too much, if you did a poll 90% of people on dailytech probably think its the same on XBL as it is on PSN.

RE: Same as iTunes
By crleap on 9/24/2008 3:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
With iTunes, you can re-download your purchases, you can use them on up to 5 devices at a time, and reset all 5 devices yearly. You can even burn them to CD's. While I hate DRM, this is one type I can grudgingly deal with, because it hasn't limited me during my normal use yet. I've done a yearly reset twice, and redownloaded multiple times. Now if we can just get them to provide lossless audio.

RE: Same as iTunes
By walk2k on 9/24/2008 3:59:37 PM , Rating: 1
When you buy a song or album from the iTunes Store, you are entitled to download it only once.

I understand the concept..
By mydogfarted on 9/24/2008 3:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what they are saying, even if it's not what people want to hear. Basically it's the same as buying a physical DVD from Best Buy, losing it and then asking Best Buy to replace it because you lost it when your house burned down.

RE: I understand the concept..
By Darkefire on 9/24/2008 4:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
Except when you lose your physical DVD they have to actually give you a new physical one to replace it, which cost money to make. Another download of something you've already bought and lost due to accidental deletion or hard drive failure costs them virtually nothing. It's more like getting your DVD scratched to the point of being unreadable, but you're not allowed to use a DiscDoctor to fix it.

And if your house burned down then your homeowner's insurance would cover the cost so you could buy a new one. That's what Sony should be offering, a hassle-free insurance policy on failed downloads. It costs them nothing, makes them look awesome and benevolent, and puts them in direct competition with similar services. Why they insist on such a retarded model is beyond me.

RE: I understand the concept..
By walk2k on 9/24/2008 5:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
Bandwidth and servers cost "nothing" now? Great can I rent a couple of ISPs from you?

RE: I understand the concept..
By Digimonkey on 9/24/2008 5:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's kind of like that, except nothing physical was destroyed which means to replace said property that nobody would really be out any money.

..and $10 for an SD movie? I'm not saying $10 is a lot, but offering old movies from your own studio, while bypassing any manufacturing cost or middle man cost...well that's probably close to a $10 profit, and then they act like they're doing you a great service because they may let you download it again?

I'll just stick with Zulu and Netflix for my online movie watching, where I can watch them as many times as I want without worrying about my hard-drive crashing.

Own vs Borrow
By SiliconJon on 9/24/2008 12:48:16 PM , Rating: 5
They can cram all the DRM they want into it - I won't consider that a "purchase" but a "rent" if it's not mine to keep and port. If prices do not resemble what I see the transaction to represent then they're SOL in regards to my wallet.

Do you want my money PS3 Video network? Let me rent my videos for a reasonable price. I should warn you that my RedBox is a bicycle ride away, so anything more than $1/day and you won't get my rental fees. Too scared of pirates to embrace legitimate use then you'll never see the full potention of the profit model you're ignoring because of your diapers. Too stupid to see how a 15% profit for 10 minutes of bandwidth by the tens of millions is better than a 500% profit by the thousands for the same slice of data then so be it.

Movie Studio making a media device
By DukeToma on 9/24/2008 1:06:26 PM , Rating: 2
And this is why we shouldn't have a movie studio making multi-media devices for the living room.

By KTLA on 9/24/2008 4:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
Xbox Live has always allowed you to re-download all of your purchased content as many times as you like, even to different machines if you transfer your tag. You only lose your content if the XBL service goes out of business one day.

Xbox Live is nothing as bad as what is being discussed here. I don't know why anyone would purchase content on their PS3 at all.

Its Sony!
By WikiChici on 9/24/2008 7:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
What else do you expect?!

I knew the PSN network would start to go downhill

Plus Sony is really only bolstering their own DRM, making it more public so they hope people will get used to it...

Well sorry Sony not every PS3 has a 500GB hard drive in it so people are going to have to delete old data so they can download new data!

Not allowing paying customers to re download a file is criminal, lets hope a class action lawsuit will get rid of all this drm crap

By kilkennycat on 9/24/2008 7:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't own a PS3 (or Xbox360), so I am unfamilar as to whether movies downloaded from Sony's movie service and stored on the PS3 hard-disk can be backed up to another device, say PC or Mac, and later reloaded individually to ANY PS3 (Just in case the original PS3 failed, or was stolen...). If not, Sony's movie download-purchase program is really only a glorified rental service and joins the legion of DRM-laced ploys to con technically-illiterate customers into video and audio download rentals masquerading as purchases.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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