In Further Making The Case For Physical Media, Sony Announces PlayStation Users Will Soon Lose Access To Legally Purchased Discovery Channel Content

Official PlayStation Logo / Official Discovery Channel Logo
Official PlayStation Logo / Official Discovery Channel Logo

In the latest reminder that the concept of digital purchases is, at its core, anti-consumer, Sony has announced that thanks to a licensing hiccup, PlayStation users who used the system’s signature store to acquire various Discovery Channel series will soon lose wholesale access to their ‘personally owned’ content.

Peter Parker (Yuri Lowenthal) finds himself at the mercy of Scream (Laura Bailey) in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (2023), Insomniac Games
Peter Parker (Yuri Lowenthal) finds himself at the mercy of Scream (Laura Bailey) in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 (2023), Insomniac Games

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Announcing this move in a December 2nd legal notice, Sony informed its customers that “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.”

Per a list provided by Sony, over 1,000 titles will be affected as part of this change, including such series as American Chopper, MythBusters, My Strange Addiction, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.

Kari Byron discusses MythBuster's history with network censors in Hello Censors | Mythbusters (2016), Discovery
Kari Byron discusses MythBuster’s history with network censors in Hello Censors | Mythbusters (2016), Discovery

As of writing, neither Sony nor Discovery have offered any public clarification as to which exact aspect of their “content licensing arrangement” resulted in this development, though it more than likely has something to do with the network’s recent merger with Warner Bros.

Further, it notably appears Sony will not be offering any refunds for any content affected by this change, in doing so effectively leaving customers in the wind regarding their legally purchased media.

Morgan Freeman explains the speed of light in Through the Wormhole Season 1 Episode 3 'Is Time Travel Possible?' (2010), Discovery
Morgan Freeman explains the speed of light in Through the Wormhole Season 1 Episode 3 ‘Is Time Travel Possible?’ (2010), Discovery

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As noted above, this development is but the latest in an ever-growing tide of anti-consumer practices coming out of not just Hollywood, but the worldwide entertainment industry as a whole.

From video game giant Capcom declaring war on the practice of modding video games, to Crunchyroll and Sony locking previously free-to-watch anime simulcasts behind a newly-introduced subscription tier, to cases such as this where a given company can up and revoke customers’ access to their purchased content, it’s apparent now more than ever that corporations are no friend to consumers.

Cammy (Miyuki Sawashiro) dons her classic outfit in Street Fighter VI (2023), Capcom
Cammy (Miyuki Sawashiro) dons her classic outfit in Street Fighter VI (2023), Capcom

And it is this constant, unfair fight that has led many individuals to begin banging the drum in favor of physical media ownership – after all, at least for now, corporations have no legal right to your physical property.

Such notable criers include Oppenheimer director Chrisopher Nolan, who recently lamented how “There is a danger, these days, that if things only exist in the streaming version they do get taken down, they come and go,” and Pacific Rim creator Guillermo Del Toro.

Dr. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) realizes the gravity of what his discovery has wrought in Oppenheimer (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures
Dr. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) realizes the gravity of what his discovery has wrought in Oppenheimer (2023), Warner Bros. Pictures

Echoing his colleagues thoughts in a November 20th post to his personal Twitter account, the director likewise declared, “Physical media is almost a Fahrenheit 451 (where people memorized entire books and thus became the book they loved) level of responsibility.”

“If you own a great 4K HD, Blu-ray, DVD etc etc of a film or films you love,” he added, “you are the custodian of those films for generations to come.”

Archive Link Guillermo Del Toro via Twitter
Archive Link Guillermo Del Toro via Twitter

NEXT: Capcom Takes Aim At PC Game Modding, Says Developers Should Be Concerned Over “Mods That Are Offensive To Public Order and Morals”

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