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Sony's Recent Actions Raise Concerns About the Fragility of Digital Ownership and Platform Reliability

Sony's recent actions have brought attention to the precarious nature of digital "ownership," raising concerns about the security and permanence of purchased digital content. Two incidents in quick succession have highlighted the potential risks and frustrations faced by users relying on digital platforms.

Firstly, Sony announced that due to content licensing arrangements, users would lose access to Discovery content they had purchased, and the content would be removed from their libraries by December 31st, 2023. This move sparked frustration among users, as it meant losing access to shows they had bought to watch on demand, emphasizing the ephemerality of digital ownership. While content removals are common in streaming services, the unique aspect here is users losing access to purchased content.

The second incident involved unexpected bans on PlayStation Network accounts, preventing users from playing multiplayer games, using cloud streaming, and even locking them out of digitally purchased games. Although Sony has since restored account access for affected users, the lack of clarity regarding the cause and resolution of the issue has left users concerned about the reliability of digital platforms.

These incidents underscore the risks associated with digital ownership, where users are reliant on platform holders to maintain digital storefronts, content availability, and account systems. The closure of Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS eShops and Google's shutdown of Stadia serve as earlier reminders that companies have the power to control access to purchased digital content.

The sudden and seemingly unfair nature of these recent incidents, coupled with Sony's limited communication about the bans, has prompted some users to reconsider their reliance on digital content. The frustration over losing access to purchased shows and games has led individuals to contemplate a return to physical copies, such as discs and cartridges, which provide a tangible and potentially more secure form of ownership.

While digital content offers convenience, the recent events highlight the importance of considering the long-term viability and security of digital platforms. Users are grappling with the realization that what they perceive as ownership in the digital realm may not guarantee the permanence and accessibility they expect. The incidents serve as a cautionary tale, prompting a reassessment of the trade-offs between convenience and the potential risks associated with digital ownership.

Sony's Recent Actions Raise Concerns About the Fragility of Digital Ownership and Platform Reliability

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