“Those opposed to DRM contend there is no evidence that DRM helps prevent copyright infringement, arguing instead that it serves only to inconvenience legitimate customers, and that DRM helps big business stifle innovation and competition. Furthermore, works can become permanently inaccessible if the DRM scheme changes or if the service is discontinued.” – Wikipedia
our receiving the Buzzr channel at Rancho Yesteryear with our DISH “Flex Package.” What made me wary that it would be a temporary thing was that we experienced something similar when DISH added the Grit subchannel a while back; when I noticed that they added a few “new” reruns to their lineup—one of them being The Californians, which I was curious to check out—I went to program the DVR only to discover it had completely vaporized from our system.
I recorded reruns of To Tell the Truth, What’s My Line?, and I’ve Got a Secret from Buzzr for two purposes—the most important being that I had planned to use these episodes as “filler” whenever I dubbed a ninety-minute movie to a DVD-R. (I’m kind of anal about that sort of thing. Please do not look upon me with bewilderment and pity.) Friday afternoon, I decided to get started with the dubbing and as I set up the first installment of Truth…I get an onscreen message telling me that I can’t watch this recording because I’m not subscribed to the channel.
Andrew “Grover” Leal, who told me he could no longer watch a movie he DVR’d from HBO a while ago. (He’s also been experiencing trouble programming his DVR since the changeover.) I checked out an HBO recording I made—I believe it was The Sixth Sense (1999)—and it seemed to play fine, so I didn’t think much more about it.
But the Buzzr situation really got me steamed. It angered me because the recordings were only a month old, if at that—I could understand it if I had DVR’d these last year but this just seemed to be one big clusterfudge. I decided to call someone at DISH about this nonsense.
When we moved into Rancho Yesteryear (the Winterville edition) in July of 2015, we didn’t have many options re: TV service; although our mailing address is Winterville, we’re technically outside the city limits…where no cable installer has gone before. So, it came down to DISH or DirecTV, and after hearing a few of my friends bitch about how DirecTV loves to raise their rates more than they love their children I decided to go with DISH as our provider. (Plus, there was already a DISH dish in the yard. I figured it would make things easier.) Since that foolish decision, DISH has gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep me in a continually ulcerated state.
It started when Mom and Dad were upset because they couldn’t watch Braves games on the weekend; the channel (Fox Sports South) that televised the games would have a notice onscreen that the outing they wanted to watch had been blocked in our area. I called DISH to ask what the dealio was and the rep I spoke with swore on the lives of her children that this was completely out of the company’s hands.
Yes. This woman flat-out lied to me, thinking smugly: “This guy sounds too dumb to even look it up on the Internets.” Because here’s the thing: it’s bad enough that you’ve aroused my ire by doing this kind of sh*t in the first place (although it was really more of my parents’ ire…since I had no f**ks to give regarding the televised games) but then you compound this by not being straight with me. All she would have had to say is: “Yes, we’re too cheap to pay Fox for the weekend games. I know you, as a customer, probably don’t agree with what we feel is a principled stand…but we really don’t care because you have no other options regarding TV. Have a nice day, asswipe.” (Sure—I still would have been angry…but it would be an honest anger.)
I should have foreseen that this person was not going to give me any sort of honest answer—that she had, in fact, been conditioned by her human-weasel masters not to get sidetracked from the official story (I’m guessing it was a combination of snakes and live electricity). She kept prattling on about it being a DRM (digital rights management) issue—that practice that companies have adopted to, in the words of Wikipedia, “restrict usage of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works.” Since I wasn’t subscribed to Buzzr, I couldn’t access any programming I might have recorded…and if I did record a show, it would expire after a 24-hour period. (“What’s the point of having the DVR if I have to watch this stuff before that time limit runs out?” I asked to no reply.)