I currently have a number of movies on my PS3 that refuse to play and, instead, tell me to go to the PSN store and renew the license. I know it has to do with some username changes/etc, but there has to be a way to restore the license without paying another $~200 to do so.
When I first purchased the unit, I set it up a psn account with one of my old email addresses and online aliases. After some time, I switched to a different username (for various reasons) and stopped using the original. Eventually I decided to delete the old name since it was just taking up space and the Welcome Back freebies allowed me to replace the only game I had registered to the old name. Anyway, I recently went to play some of the movies I had purchased under the old name and got the error message telling me to renew them. Instead, I put the original username/account on the PS3 under the assumption that restoring it would allow me to access the content again, but it's not working.
I've had the same PS3 since 2007, the accounts in question have never been used on another PS3 and I've never had it serviced, formatted or otherwise changed any of the hardware. That said, I don't quite understand why putting my original account back on the system wouldn't unlock the old content purchased on that account.
Again, there has to be a way to renew my license without repaying for it -- I'm just not sure how to do it.
When you switched to a different Username and stopped using the original, you were fine. The system stayed activated to the old username, and all was good. When you deleted the old Username, any content purchased with it stopped working.
So, putting the Username back on the system doesn't help much.
What you can do is login to the old username, go to your account manager and system activations. Try activating it if it is deactivated, or deactivate it then re-activate it, for Video.
When you delete a PS3 User/PSN Account from a PS3, anything purchased with that account stops working. That's how Sony set it up.
Deleting the User Account removes the activation flag. Putting the User Account back on doesn't do anyting other than putting the User Account back on. You should try re-activating to put the activation flag back on. No promises that it'll work, though.
If it does not work, you'll have to call Sony and ask them to help you out.