FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
As a gamer it has been frustrating for me to deal with DRM. I've been unable to play games that I owned in the past due to having misplaced the CD Key over the years, and I've even been unable to play a game because I didn't have an active internet connection (the game itself didn't require an internet connection). These are things that tarnish the experience and in some cases make it impossible for me to access the games that I have payed for. I do feel as though games purchased through the Steam client that Valve has distributed offers the best of both worlds but that does not mean it's perfect. Are we able to sell used games? Should we be able to? Are games simply a different medium where different rules apply? or do the same rules apply as books and movies? I feel as though I should be able to lend my friend a game and he should be able to play it and then I should be able to get it returned to me. In any case, I think that steps that have been taken by EA and others with SecuROM are clearly in the wrong direction and should have never been allowed. Beyond the gaming medium DRM has been a road block in a few other instances. There have been many instances where protection has blocked legitimate use of media that I own. I have purchased TV shows, songs, movies through mediums such as iTunes where then I have been unable to watch the said media on other devices that I own. I think that this is a right that I (should?) have. There's no reason I should pay for multiple copies of a song or a movie whether it's being played on a computer or dvd player or phone. The bottom line is there isn't any reason that every song I own shouldn't be playable from any capable device. It has been shown time and time again, that DRM does not stop piracy, or at least the way that it infringes against consumers does not match with what it is intended to protect against. There are ways to make it worthwhile for a person to buy a product but the last few iterations of DRM and what is currently available for the most part fails to make this point and simply makes owning media in the digital age cumbersome and aggravating.