FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00153

Submission Number:
Jeff Clark
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM, while created with the intention to protect copyrighted materials, ultimately punishes the consumers who actually purchase the products. DRM is more of a deterrent to the purchase of material then anything else. I personally feel that adding DRM to music, for example, constricts the users ability to enjoy the music. Copyright protection ends up being more of a hassle to the buyer, then an understandable hurdle. In terms of games, PC games in particular, I find myself increasingly frustrated in the newer DRM technologies that are arising recently, SecuROM being the most notable. I find myself avoiding re-installing MY OWN GAME. I quite often restore my system to clean the registry, and the idea that I am hesitant to reinstall a game that I payed to hold private rights to is quite astonishing. My 3 install limit, has made me afraid to reinstall the game, and while I understand that it is a soft limit, I still find it to be a hassle. Now the thing that aggravates me even further is the naivety of the industry. DRM has turned into something that punishes the consumer and rewards the pirate. Hackers can circumvent DRM and pump out a clean version in 24 Hours. So I have two choices, I can buy the game, spend fifty dollars on it, install it, and run into restrictions and hassle, or I can download a cracked version of the game FREE...a WEEK before its even released, with no restrictions what so ever. The draw of pirating a game is rising with the technology generation, the price of legitimate games, added with the ease of downloading the pirated version makes this an extremely easy choice. Now I am not promoting a completely unrestricted software install, the failures of that can be seen with a game like "World of Goo", but the combination of registered CD keys and traditional protection of that sort are completely understandable. For a perfect system of Copyright Protection look to Steam. Steam gives a USER the right to play a game on any system he/she chooses. Install it remotely and enjoy. DRM's main failure is that it links the media to SINGLE piece of HARDWARE. The average user switches hardware at least every three years, and own multiple systems. THE CONSUMER is the person who has purchased rights, not the system. So in summary: DRM has failed because of it's disregard for the consumers, DRM does not promote purchase, Instead it hurts the very consumers who actually want to buy the game I find myself not purchasing games because of this very fact. So by that very fact that I am one lost customer, DRM has failed terribly. but here's the fact. I'm one among tens of thousands