FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
As someone who enjoys PC gaming, I am strongly in favor of the IDEA of DRM on games-- I want PC game manufacturers to make all possible profits so that they continue making games for my platform of choice. However, most DRM solutions today simply reduce the value of the product through limited activations (in essence, making your purchased game a rental), by forcing you to have your disk in the drive, etc. Those who simply decide to steal the game will not have to deal with any of these problems. To be blunt, the pirated versions of a game, even if SOLD for the same price as the original version, would be worth more. DRM is silly, because hackers will always find a way to crack it, and in the mean time, it provides impetus for people to pirate a game. Many people I know buy a game, only to download the pirated version because it works better. I believe DRM such as EA has been using, forcing a limited number of game activations, misses the point. Valve's Steam, on the other hand, is a robust DRM scheme, but provides value to PC gamers beyond the pirated versions. Pirated versions of games cannot be done away with, but they can be competed against. Services like Steam compete successfully against pirated versions, while DRM-schemes like Securom detract from the game's value. Moreover, DRM like Securom puts a rootkit on people's computers that they can never remove, even when the game is uninstalled. This is inconceivable and the FCC Should ban this practice.