FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00336

Submission Number:
Tim Everett
Black Widow Company, A Gaming Community 1000 Strong
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Committee: The DRM is quite frankly the most useless piece of entertainment restriction since Prohibition. I use the term "pirate" very loosely, and only to identify with people who use that term (a pirate steals without giving back). Pirates that steal games and electronic media have ALWAYS been ahead of bodies like the RIAA and technology like DRM. I work hard for my money and I am an avid gamer who buys games off the shelf. If I so desired, I could download *ANY* game on the internet at places like Piratebay.com. I know people who can "rip" (that is, copy and upload) a game fresh off the shelf and out of the box. That's with DRM technology. All DRM is, is a lazy attempt at protection. It is useless, increases the costs of games, and takes up valuable space. It does not stop, let alone deter, any halfway-decent 15-yr old teenager who really wants to spread their new toy on the net for free. It is a righteous and royal pain in the you-know-what for responsible, law-abiding gamers. It is a malicious act designed to punish responsible, legitimate gamers. Half of the time (the actual number is about 47-48%, so round up), the DRM coding simply prevents players from playing a game they bought without massive patching (the process of fixing a game). Sometimes, legitimate gamers simply go download the program files off the net for the very game they bought. Does it royally tick me off when someone steals from me? Heck yeah. However, DRM is not the answer. And companies like Microsoft just shove DRM down our throats, which in turn increases piracy. Furthermore, DRM technology is utter crap - so you have a company charging sixty bucks for a game that may or may not work properly. Because it's Microsoft, there's no accountability. Consumers can vote with their wallets, but really what's the point? It's Microsoft, mega-giant monopoly. I will close with a quote from a highly-placed industry executive named Gabe Newell at a company named Valve. And I quote, "As far as DRM goes, most DRM strategies are just dumb. The goal should be to create greater value for customers through service value (make it easy for me to play my games whenever and wherever I want to), not by decreasing the value of a product (maybe I'll be able to play my game and maybe I won't). We really really discourage other developers and publishes from using the broken DRM offerings, and in general there is a groundswell to abandon those approaches." Additionally, Ryan Miller of Microsoft's own Games for Windows concurs. He states on his blog, and I quote, "I think the problem with DRM is not so much the particular method used, but the attitude behind it. It makes us feel like we're all being punished for the sins of the few. It is also pretty clear that most DRM is not a problem for the pirates, just for the legitimate consumers. These two factors combine to make a ton of bad feelings on the consumer side." Regards, and /signed Tim Everett Taxpaying Consumer US Citizen Avid Gamer