FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00373

Submission Number:
Michael Lerch
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM provides protection to companies IP however some of their tactics to prevent copyright infringing is a bit abusive and sometimes intrusive. Whether it is limiting the amount of installs you can perform for your game to restricting your game from being able to play due to a minor scratch on the disc because their disc authentication check is too strict, I feel as though developers and publishers are going too far on preventing piracy. I understand that they are trying to prevent further financial loss but there has been numerous reports that their tactics can possibly damage an individuals computer. The best bet for protecting ones IP is to use a digital content distribution service such as STEAM (Valve Software, www.steampowered.com). Because of the ease of use and the reliablity of STEAM. STEAM allows an individual to buy or register their purchased game(s) to their "STEAM Account" which then enables them to play the games with zero restrictions. This means that after installing the game, the inividual does not need CDs/DVDs to play nor do they need to keep a copy of their product manual on hand so they have a record of their product key. STEAM keeps track of everything using a highly secure encrypted system that Valve Software has designed and has proven it to work. STEAM checks for any unauthorized changes to certain games, which blocks illegal modification of games which may allow individuals to pirate the game. STEAM also keeps games up-to-date for the individual who owns it. If the individual ever decides to reinstall the game they can simply uninstall and redownload the entire game from the STEAM servers and be ready to go in no time. My point on all this is is that DRM is not needed if you find the right method of distributing games. STEAM allows you to purchase hundreds of commercial games ranging from Wolfenstein 3D to Crysis, SPORE, and others. The reason that people pirate games is because they do not want to go to the store to buy a DVD that can be scratched or pay for someone to tell them how many times they can install the game. I just say remove DRM and go digital, all games should be purchasable and downloadable on STEAM as well as in a retail store. The game bought from the retail store should be allowed to register to STEAM and that removes any need for DRM and discs even.