FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
While the need for managing rights for digital copy is important, it's also far more important that developers and publishers not assume that everyone purchasing their product does so with malicious intent. Imposing limits of installation, installing intrusive and harmful programs into user systems without consumer knowledge or consent, and other such practices are akin to scanning people with a metal detector and patting them down before they're allowed entry into a movie theater to watch a film they had already purchased tickets for. There have been far more reasonable and smarter solutions to the problem of digital piracy, such as the distribution model set forth by Valve and its "Steam" service--to assume that other publishers are blind to the existence of these methods is hubris at best, and idiotic at worst. Controls are, of course, necessary in a world rife with digital piracy. It's up to publishers to recognize, through the arena of public gamer opinion, where the line in the sand is. The initiation of this town hall, as well as the recent events propagated by Electronic Arts with the DRM controls included in the game "Spore", should hopefully go a long way towards recognition of that line. For the sake of the hard-working men and women in the game development and design industry, and for the continued growth and success of a hobby and game platform that I personally hold dear, I hope that a consensus can be made.