Outside the United States
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
In my opinion DRM is the worst copy protection ever. Nowadays it's being used in a lot of games. DRM doesn't stop pirates from copying those games. Those who're affected by DRM are the people who buy their games in a legally way. One of the downsides of DRM (such as used by Electonic Arts) is the required internet connection. After installing the game, you'll need to activate the game before you're able to play this game. This activation is done using an internet connection. So, if you don't have an internet connection, you'll never be able to play the game you just bought. For many people this isn't a problem, but there are still a lot of people without an internet connection. For all of those people living in the Eastern Bloc it isn't obvious to have an internet connection, so these people'll never be able to play those games in a legally way. Except the Eastern Bloc there are more places on Earth where it isn't obvious to have an internet connection. I live in The Netherlands which is a rich country with fast internet connections, but even in my country there are still gamers without an internet connection. My best friend doesn't have an internet connection at his home. He's a great fan of the Red Alert games which are published by Electronic Arts. He doesn't pirate games and he has the original versions of the Red Alert games and their expansion packs. A few months ago Electronic Arts released Red Alert 3. My friend'd like to buy and play this game, but he'll never buy it, because he'll never be able to play the game. He just won't be able to activate the game. How about the pirates? Well, DRM just doesn't work. The games which are protected by DRM can be downloaded and installed by everyone who wants to. Most of the time the cracked version of these protected games are already available before the game'll be released in my country. Those pirates just download and install this cracked version and DRM just doesn't matter for them. They don't have to activate the game, they don't need an internet connection (except for downloading the game, which can be done from another computer) and there are no install limits on these cracked versions. They can just install the game as many times as they want on as many PCs as they want. DRM doesn't stop pirates. In fact the most downloaded games of 2008 are games which are protected by DRM. DRM isn't able to stop pirates and no copy protection'll ever be able to stop pirates. Every copy protection'll be cracked and pirates'll always be able to play illegal games. In my opinion it's completely useless to put any money in copy protections. They cost a lot of money and they just don't work. Publishers have to pay licencing fees in order to use a copy protection like SecuROM. Those copy protections interfere with the users hardware and software (many times I wanted to start my game and I got the error "Please insert the original CD/DVD" while the original disc was inside my optical drive), so many users'll be calling the support staff, because of these problems. In my opinion the solution is to drop all of these copy protections: - No licensing fees. - No interference with the installed hardware and software, meaning less people calling support staff (and because customers don't have problems to run the games they'll be satisfied customers and they're willing to buy any future games). - No activations servers are needed (also count the maintenance and power consumption of these servers). Customers'll be happy and publishers save a lot of money they can use to develop better games. Better games means more people willing to buy the game. How about the pirates? Publishers just can't stop them. The government has to stop those pirates from stealing games. Track down those pirates and let them pay high fines. Take down illegal websites and put the maker of the website in jail. The government has to do a lot more work to fight against piracy and control the internet. Greets, Robbert.