FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00433

Submission Number:
Joseph Riesenbeck
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
After purchasing one EA Game containing Securom, in this case Apartment Life for the Sims, it played havoc with my CD Burner and it became non functional immediately after playing that game. Yet, there was nothing on the game package or in the game description telling me that I was loading up an outside third party program on my PC which could interfere with normal function. But it's worse than that. If the gaming companies had nothing to hide, then why continue to try and hide exactly what these products do? They not only leave the information off the packaging, in which case you know nothing about it until after you've bought it and opened it making a return impossible, they never ever tell you in the description on places like Amazon or EB games what exactly you are getting whether it's Securom, or IGA's program to track your internet movements to feed you ads. They don't tell you this because that given an informed choice many people who would purchase these products would opt out. Furthermore, these schemes do nothing to stop piracy as CEO Ricitello of EA claims. In fact, their game spore was pirated and the copy protection broken before it was even available to purchasing customers. It is simply a scheme by game companies to try and control the second hand gaming market, and limiting what customers can do with a product that they purchased with their hard earned dollars, forcing them to spend even more money by creating what amounts to a rent-a-game system without calling it that by name. This does not punish Pirates. This stuff is a joke to them, obviously. The only people being punished are those honest consumers who spend their money only to find out that they are limited in what they can do with the product. Frankly, they can put all the DRM on it they want as long as they are totally upfront as to what the DRM does (limited installs, spyware), including that you will need an internet connection (despite the fact that many of these games are single player and shouldn't need one such as The Sims) not just on the packaging but as a warning in all ads and all game descriptions where the product is being marketed such as on Amazon or EB games.