FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00470

Submission Number:
Antonio Madrid
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Hello. I am writing this as a 27-year-old "gamer" with an opinion on the recent DRM controversy. Let me start out with saying I have no qualms about companies taking an interest in protecting their individual IPs (intellectual properties). What I do have an issue with is the way they choose to do it. As the result of DRM's implementation in many of today's popular PC games it has directly had a negative impact on my decision in buying those products. I am considering buying a new PC in the recent future because my current one is going on six years old (a complete dinosaur in technology terms), and it cannot play many of the more current PC games. However, since many games now also support DRM my purchasing power shifts to those products that do not support it, and in doing so takes potential sales away from those companies which implement DRM in their games. I do not feel the way to combat piracy is by punishing those honest consumers out there (and yes, we do exist!) that go to a store and legitimately buy a game. As it stands now DRM proves to be more of a hassle for honest consumers than for pirates for two reasons: 1. Restricting users to a predetermined amount of installs, and 2. Restricting installation on systems that have some sort of copying software already installed. 1. Restricting users to a predetermined amount of installs and, if exceeded, requiring that user to call the company directly to obtain "permission" (after proving they legitimately bought the game in the first place) is an extreme hassle. How is it a hassle? Here's an example: I have PC games from ten years ago that I still enjoy and play. But I'll tell you this: Those games do NOT reside on my hard drive indefinitely. I install them when I get the "itch" to play them and, once done, I uninstall them. That's the beauty of it. I don't have to call the company to ask permission or explain WHY I have to install a game they developed ten years prior. For a company to treat every customer who buys their games as a potential thief is downright insulting. And that is precisely what DRM succeeds in doing. Limiting the amount of installs I am allowed to make on my computer is nonsensical because people have many reasons for installing/uninstalling programs multiple times on their PCs. Here's another counter-point to that tactic: What happens if a company goes out of business? Who is the consumer supposed to call then (and no, Ghostbusters won't help in this situation)? Not only that but the second point addresses DRM's ability to restrict installing at all if it detects copy software on a user's PC. Computers are used for multiple tasks and not just playing games. People copy music CDs, DVDs, home movies, etc. for back ups. To assume that anyone with copying software installed on their PC is using it to pirate games is an obscene insult toward your customers. If DRM is continued to be used I will NOT be buying any games that support it for my future PC. I will continue to stick with console game systems and leave the hassle of DRM to the wayside. Sure I'm a realist, what's one less sale when there are millions out there to take my place? As futile and insignificant as it may seem that is my stance. I'd hate to be that way since I feel PC gaming is vastly superior to consoles, but that's a small price to pay for not having to deal with the hassle of DRM and hand-holding that some companies seem to be advocating. Thank you for your time and consideration. -Antonio