FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I view DRM restrictions in software as obscenely unfair to me, the purchaser of my software. I purchased a game, Mass Effect, for my PC from publisher EA. However, I no longer am able to play this game without a long and protracted set of writings and emails with the developer BioWare. This is due completely to unfair DRM. Being an avid computer building, I go through hardware upgrades and whole new computers in relatively short times, meaning I often have to reinstall software. Such products as Mass Effect utilize an unfair, unadvertised, unethical form of DRM that limits the ammount of times that the software can be installed - five in this case. Needless to say I've installed it only five times, on my sixth try it subsequently told me I was not allowed as I had passed my limit. This is absurd. Me, the paying customer, disallowed to use my own product while a person who illegally downloads it will have no such limitations. Its no wonder developers complain of piracy and the decline of the industry, they are strangling their customers while pirates who obtain the software for free circumvent any such arbitrary limits. DRM does not work. Oh yes, it does what it is programmed to: that is to say that it harasses honest buyers. It does not however do what it is intended for, it does not stop piracy. In fact I believe it promotes it - who wants to pay $50+ dollars for software they may no even be able to use if their computer crashes and they have to reinstall? DRM is a failed experiment and its time to stop fudging the completely fabricated "positive results." DRM does nothing buy hamper honest buyers while motivating illegal acquisition of software.