FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00643

Submission Number:
Michael Walker
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Since their inception DRM has never halted a single pirated release of a game. Likewise their intention hasn't been to halt piracy for quite a few years at this point. It has become a case of increasing profits by creating difficulties within second hand sales. CD-Keys are many times not printed to the disc or to the case because it's harder to lose them (seeing as losing them means a new purchase) and likewise they are very easily forged. Requiring internet access is easily routed and all it does is punish the real customer who doesn't have the knowledge to work around it. I think the irony of the situation is that DRM in all forms of software causes the consumer to turn to alternate less legal (see illegal) sources for the materials. When people are treated like criminals they will act in kind. This is what DRM does. If you look into ALL companies be they movies, music, or video games, the ones that provide a quality product for a reasonable price generally make amazing profits in relation to their expenses. The consumer is willing to congratulate a quality service, the problem is that companies like EA are consistently releasing terrible (I do mean terrible) products at engorged prices. People cannot afford to purchase a possible lemon that they cannot return and they end up pirating it. Stardock is a great example, as well as the gentlemen behind World of Goo. Both produce amazing products at very reasonable prices (albeit usually the same price as EA games for the former BUT at a hugely greater level of quality) and their issues with piracy are almost nil. Likewise many torrent sites deal with console piracy as well as PC. In many cases the piracy of console games is far greater than the PC counterpart (unless the game is easily mod-able). Yet you will be hard pressed to see piracy getting blamed for poor console sales. It's a failed practice that does nothing but punish the consumer. DRM is killing many once great companies and I think it's a good thing because with the death of old ideas comes the birth of new ones. Much like when old extremist pass away in our world they give way to the ideas of young dreamers. It's a healthy process that helps keep us from being in an endless dark age and I personally am looking forward to the day that businesses like EA vanish off the face of the Earth. Not because of Malice but merely because they are giving a terrible message to the entertainment industry. Treating your customers like criminals and burdens is never a proper business practice and it is in fact why capitalism as a whole suffers. We have lost our way and it is showing.