FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00677

Submission Number:
Derek Thorson
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
No story points out the flaws in DRM more than the Gears of War DRM story yesterday: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2009/01/pc-gears-of-war-drm-causes-ti... The last paragraph sums up all of it: "While it's not rare for games to ship with bugs every now and again, it's pretty shocking when one ships with an issue that causes the title to stop working for everyone who paid. Those who pirated the game, as usual, continue to play with no issues." DRM must be changed so that it does not cause a burden on legitimate customers beyond a simple verification that they did indeed pay (such as a CD Key or insertion of a CD/DVD into the computer's CD/DVD drive). My worst experience with DRM was with Electronic Arts' Mass Effect. The original game shipped with 3 activations. At the time I purchased the PC version I had just upgraded the hardware components in my computer. Through several re-installations of the operating system (Windows Vista Ultimate), I managed to use up my 3 activations, forcing me to send in a support ticket in order to "get permission" to play the game I legally purchased. After yet another re-installation of the OS (yes I reinstall often, especially when I upgrade hardware) I had to get permission again. The time to complete those two support tickets (from ticket submission to the time I was told I was able to activate once more) was 10 days total. The first I waited 4 days for a response (I had to respond with information to prove when and where I purchase the game), and another 2 days to get word that I could reactivate. The second I waited 4 days for a response telling me I could reactivate. This is unacceptable. I have since reinstalled my OS several times, but I have no interest in installing the game again since I don't want to have to wait another 4+ days to get permission to play a game I legally paid for. I want to play the game, but I DON'T want to install it...too much hassle. When I bought Spore (also an EA product) I bypassed the official activation system by downloading a crack for the game (yes the same crack pirates use to play the game without issues). The pirates have no trouble at all playing the game they didn't pay for, so why should legitimate customers be stopped from playing the game they DID pay for? The companies need to stop treating their customers like criminals.