FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM has never worked correctly, in my opinion. Not only does it deter legitimate purchasers of product, but it has led to an increased amount of piracy and groups circumventing it. There was recently a case where a hard-coded date in the DRM for the video game Gears of War resulted in the widespread failure of the game. When January 28, 2009 rolled around, every legitimate copy of the video game simply stopped working. This problem didn't affect any copies of the game, however, that were pirated, as they had no DRM. Most users of a product are willing to purchase it. When manufacturers add DRM, it limits what the user can do with a product that they paid money for. If a user that has some technical knowledge is given the choice of purchasing a game such as Gears of War that is DRM-laden or downloading it from an illegal source but having the game free and clear, the user will often choose the latter. Users don't want products that have to 'phone home' in order to authenticate themselves. DRM simply frustrates many users that simply want the product they paid for to work. DRM is a broken concept, and it only complicates the ownership and use of technology, especially for novice users (who are often the ones to fall victim to broken DRM).