FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is horrible if unmanaged correctly. Valve's Steam platform is wonderful because you can manage multiple DRM game copies purchased over the service, in addition to adding a few game disks (and cd keys) that you have floating around your house. This eliminates the need to keep your physical media lying around. As long as you have an account you can access your media anywhere! Additionally, Valve's server speed litterally beams content to your whatever OS your steam account is logged into. Steam also give you the ability to back up content on your own terms if you don't wish to waste bandwidth in the future. I for one will support this model in the future by exclusively downloading from them. On the other hand we have Apple, and Electronic Arts. Itunes is the single handed worst running piece of software on the Windows platform. I have a Quad Core Processor with 4 GB of RAM and Itunes performs comparably on 6 year old computer equipment. You can't even use your purchased media on multiple devices or let alone a media player that actually performs well on your machine. Why can't I just drag and drop files onto my ipod via the Windows Explorer module? Why can't I play itunes downloaded content on other devices? It is almost worth it to go out and buy the CD or Movie and rip it to your digital format of choice and upload it to the device of your choice. The key theme here is choice, which Apple and Electronics Arts will never give their customers. Electronic Arts biggest shame to date is the video game Spore. The public outlash against this video game has garnered the Score of 1 stars on Amazon.com. Since the game has been released in the summer, the score has marginally risen to 1.5 stars. I for one, downloaded a copy from Bittorrent to avoid the DRM. I was planning on legitamately purchasing a copy, but I didn't want to deal with the DRM. I am glad I didn't purchase Spore, since the game was actually terrible. Its a shame that EA didn't release a Demonstation version (DEMO) so that users could try it on their own. I also believe that lack of Demonstation versions increase the number of units pirated. There may be a number of games that I am willing to purchase regarless of DRM, but there are no Demonstration versions available. In my experience, all of the pirated games I have downloaded were to experience them as a "Demonstration Version". I play the games a couple of hours and if I like the game I go out and buy it, If I hate it, I delete the content. The "stupid" form of DRM encourages piracy. Why bother dealing with DRM when you can just download the software or music or movies for free? It seems like people are freely risking lawsuits by breaking the law, simply for convenience. If a low cost, high speed, non-drm alternative were offered, piracy could be reduced dramatically. Currently there are 2 categories to obtain your digital content. 1. Legally with DRM 2. Illegally without DRM. Why can't we add more options, Perhaps Legally without DRM? And affordable?