FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is an inconvenience to customers' ability to make use of a product they have paid for. I have heard many, and indeed personally experienced, cases in which a lost CD or CD key causes the inability to either play or install a game, specifically when installing an old game on a new system. Another concern is the lack of notification before the installation of DRM, some of which negatively affects system stability and overall system quality. Most DRM is also difficult if not impossible to uninstall without a complete wipe of the hard drive. Use of DRM is an illogical choice for gaming companies. DRM only drives away potential customers, since pirated versions are completely DRM free, which means most gamers see the pirated version as superior quality. As shown by the EA Spore debacle, DRM drives piracy up, and sales down. Some companies use only a CD key, which is only required to download patches and not required to play the game. Most gamers see this as an acceptable balance between protecting the company's interests and protecting the rights of the consumer who purchased the game.