FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I am writing to you today to urge you to consider regulating the anti-consumer technology known as DRM. StarForce DRM, in particular is one I will specifically comment on. This DRM is used to protect PC titles such as DCS: Black Shark developed by the Russian firm Eagle Dynamics. In general, this software allows a maximum number of (5) installs of the software in conjunction with a new operating system install. For the majority of users, this is not an appropriate limitation. Because of shortcomings by Microsoft and computer hardware vendors, Windows computers may sometimes require multiple operating system installs. These installs are usually attempted as a troubleshooting method for various reasons, hardware and software related. When this install limit is reached, StarForce will no longer allow installation of the protected software. Eagle Dynamics, will then at their discretion decide if the user is "allowed" install the software again. To many consumers, this form of software distribution is more comparable to a rental, instead of a sale. This form of DRM is echoed amongst many major PC game publishers today. My recommendation, as a PC developer and gamer is twofold. Formulate a strategy that will serve to better inform consumers about DRM, and heavily restrict the use of install limits for PC game software. I understand this submission is late but would be grateful to see it entered into the record. Thank you for your time.