Posts Tagged ‘drm’

Dumb and DRMer

December 12, 2008

It emerged recently that Spore (the much anticipated evolutionary epic) has become the most pirated video game of all time, according to the TorrentFreak weblog. It clocked 1.7 million downloads (a figure only slightly short of its legitimate sales figures).This revelation came despite the rather draconian DRM software protection that was bundled with the game which limited legitimate users to only being able to install the game three times. (And also caused a host of technical issues for users).


Ironically, it was the inclusion of DRM that reportedly drove so many potential customers to download illegal versions of the game (although EA’s corporate executives may still deny this link and see the figures as a sign that piracy is everywhere).

As the campaign to rid the world of DRM gathers force ( even industry veterans are now speaking out against it. Gabe Newell of Valve Software, recently said that current DRM strategies “are just dumb” and should seek to add value to the customer, not turn them away from buying games. A sustained public backlash has also begun, with customers awarding DRM protected games 1/5 stars on Amazon.

At the end of the day, it’s clear DRM does not stop games being pirated. So surely it would be better to release games without security systems that actively enrage legitimate users? 

Sony Ericsson PlayNow raises DRM debate

September 24, 2008

News today from Sony Ericsson unveiling its mobile music platform, PlayNow Plus, has re-sparked the debate on DRM (digital rights management) for music


Now, I’m not saying that I LOVE DRM,  but it is interesting that people don’t get in quite such a lather over DRM when it comes to their own images.  Perhaps it is because the public can so easily produce their own images that they are so intensely into a version of DRM for their own property – just look at the furore over privacy rights (DRM by another name?) in social networking sites like Facebook.   


Anyway, back to music. 


I blame the disastrous anti-mixtape campaign of the 1980s, ‘home taping is killing music’, for musos’ desire to ‘stick it to the man’ and flout the law when it comes to music copying and distribution. 


Home taping didn’t kill music in case you were wondering.  In fact, many say it revitalised the sector, helping to spread music and recommendations far beyond what the radio stations were able to do at the time.  For a modern day equivalent, using the radio function or scrobbling your music through a site like is brilliant to expand your musical horizons.


Anyway back to DRM.


The thing is, any business will charge as much as it possibly can to as many people as it can to make as much money as it can – that’s just business.  Wrapping digital music in DRM looks to me like the industry is yet to really pin down exactly what all this music content is worth so they are hedging their bets with restrictive DRM.  After all, once DRM free music is out in the open, there is no bringing it back.

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