Excuse me while I do my best to get in everyone's face.
To everyone who thinks this is a simple issue: You are wrong. DRM doesn't prevent piracy and piracy is not theft. Piracy is not right and producers of software have the right to protect their product, but that doesn't mean DRM is the answer. This isn't a simple issue and it doesn't have a simple answer.
And before you climb on your soap box and demand that I give an alternative let me disclaim: I don't necessarily have the answer, but I know what the answer is *not*.
Hey, it might be satire, but it's the best kind of satire -- where 90% of what it says is the complete truth (and the other 10% is just added for comedic effect).
This is how I interpreted it as well. But is he poking fun at the fanboyism surrounding the DRM issue or is he actually poking fun at the whole anti-DRM argument?
You never buy a game, you only buy a license to play it and the program necessary to do so. It's not yours to do whatever you like with and it -never has been-, pre or post DRM. If you don't believe me read the license agreement you accept when you install pretty much any game, old or new. Publishers can deliver the game how they want, as long as they think people will still swallow it.
And therein lies the problem. It's obvious to me that a distinction needed to be made between purchasing software and licensing software. Software, like music, isn't something physical whose utility you lose when give it to someone else. I see the original intention of licensing agreements as a way to ensure that software products enjoy the same limited use and distribution channels as a 'normal' product like a chair, knife, or torch.
Unlike anything else though, publishers have been able to convince consumers that them retaining 100% control over your license to use the software is a good and acceptable thing. If a record label goes out of business or a band breaks up, you as consumer only lose whatever future content they might have produced, you don't lose the ability to enjoy any current CDs you already own.
Strangely enough, the battle against music DRM seems to be all but won, yet software DRM is as entrenched as ever.
Having said that, none of the doomsday scenarios people talk about like, say, the day Valve's servers shut down and nobody gets to play the games they got from it anymore will never actually happen because even if the servers do go down for good if Valve doesn't release a patch unlocking the content before that happens, then -somebody- will. If the worst comes to the worst with DRM, we'll still be able to keep playing.
I applaud your faith in humans. Personally I don't trust that all the games I find entertaining will still be popular enough by the time the so-called "Doomsday Scenarios" transpire to warrant some cracker's attention. I also can't wait for the ironic day to come where one of these 'services' does go down and the masses that decried the evils of piracy and supported the need of DRM run to the 'filthy pirates' to plead for help to get their legal purchases working again.
Speaking of emergency unlocking patches: Whose to say that all the publishers hosted on said service would allow the hosts of the service to simply strip the protection they paid good money for out of their software?
DRM wouldn't be an issue if there wasn't a healthy pirating community out there. By presenting the product, a publisher or developer has every right to set the terms of said purchase and use. You have every right to not support such terms of purchase and use, you however do not have the right to rip them off.
DRM wouldn't be an issue if publishers would realise that it doesn't prevent piracy. It was a valid response to the problem at the time but now that it's been established that it's having negligible effect it may as well be abandoned. It's a needless production cost and inconvenience. Other than that I agree with your statement.
Well, what gave black slaves the right to freedom? That right didn't exist - they were property. People decided that was wrong, and fought for their freedom. I'm willing to bet that, in one way or another, one or more laws were broken in the fight for equality and the end of slavery.
You can bitch how you can't possibly compare slavery to gaming, but you can. The only difference is where you draw the line; both are examples of an "accepted" practice that one group find acceptable, another group find deplorable, and the only solution involves breaking the law and/or forcing a change in the law.
Thanks Wargamer, for making the pro-DRMers' point for them. Over-the-top arguments like these harm our credibility, it doesn't strengthen it.
Yes, current incarnations of DRM inhibit consumer freedoms, but as consumers if we simply refuse to buy software with draconian DRM we are denied entertainment, or at worst some productivity software. We aren't beaten within an inch of our lives, nor are we denied our right to live for our insolence.
Maybe your predictions are accurate, but that doesn't change the fact that for now, we're talking about entertainment. Freedom is always worth fighting for but please don't liken it to slavery or any other fight for basic human rights for that matter.