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It's the False Positives, Stupid

July 29, 2010 7:34:37.617

This is why I dislike DRM so much - it doesn't hit pirates at all, but it periodically slaps legitimate users in the face:

Valve, the company responsible for the game Modern Warfare 2, recently issued an apology to over 12,000 legitimate MW2 users who were accidentally banned from getting their first-person shooter on by the company’s DRM implementation.

The pirates manage to get around these issues easily enough; cracked games pop up on the net on or before the official release date. Which means that DRM fails miserably for the task it supposedly exists for. However, it sure does manage to irritate the crap out of legitimate users on an ongoing basis.

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posted by James Robertson


Re: It's the False Positives, Stupid

[W^L+] July 29, 2010 23:58:47.845

I think TUR (technological usage restrictions; a much more accurate term than "digital rights management") exists more to keep legitimate, obedient users from taking advantage of such legitimate purposes as hardware replacement (substitution) or backing up their purchases (recovery), or even sharing "content" among family members (group enjoyment). For those purposes, it works wonderfully. As you've noted, it doesn't work for its avowed purpose of deterring unauthorized use and distribution, which is why I'm convinced it was never meant to serve that purpose.

It also works well at what I believe is its secondary purpose: "proving" to lawmakers that media and content creation industries need ever more stringent and invasive legal crackdowns in order to force an unwilling public to pay for their products.

Like a lock, TUR cannot prevent determined, informed, and resourceful thieves from getting in. It is therefore designed to cause more or less honest people to comply with the rules.

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