Spore: DRM Backlash

C|Net News has an interesting blog post SecuROM, which is considered by some to be much more than just an anti-copy protection scheme, but system subversive malware.

The controversy seems to seems to revolve around EA's activation scheme that only let's you install the game a total of three times.  If your computer hard drive crashes, you reinstall Windows, you remove the game because you don't want to play it anymore--all legitimate activities on your computer-- don't matter because EA doesn't want people to pirate it.  If you take a gander to the Pirate Bay, you can see that the numbers are quite substantive and send a very clear message:  Consumers don't like DRM.  At the time of this publication there were over 6000 seeders and nearly 20,000 leechers actively downloading a torrent of the cracked version of the full game.  C|Net points at estimates that the game has been illegally downloaded nearly half a million times!

It seems that backlash seems to be making a very pointed comment on the state of DRM and anti-piracy efforts:  the more you push honest people with malware-like software to keep them in check, the more you are going to drive them to do dishonest things.  DRM only hurts, or is an inconvenience, to those who want to pay for creative works.  The pirates will always find a way to do defeat and circumvent control mechanisms.  But, as Princess Leia succinctly put: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

Posted on Sep 13
Written by Wayne Hartman