In honour of the International Day Against DRM I had to write a small post. The very first thing that pops into my head when I think of this is Dr.M which in my mind looks exactly like Dr.Robotinik from the Sonic franchise. An evil force subverting the world to his own agenda.
I mean, there has to be a nefarious force behind DRM. Mistake after mistake has been done. Sony's music CD broke into peoples computers and without special authentication servers you cannot play your recently bought game. It's almost as if somebody is laughing behind the scenes...
Why not an evil person, scheming for world domination with robots? There isn't an executive in the world who wouldn't jump at the idea of selling their property not once, but several times over. So it's an easy sell for an evil force.
I am of the small minority who has resorted to not buying games I really wanted, simply because the possibility of them having stupid DRM. Among others Red Alert 3 and Sim City. Even the smallest rumour of not being able to finish a game, has driven me to postpone or stop my purchasing. Not a decision I take lightly, but as a result of how I play my games. When playing games I usually need to take a pause after a day or two, coming back to it months or years later. With an evil DRM regime, my finicky playstyle might just not allow me to ever finish the game.
I do understand that producers of content need to make ends meet, and I can even respect content owners who fronts the expenses for creating great and complex art need to get their money back. It's just that the use of cryptography, hacks and law suits to beat their customers into submission, cannot stand as the way forward.
Today I am gladly subscribing to several services, but this model only works for the biggest players, providing the best deals. So allowing users to pay up front once, is the only model that allows both new and old content makers to exist peacefully side by side. Bright new ideas dazzling among the best music, games, films and other digital content who have survived the ages.
The old strategy of filling the marketplace with crap made too fast and with blatant disregard of the better content they emulate, has never gone away. So we need the new and unsupported artists to get their chance. If the market only allows invasive DRM content, reselling the same content and big subscription services will soak up most of the consumers pay checks.
Buying digital content is a one-click experience now, so I am finding it harder and harder to give every Tom, Dick and Harry my credit information. Bad purchases shapes consumers. Free content wrapped in advertising does not improve things either. My time is precious, and is it too much to ask for to be allowed to consume the content I paid valid currency for, when I want to?
Stop Dr.M and free our content, or all consumer spending is going to end up outside the home on sites like concerts and cinemas.