Screw DRM


AKA Ass-Bandit
No seriously. Screw it right in the arse.

DRM was originally designed to prevent piracy, and you know what? It doesn't work. The fact that Spore and The Sims 3 were cracked and available several days before the official release pays testament to this fact.

The only people that DRM affect are the honest consumers, the people who just want to get on and play the game without having to activate the game online, or worrying about install limits when they replace a graphics card and a sound card.

Seriously game devs: DRM works about as well as not protecting your game. So why don't you just remove it all? The guys who actually bought your game will thank you for it.

On another note, screw micropayments too.


Creeping On You
For that matter, what exactly is DRM? I haven't bought a brand new game for a long time now, so I have no clue lol. What happened to the good ol' days of cd keys that you could easily find online?


Staff member
I haven't experienced this with games but once I bought a CD that had some sort of digital anti-piracy built in so that it couldn't be ripped to a computer. Basically if I wanted to listen to it I'd be forced to put the CD in my computer, car, or whatever. No option to put it on an iPod or anything. Ridiculous and I refuse to buy CD's like that anymore. Of course I don't think they are still doing that anymore, especially now that you can just buy CD's digitally nowadays if you are the type who wants to take the legal route.
For that matter, what exactly is DRM? I haven't bought a brand new game for a long time now, so I have no clue lol. What happened to the good ol' days of cd keys that you could easily find online?
:) it's much simpler now, with the cracks.

Digital Rights Management is a lot of things, from distribution model, platform protection and specific copy protection schemes. Some solutions, like Starfu.. Starforce and so on works in the way that they scan your computer actively for particular programs and running libraries, and refuse to run if they exist. Such as CloneCD, Alchohol, Daemon Tools, etc - or just generic threads for maintenance of the hardware abstraction layer when you have a cd- burner.

Other schemes, like the one that was used on Spore and Sims (at least for a while) is the more common one now (typically used on Steam and for larger and more expensive titles, for some reason) - is one where you decode encrypted data on your hdd in real time as the game needs it. While using a key found in a bitwise copy from the disk or from an encrypted session online (HL2, for example). The xbox uses a type of hardware- decoding for every sector on the disc, for example (and can be just disabled altogether.. but this at least does not affect the performance of the system, except steal a little bit of the total storage on the disc).

Those schemes don't actually work. Like any other scheme, because at some point you need to decrypt the data, and so you will be able to play it back. That's basically the problem with all.. let's call it "direct DRM" like that - it doesn't actually prevent copying. It just makes the process more elaborate. While of course draining the resources from the box when running all the decryption.

But I don't know.. now you really don't have the problems with drm that you used to. The computers are quicker, the solutions are less haphazardly applied, and the games tend to be tested reasonably well before launch. I mean, if anyone remember the original POP:Warrior Within launch - that copy- protection actually made the game hang randomly, even on a clean install. There's nothing like that any more. The music - you can usually buy something without DRM if you want, even from iToons and Zune. No discs that I'm aware of will be sold with the copy- protection scheme that made the disc useless on older cd- players, etc. For the simple reason that fewer people bought it, obviously..

So in general we have won, so to speak. Those of us who crack games.. oops.. do it as a hobby, or just study how others do it to learn. There's no.. noble mission behind any of this any longer, you know. No point.

Still - a lot of people do buy music with drm put in place that prevents it from being copied to your pod and back freely and so on. Because they either think that's how things have to be, or because they don't know why they shouldn't. And end up reducing the battery life of their portable device, reducing the sound quality, and so on and so forth - and if they're happy with that, that's ok, I guess. But the entire business- model - spend more money to make the product difficult to use - didn't work out. And so we're seeing less of it.

The real fight of course is with the distribution models that rest on the same scheme - that you should pay more money for something that actually costs less to produce. Digital distribution in that sense is a mixed blessing - it upsets the current models.. take NiN - he's putting out entire Albums in various bitrates and let people decide which one they want, etc. That's the kind of thing that makes sense. And yet, he's taking money for something that doesn't actually have a different cost to produce. The issue here being something along the line that storage space and so on is expensive, along with how the premium product has greater value, regardless of the production cost.

So when we see digital only titles drop somewhat in price - does it mean the artists get exactly as much - or more - profit off it compared to before, because the production costs? Or does it simply mean the publishers can still take out exorbitant profit margins at that lesser price? You know - the difficulty is with fairly pricing the product, and making it available for as many as possible.

And - as much as it pains me to say so - only very few publishers really cling to the kind of model that treats customers like shit nowadays. Instead it's a consumer's market to a very large extent... well, much more than it used to be, at least. :)