Stardock Building non-DRM IP Security for PC Games

Consumer-friendly PC publisher Stardock is working on a non-intrusive copyright protection scheme for PC games, according to Edge Online.

Citing an interview with CEO Brad Wardell, EO reports that Stardock is developing the solution for other publishers. GamePolitics readers will recall that Wardell and Gas Powered Games head Chris Taylor released the controversial Gamers Bill of Rights during PAX 2008.

It seems that major PC game publishers were unwilling to sign onto the Bill of Rights, however. While not naming names, Wardell commented on the publishers’ reluctance:

While Stardock doesn’t put copy protection on its retail games, the fact is that most publishers are never going to agree to do that. So the publishers are telling us, ‘Put your money where your mouth is. Why don’t you guys develop something that you think is suitable that would protect our IP, but would be more acceptable to users?’

We’re investigating what would make users happy to protect their needs, but also provide some security for the publishers. … We’re actually developing a technology that would do that.

Wardell stopped short of terming his new project a form of DRM:

The problem with ‘DRM’ is that it’s so loosely defined… Stardock’s products use activation, and I wouldn’t say that it’s DRM. We’re just verifying if you’re real customer… We want that [game user] license to be yours, not per machine… It’s not your machine buying the game. It’s you…

Publishers should have the right to be stupid [about DRM] if they want. That’s their right. And it’s the right of the consumer to choose not to buy.

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