Electronic Frontier Foundation Calls on FTC to Protect Consumers From DRM

Digital activist group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has called upon the Federal Trade Commission to mitigate the harm caused to consumers by digital rights management (DRM).

An EFF press release quotes staff attorney Corynne McSherry (left) on the DRM issue:

DRM does not prevent piracy.


At this point, DRM seems intended to accomplish a very different purpose: giving some industry leaders unprecedented power to influence the pace and nature of innovation and upsetting the traditional balance between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public.


The best way to fix the problem is to get rid of DRM on consumer products and reform the [Digital Millenium Copyright Act], but the steps we’re suggesting will help protect technology users and future technology innovation in the meantime.

The EFF press release adds:

Industry leaders argue that DRM is necessary to protect sales of digital media, but DRM systems are consistently and routinely broken almost immediately upon their introduction.

The group filed public comments with the FTC in advance of the government agency’s Town Hall on DRM, which is scheduled for March 25th in Seattle.

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  1. Spartan says:

    The EFF has got to be the the most akamai new age watchdog group ever; more power to it. I would like to see ECA/GP do projects together.


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  2. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Heres a thought drop DRM raise PC prices to 10$ more than console to make up the diffrance in "precived" profit loss and then try and fix and patch the fcking trainwerks you morons in industry release…. don’t port down to the PC with half the controls,locked controls or tons of bugs and expect me feel a damn thing when you whine about losses from piracy , deal with the issues of bad design,rushed and shortsighted development .



    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  3. ZippyDSMlee says:

    What part of Digital rights management do you not understand?

    Anti cheat is rights management, now I do see the fact tis not part of the copy protection system, but it is still very much a DRM.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  4. sqlrob says:

    And the check is buggy. It doesn’t matter that the cert expired, it matters that the signing time is before cert expiration.


  5. Zaruka says:

    the thing is with securom is that when  i install the game i install the drm okay okay but when i unistall the game it should remove the DRM not stay in my root of my os system until i get a unlocker and delete all the files off my computer. That is my property not sonys or ea or ubisoft my almost 800 doller gamming computer i got for their games not their crappy spyware.

    Thanks Zaruka

  6. djnforce9 says:



  7. nighstalker160 says:

    Check out the whole Gears 2 debacle with MS too. The Certificate used by the DRM actually expired on Jan. 29, 2009. So all copies of Gears 2 PC became unplayable on any computer that didn’t rollback their calendar or until a patch was released (HAS a fix been released yet).

    Yes that’s more of an inconveinence than anything, but it really illustrated the point that DRM effectively turns a "purchase" into a "rental"

  8. CaptainZM says:

    I’ll admit I did get World of Goo in the not quite legal way, but the game was so unbelievably good that I sent them a donation for the cost of the game afterwards.

    The game is well worth buying btw.

  9. NovaBlack says:

    even 2d boy (world of goo devs) said that, after their mind boggling  90% piracy rate on the unprotected world of goo, they still think that they think DRM is a waste of time and money, after comparing it to another title they released, that did have DRM, yet had almost exactly the same % of pirated copies.






  10. gamegod25 says:

    They are right that all DRM does is restrict the people who honestly pay for a game and thus encourages more piracy.

  11. aphexbr says:

    Exactly. DRM does not prevent piracy. It does however make people like myself, who still enjoy picking up a 10 year old copy of Half Life or a 15 year old copy of Doom, think twice before buying a PC game.  I simpy don’t want to spend $60 on a game I might not be able to play in 2 years time.

    Unless there is a game that is absolutely incredible and unavailable on any format other than PC – very rare nowadays – I simply don’t bother. That’s far more of an issue to the PC gaming industry than any piracy, it’s about time those idiots realised it. The idiotic attempts to "protect" themselves is doing them far more harm than anything else.

  12. Baruch_S says:

    This just makes me smile. It’s about time for a group to step up and defend consumer rights against the moronic, ineffective anit-piracy tactics the game industry has been subjecting their paying customers to.

  13. shady8x says:

    I have avoided many games that I wanted to buy because of DRM… My gaming PC is also my work PC and I can’t afford to have its security compromised by DRM and having its functionality eroded…

    DRM is ment to kill off the PC game market which is why sony(playstation) makes securom…

  14. DeepThorn says:

    Agreed, and why should a family have to buy more than one copy of a game if they want to use it?  With computers being more and more common, like cell phones are, each parent has their own computer, and sometimes 2 kids have their  own computer.  Figuring in that you need to upgrade sometimes, and that computers fail sometimes.  Within 1 year, you could go through 6 installs with no problem at all.

    After that we have:
    -Computer problems because of DRM.
    -DRM being installed without consumer’s knowledge.
    -DRM being hard as hell to uninstall unless you know what you are doing.

    Then the point of DRM is to "protect against piracy", but once the game is pirated before it is even released, then there is no point to the DRM because people who are going to pirate will pirate anyways, and DRM only makes things worse if anything in regards to piracy.  So once it is pirated, DRM should be removed from ALL copies of the game to try to preserve all the sales that they can.

    It has been speculated time and time again that the real reason for DRM are cheap publishers trying to rape the second hand market and individuals trading games instead of buying a new copy.  This is the most likely reason for DRM because that is the only purpose it seems to actually be able to accurately serve.

    I think GameStop/EB, and other second hand game stores should sue the hell out of these A-holes for installing DRM because of that seeming to be their only purpose.  Though I keep 90% of the games I buy, the 10% of the games I do sell back should allow me to sell them back without restraint or added degradation at all.  To do otherwise should be illegal IMO.

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  15. Michael Chandra says:

    They can use the example of that game where within 3 years of release the DRM actually expired, meaning nobody could play their game anymore.

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