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Stardock "moderates" on DRM

Articles / Personal Stuff/Random News
Date: Oct 17, 2008 - 09:34 AM
Stardock, trying to get more publishers to accept the Gamers' Bill of Rights, are "refining" their position slightly (PDF here).

I don't know that I agree with what they are calling "illegitimate" complaints at all... perhaps it's time to offer up some counters to them.

Here's what they considered "illegitimate":
Illegitimate Complaints
  • Keeps people from installing the program on as many PCs as they own. I own an office full of PCs. I don't think Microsoft would be happy if I installed Office on all of them.
  • Keeps people from easily having LAN parties with their game. We allow this but demonizing publishers who frown on this seems unreasonable.
  • Requires people to get updates through a specific source (Steam, Impulse, publisher secure website, etc.). This is one of our biggest pet peeves. If a game ships and there's some bug found that materially affects gameplay, then sure, put out a patch wherever. However, we've had users complain loudly that Sins of a Solar Empire v1.1 (essentially a free expansion pack) requires Impulse to download. Publishers have every right to make sure the people downloading updates are legitimate customers.
  • Makes it harder for people to resell programs. (Not saying reselling programs is right or wrong, only that it is not the function of DRM to make it hard or easy to do this, it's a separate issue.)
  • DRM is just wrong in principle, you buy something, you own it and should be able to do whatever you want. This is a view held by some but the person who makes the thing has the right to distribute it how they want. If I spend $5 million making a game, someone paying $50 doesn't "own" it. There has to be some middle ground on serving customers and protecting IP holders.
  • I'll be going through this later with a fine-toothed comb; stay tuned for the Musings article.

    [UPDATE] - It's up, have a good time reading the response.

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