Consumers more likely to pirate than buy media with DRM

Posted 09 September 2010 04:00 CEST by wconeybeer

Has the implementation of Digital Rights Management (DRM) actually encouraged more people to illegally download cracked copies of movies or games instead of purchasing legitimate copies?

The answer appears to be an overwhelming, “Yes!” according to a recent MyCE poll that posed the question to our readers.

Two-thirds of the 386 respondents stated that they would rather pirate a copy of a game or movie rather than deal with the hassles of DRM. The remaining one-third of respondents were split between a decisive “No” response and eleven percent of total votes for those who are not concerned whether DRM is involved in their purchase.

While DRM is meant to protect creative works from copyright infringement issues, it often only ends up causing a great deal of inconvenience for those who have paid their hard-earned money towards the purchase of a legitimate copy of the media.

Here are just a few examples of the issues surrounding DRM:

  • EA’s Command & Conquer 4 employed a DRM scheme which required players to maintain a constant connection to the internet, which caused widespread playability issues. Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed II had the same problems.
  • GSC Game World’s S.TA.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and Egosoft’s X3: Terran Conflict suffered from sales losses due to reports of customers having trouble connecting to the games’ activation servers to validate their purchase, rendering the games unplayable.
  • DVD DRM has proved to be especially challenging for libraries, archivists, and educational experts who cannot extract clips from media without bypassing the DRM, which is illegal in several countries.
  • New Blu-ray DRM protections included on new movies often causes playback issues with some players, leaving customers hanging out to dry until the manufacturer of the player issues a firmware update.

This just a very small sample of the ways that DRM is preventing people from using the products they own. And it’s not just games and movies that are affected. Every type of digital content including music, software applications, and electronic books are affected.

When you consider these cases, is it any wonder that people choose to download cracked media on P2P servers instead of paying money for nothing but frustration?


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