The Real Reason for DRM

Shamus Young has another interesting post about DRM on his blog, Twenty Sided. But I found the insight of one of the commenters even more interesting:

October 20th, 2008 at 11:21 am

It’s my belief that the use of DRM to stop piracy is a red herring thrown out by the industry. It’s clear to everyone, users and game company CEOs alike, that the technology doesn’t stop pirates. So there are two possible explanations for the companies’ strange behavior: a) they don’t “get it” or b) they have a different agenda than the one they’re defending. I think it’s option b.

What does DRM do well? One thing it does is that it allows content providers to prevent legitimate resale. I think this is the primary target, especially with the new maximum installs restriction. Digital distribution, both DRM-encumbered and DRM-free, also has this effect. The person downloading a pirated game may or may not be a potential customer, but a resold used copy really is taking a customer’s money away from the industry.

And that’s why it’s never going to get better.

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