DRM the good, the bad, the controversial

Digital Right Management systems, one of the biggest taboos of software & hardware production.
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

Digital Rights Management, or DRM, is a category of technologies that various industries such as hardware, software, and publishers, use to control the use and alteration of products such as games. Of course, anyone who is even semi-active in the gaming or software communities in general already knows this.

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The Good

As a traditional style artist, a photographer to be exact, I understand why DRM exists. DRM is embedded in software and hardware to protect them from being altered, copied, and or pirated. Simply put: DRM makes sure that the creators of the software or hardware receive due compensation for their product. They don’t want someone to create a pirated copy of their game. If you created something, like a video game, and wanted to make money off selling it then to players then you personally wouldn’t want people to steal a copy of the game or download pirated copies. You wouldn’t make money, you may even lose money.

The Bad

DRM makes gamers, in general, feel uncomfortable. It restricts how they use their games, and while it may not be permitted it even can restrict how they distribute their games. For example, DRM may prevent a game from being played on more than one game console. So, if your friend borrowed a game they wanted to play, because they didn’t want to or were able to buy the game, they would be unable to play it on their game system. In the way of people who pirate their games, the pirates who crack the game software or the person who downloads the pirated game, it makes for an entirely more complex and difficult process when trying to crack or alter the software so you don’t have to buy the game and can simply download a torrent of the game and/or software.

While DRM systems are controversial, they have their place in the world. And despite the fact the greater hardware and software community doesn’t take kindly to having DRM implemented into their products it is something we all have to deal with at one point or another. DRM are also a newer piece of technology that hasn’t worked itself out despite being in use for nearly twenty years.

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Callib Carver
I am a third year journalism & photography major living in St. Louis, pursuing a career as a full time journalist & photojournalist.