Monday, October 13, 2008

DRM Sucks

DRM makes regular customers into criminals if they attempt to keep what they bought.

This is why Jim Baen declared that he wouldn't protect the eBooks he put up with DRM (DRM = "Digital Rights Management", software to disable the product if it can't be authenticated as legally purchased). He believed that most people, given the choice, would rather be honest. Wil Wheaton believes this as well.

Recently, a major retailer announced that they were turning off their verification servers, thus making it impossible for thousands of customers to use the products they bought. The retailer eventually changed its tune when customers rightly complained, but those servers won't stay on forever. The only way for a company to make sure it doesn't cheat its customers is to not assume they are thieves in the first place.

And frankly, any company that assumes I'm a thief without knowing anything about me is one I don't really want to do business with.