Has DRM For PC Games Gone Too Far?

DRM or digital rights management is a concept that is supposed to prevent piracy for video games as well as movies, music, ebooks, and other forms of digital media. With video games recently, DRM has become so severe that the customer is being bothered by the restrictions. Is the customer being hurt by these practices?

One very restrictive type of DRM is that the DVD that game is installed on will not play in a DVD drive that also writes. People who have desktops have to purchase a cheap DVD reader so they can play that game. Those with laptops are out of luck as most DVD drives today are also writers meaning they can't play that game. These types of restrictions make it hard to install the game meaning that less consumers are likely to buy it in the first place once aware of the problem.

Another restrictive practice that is on some games is that you only get a limited number of installs before you can't install the game any longer. This means when you switch computers or upgrade operating systems that eventually you will run out of installs and will no longer be able to play the game. This for all practical purposes means you eventually will lose ownership.

One practice that is not being used yet but considered is to make gamer keep an active internet connection while playing. This means if your internet goes down or has an issue, your game installed to your machine won't play.

The problem with many of these is that the customer is being inconvenienced while the pirate is not. There will be pirated versions of each of these that will allow the pirate to play a game without restrictions while the customer will have to deal with these issues. It seems a bit strange that the one who pays for the product is getting the lesser desired product while the one who steals gets the best version without restrictions.

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