DRM

DRM is a topic I end up thinking about more often than I’d like and deserves to be written with more care and time than I can dedicate to it right now, but to summarize my opinion on DRM, it sucks.

I absolutely refuse to buy any CD or digital track with DRM on it, but one place where I end up screwed a lot is games. A portion of my translation work is game translation and playing games happens to be a hobby of mine, even though I hardly ever get the chance to do so anymore.

99% of all the game work I receive is for consoles (usually the PS2 and PS3 if you happen to be interested). The consoles have their own little DRM-related annoyances, like region coding where I can’t play U.S. released games (i.e. the ones I translated) on my Japanese bought PS2, which means if I’d actually like to play the games I translated (and I do, I get a kick out of seeing what the final product looks like, and seeing your name in the credits never gets old) I have to either buy another PS2 (the North America version) or result to “other” means.

Now as scandalous as this may be, I have to use a program which is not “authorized” by the game manufacturers just so that I can play imports on my PS2. Being as how I actually work on translating these games and therefore am in some small way involved in their production and thus my income is dependent upon the success of the games of those companies that hire me, I understand that this isn’t an ideal situation, and it’s not something I tend to announce to the companies I work with, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend another couple hundred bucks to buy another PS2 (or a PS3 at all, but that’s a whole different rant, $600 my ass) which is identical to the one I already own in every way except for the location it is intended to be used in. Screw that.

Mind you, I am still buying the software, I don’t use the scandalous program I own to play bootlegs or anything, just so that I can play U.S., or rather English language, game on the PS2 I have already bought and payed for, and which mostly just collects dust otherwise.

Ironically enough, although most of my game-related work is for console titles, I actually prefer playing games on the PC, and that’s where the “true” DRM (not just region coding) really pisses me off. I won’t even buy games from certain companies anymore because of DRM, and I absolutely refuse to buy any games with certain types of DRM (cough,coughstarforcecough) because as much as I’d love to have a dedicated gaming machine, I don’t and can’t risk screwing up a PC I use for work-related things just to play a game every once in awhile.

So like I said above, DRM sucks. It actually limits me in what I play because I avoid it when I can. Good job big corporations, you have successfully prevented me from not only stealing your work, but from buying it as well! Kudos to you!

In addition all the asshole threats and scare tactics they use have also really added to my hate for most of the bigger companies. Suing you customers is not a good idea, treating your customers like thieves is not a good idea, and demanding ridiculous sums of money as compensation for your already dubious claims is also, not a good idea. Seriously, $600 for a song that sells on iTunes for $1???

Anyway, other people have talked about DRM and copyrights in general in more detail, and more clearly than I have, but I just thought I would let my feelings be known, and also thought it would make a good lead in to something I found on the web lately.

The Financial times has run a survey on people’s opinions of DRM and I thought the results were hilarious.

Here’s the survery, and here are the results as of my last peek a few days ago.

DRM survey


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