Digital Rights Management = Lame

June 20, 2013

To the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the term Digital Rights Management “refers to several different technologies used to enforce pre-defined limitations on the use and transfer of copyrighted digital content. The content most commonly restricted by DRM includes music, visual artwork, computer and video games and movies, but DRM can be applied to any digital content.” This goes on to tell us that, “First-generation DRM software merely sought to control copying. Second-generation DRM schemes seek to control viewing, copying, printing, altering and everything else that can be done with digital content.” The U.S. and many other countries define this the same way.

The article I read was about the Xbox One called “How Shedding Check-in DRM In The Xbox One Benefits Microsoft” written by Carol Pinchefsky. In this article Pinchefsky writes of an official announcement made today, “the Redmond-based company won’t be implementing the need for Internet connectivity for offline game playing. (As previously announced, this connectivity would have been required once every twenty-four hours, and without it, players wouldn’t have been able to play even a single-player game.)” I am not a gamer but I have a lot of friends that are. Many of them expressed the huge let down they received when the new Xbox One required an Internet connection and that people would have to pay to share games.

Microsoft used DRM to tell them exactly when a game was being played and who was playing it. The gaming community did not like this idea one bit. My friends expressed to me that they could not simply allow each other to borrow a game, they had to complete a digital check in once every 24 hours and couldn’t be logged into another console at a time. Microsoft wanted to be in control of what they product was doing and capitalize on every profit they could. Unfortunately, consumers ignored their new product and many left the Xbox community to competitor products. Microsoft had dollar signs in their eyes to implement this use of DRM, but when they changed their tune so did their consumers.

When Microsoft decided to loosen the grip on implementing DRM in their new Xbox their crowd came back.  They no longer require a Internet connection and gamers can share games when ever they want without a cost. This was one of the best decisions Microsoft could make. My friends are now saving their penny’s for this new console.

I do not think that DRM it furthers the goals of copyright in any way. I think that it is a way for companies to make more money. I do not see it really protecting any rights, especially with how Microsoft tried to use it. I imagine back in the 90’s when Metallica was up in arms about people downloading their music from Napster they would have liked DRM. It may have even protected their work better, but if I couldn’t burn my own CD from the music I bought and had to be at my computer to listen to it I would not have purchased it anyways. When I buy something I want to be able to use it as I see fit. I don’t want to spend my hard earned dollar on something and than have to ask permission to use it.

Pinchefsky, C. (2013, June 19). How Shedding Check-in DRM In The Xbox One Benefits Microsoft – Forbes. Information for the World’s Business Leaders – Forbes.com. Retrieved June 19, 2013, fromhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/carolpinchefsky/2013/06/19/how-shedding-drm-in-the-xbox-one-benefits-microsoft/

Greene, J. (2013, June 6). Xbox One restricts disc resales, requires daily gaming check-in | Microsoft – CNET News. Technology News – CNET News. Retrieved June 19, 2013, fromhttp://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57588146-75/xbox-one-restricts-disc-resales-requires-daily-gaming-check-in/

Fact Sheet: Digital Rights Management and Technical Protection Measures (November 2006). (n.d.). Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada / Commissariat à la protection de la vie privée du Canada. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from http://www.priv.gc.ca/resource/fs-fi/02_05_d_32_e.asp

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