February 1, 2006
More DRM Wackiness

So in the latest dispatch from the DRM frontlines, Cory Doctorow of boingboing criticized StarForce, a company that produces DRM software similar in many ways to the rootkit/malware on Sony's music CDs. There was already an active boycott of games that used their DRM, which appears to be gathering momentum, especially in the wake of StarForce threatening to sue Cory. (The legal merits of the threatened suit seem somewhat flimsy. And that's being charitable.)

Also, the updates on Cory's second post indicate that game companies themselves are liking neither what StarForce's DRM does to their computers, nor the consumer backlash which including it in their software might spark. To wit:

[StarForce's] business seems to depend on people not knowing how much they suck. For example, I was on a private beta list for a new game I won't mention by name due to NDA -- but the game authors agreed to drop StarForce after an outcry from the community. You don't often hear the stories about game developers dropping StarForce in favor of their customer.

With any luck, the proliferation of these incidents will push companies to swear off invasive DRM, just like consumer pressure (and higher sales of .pdf files which lacked DRM) led tabletop RPG companies to adopt unprotected .pdf files as the industry standard.