Defective by Design

Friday DRM News (Monday edition)

Submitted by sarahmac on Mon, 2009-07-13 15:35

Friday DRM News

Hello, my name is Sarah and I am working at the FSF this summer as part of a newly launched internship program. I will be posting new DRM news each Friday. If you'd like to know more about me read my letter of introduction. If you see stories we should mention here, please let me know. **Apologies for the late post.**

This week: Sourcebooks and Orange Music have kicked DRM to the curb! Regrettably Anno 1404 and Command & Conquer are still implemented with DRM.

Command & Conquer 4 Despite Claims is Still Restricted by DRM Designer Samuel Bass of the Tiberium series claims Command and Conquer 4 is DRM free, though it's not. He can be quoted in an interview saying “As a nice side effect, since C&C4 requires players to be online all the time in order to prevent cheating, we'll be shipping without any form of DRM.” Forcing a user to be online while playing is actually a form of DRM...

Orange Music Store is Removing DRM The mobile network Orange will no longer be restricting their songs with DRM. 70,000 songs have already been stripped of DRM. The rest of their songs will have DRM lifted slowly.

Sourcebooks to Release 14 DRM Free Novels Sourcebooks announced they will release 14 ebook romance novels DRM free while working with Smashwords, a company that has produced over 2,000 DRM free ebooks in the past year. The novels will be available in nine different formats which include PDF, Kindle, and Epub. The ebooks will be able to work with the iphone and with the iPod touch.

Anno 1404 Restricted by TAGES DRM Anno 1404, a recently released video game, is restricted by TAGES. TAGES is a company devoted to developing and imposing DRM. On their Web site they claim, “Our commitment is to supply a truly superior protection system to our customers...”. If TAGES's commitment is to protect their customers why are they imposing restrictions on their customers' freedoms? TAGES is actually doing the opposite of protecting their customers by limiting how the customer can use their products. One unhappy customer who downloaded Anno 1404 remarks, “In short, you're paying $50 to rent the game.” The customer claims there is a three reinstall limit imposed by TAGES. If you change some piece of hardware and need to reinstall, that's one use. If you install it on your laptop for a vacation, that's another install. If you decide to change your operating system, this is also another install. Then that's it, you're out of downloads! If your hard drive crashes, you have to buy the game again because you've reached your reinstall limit. The fact of the matter is with a reinstall limit on products, you are in effect really only renting the game. TAGES also requires the user to be connected to the Internet to play the game.

Companies implementing DRM, like Anno 1404 released with TAGES, tell us that DRM is protecting our security. Yet, it's pretty apparent DRM is only protecting an outdated business model that in fact does just the opposite of protecting us. There's no need to continue using these freedom violating measures to protect an outdated business model. It's been demonstrated over and over again that alternative business models exist that protect everyone's interests. FSF continues to call for these companies to develop DRM-free business models, and to stop violating our rights and freedoms in the meantime.

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