Take action: DRM leaves video game unplayable for days after purchase

Digg this!

The video game "Borderlands" was released for consoles on October 20. But when people who bought the PC version in stores went home to play it, they had a nasty surprise. Thanks to DRM, they couldn't install it until the official release date 6 days later.

We're calling on you to give the game a one-star rating on Amazon, tag the Amazon listing "defectivebydesign," and write a short note to the president of Gearbox Software, which makes Borderlands. When people add DRM to software, they are taking away users' rights. This couldn't be any clearer than in this case, where the people who own a copy of the game still can't play it until the company says they can.

There are three versions of Borderlands on Amazon. It would be great if you could rate and tag them all. If Defective By Design members come out on this, this will become a 1-star game.

(We don't want to encourage you to get an Amazon account if you don't already have one, as there are serious privacy concerns about how Amazon collects data from users, but if you do have an account, then here is a chance for you to use it for the benefit of others. Log in now, start searching and start tagging!)

1. To give Borderlands a one-star rating, visit the three product pages and look for the section "Rate This Item to Improve Your Recommendations."

2. JavaScript users can tag Borderland by pressing "tt" and entering the tag defectivebydesign. If JavaScript is not enabled, instead look for the section "Tags Customers Associate with This Product."

3. Digg this!

4. To send a letter to Gearbox Software, use the contact form on their website.

Sample Letter

Dear Mr. Pitchford,

I'm writing with regards to the use of DRM in your recent release, Borderlands. As you're probably aware, many of your own customers who bought the game in stores were unable to play it for several days due to DRM.

Because of your company's decision to use DRM, and because of the particularly appalling impact it had on users, I've decided to give it a one-star review on Amazon.com, and tag it "defectivebydesign".

  • http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-Pc/dp/B000WQ1XIA
  • http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-Xbox-360/dp/B000WMEEB2/
  • http://www.amazon.com/Borderlands-Playstation-3/dp/B000WMEEBM/

Thank you,