Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crime and Punishment

The hypothesis: When we make it more convenient to be a pirate than it is to be a legitimate customer, otherwise legitimate customers will turn to piracy.

We should not be punishing our customers for the actions of those who are not our customers. This makes absolutely no sense. When a legitimate customer has to suffer more inconvenience, frustration, or worse -- degraded content quality -- because of our anti-piracy mechanisms, they will turn to circumvention and non-legitimate sources for our content. The more they have to do this, the more familiar and comfortable they will be with doing so in the future.

We must always strive for a quality user experience at all levels -- including access to our content, installation of our content, and day-to-day use of our content. Remember: Our customers are the ones who paid for our content. We need to take good care of them, and let them know that we appreciate their business.


Paul Eres said...
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Tess said...

Point taken, but the restrictiveness of DRM does not necessarily correlate with the inconvenience of the DRM. It's possible for DRM to be restrictive without disrupting normal usage patterns for paying customers.

For example, needing a CD in the drive is a disaster for laptop users. Unless someone is on an airplane (or otherwise off-net), a relatively quiet internet validation system is going to provide a much higher quality experience to a laptop user. I have known laptop users who would hunt down CD cracks for all of their games, to avoid having to haul an entire library of CDs around with them. We are basically leading people straight to the doorstep of the pirates, when this happens.

Enno said...

Paul: There are of course other factors than the restrictiveness of the DRM taht inform a buyers decision, so you can't argue that just because some games with DRM are being bought, the theory is automatically false. People would probably buy GTA4 with whatever on it. But it's definitely a factor: I never played Civ4 because of the horror stories from friends who did, for example. And there's even one game I worked on myself that I've never played after it was released (with Starforce protection).

And Tess, I'm one of those people. I have no-CD cracks for the games I own. Luckily, the country I live in hasn't made that illegal yet.

Interesting side note: Every PC game I've played in the last year has been a digital download.

Vinitha said...

Good article

Work from home