ByteShield, the San Francisco-based software and game DRM company, submitted comments in advance of the FTC's hearing on DRM and the consumer. Submitted by CEO Jan Samzelius, the document provides a terrific list of DRM features, functions, and capabilities that would probably delight game and software publishers and provide a user-friendly experience for gamers and software users.
Samzelius provides a list of what I would call "best practices" at each stage of the relationship between a gamer, the publisher, and the underly DRM system. Here are a couple of excerpts:
b.The way some DRM solutions work, cheating on the license is encouraged. If the DRM allows 5 active installs, a group of 5 friends can jointly buy one copy of the game and each play. Yes, they may not be able to access online content, but for mostly single player games, who cares?
b.Any connection between the game and a server should not open up the possibility for hackers to get access to the end user’s PC.
c.The DRM should only run if the game is running.
d.The DRM should not affect the performance of the game
e.Offline runs should be allowed – but need to be limited, since they make cracking easier. This is the other important point to educate users about.
f.The CD/DVD should not be needed to run the game
g.The local portion of the DRM should not try to determine that the copy on the local PC is illegal.
In response to my email query, Samzelius says that all the capabilities outlined in their FTC submission either are presently implemented or are in their development plan.