Reclaim Your Game, an organization that acts as a watchdog over DRM for computer games, has issued a statement endorsing the DRM/product activation technology from ByteShield as “safe, transparent, and non-invasive on your PC.” They praised the vendor for its full disclosure and willingness to engage in cosntructive dialog with the gaming community.
RYG arose out of the controversy over product activation requirements that Electronic Arts put into its games Mass Effect PC and Spore a year ago, which led to a huge backlash among gamers and boycott threats. (Product Activation is a technology related to DRM that is widely used on software and games. For example, Microsoft uses its own Product Activation technology for Windows, Office, and other products.) Electronic Arts has been using the SecuROM CD-based product activation technology from Sony.
ByteShield has been taking advantage of the backlash against SecuROM to present itself as a more gamer-friendly alternative that still does its best to deter unauthorized use. The company’s dialog with RYG followed from a conversation between them at the recent FTC DRM Town Hall on disclosure of DRM features — evidence that the Town Hall was effective, ironically, in promoting voluntary disclosure.
The backlash against EA and SecuROM, and the detente between ByteShield and RYG, are firm evidence that market forces do actually matter in the development of DRM technology – especially when the buyer and the approver of the technology are the same entity.
On a different subject: It’s time for my first Twitter experiment. I will be tweeting from the Copyright Summit next week in Washington. Please feel free to follow my tweets. I’ll be there for the first day of the event.