When are they going to learn? Technology won’t stop anything. It is just going to drive more of a black economy. This is a war (not of the cold variety) that pits software/media companies against their potential customers. Dare I compare the US approach in Iraq to this mess. Throwing a bunch of soldiers at a problem only results in pushback.
Making it better for people to go the legal route than the illegal route is the only way to combat this problem for companies. I actually think that Microsoft is doing this, which isn’t mentioned in the article. They offer easier rollouts of updates and access to bonus applications (i.e., PhotoStory 3) for authentic versions of their software. This value-added approach is how you bring customers into the fold. Not by going to war with them.
I have one of those Genuine Advantage stories that show how honest customers are hurt by these technological fixes. Just the other day I started up an old laptop that I hadn’t used in a few months. Upon starting the computer I received a message that I could be the victim of software fraud. Oh, my! I’m a victim. The only thing that I am a victim of is an inept technological DRM fix.
That computer has an educational version of XP that was bought at my university bookstore as part of a legitimate Microsoft deal with the school. Not to mention the fact that the computer itself has another XP license that came with the system (no system disk, so it was easier to load the educational copy). Now, I get a message at startup, that I have to click through, saying that I don’t have a Genuine copy. While it’s not big deal because I’m giving it to my brother-in-law who needs to load it with a Korean OS, it frustrates me to no end that my legal copy is now flagged as being not Genuine and, is thus, of no use to me any longer.
These technological methods are anti-consumer. While they make it more difficult for pirates to do business, they also make it more difficult for honest consumers to do business as well. Anyone who thinks that there is a technological fix for the piracy problem is an idiot. Sorry, can’t pull my punches on this one.