How-To Geek

Paying Customers versus Pirates – How DRM ‘Really’ Works [Humorous Image]

[via MakeUseOf]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/6/12

Comments (10)

  1. Citrus Rain

    Kinda true, but not as funny as when the green man is representing something that is actually intimidated by the strong man, as this set of labels would go straight for the reporter since a pirate doesn’t even see the drm.

    IMO the version where the reporter is labeled as Fox News, the green man as 4chan, and the tough guy as Brony is alot funnier.

  2. keltari

    Isnt that a scene from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia?

  3. Anon

    I had to think about it for a sec. The DRM guy (in the green) shows up ready to take on the real problem – the pirate. But when the DRM guy realizes he can’t win he then throws his pathetic little law suit ball at someone else – a web site owner trying to do some blogging (or the consumer).

    Funny stuff.

    But throw some weight in that law suit ball and it might actually hurt – everyone!

  4. Ushindi

    Isn’t this just a simple, funny image showing DRM doesn’t hurt anyone but the paying, legal consumer? Doesn’t seem all that complicated.

  5. Anon

    @ Ushindi,

    NO! This is not a parody of how DRM doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s a parody of how DRM has no direction and really only wants to bully the consumer. The funny part is how pirates are there to prevent DRM and how DRM has no real power. At least not YET!

    But give the SOPA/PIPA type groups just a little power and that little green guy with a ball will morph into Godzilla with fire!

    Please try to keep up and maybe try check in in with the EFF from time to time:

  6. LOL

    LOL. Saying pirates exist to prevent DRM is like saying murderers only exist to give the police something to do.
    Actually, the image would be more akin to reality if the green guy was Pirates, the muscle guy was DRM, and the reporter was Privacy.

  7. Anon

    @ LOL

    This is supposed to be funny! However, your comments did not read well. (Sorry if I misinterpreted.) So let me try this again…

    DRM is just not much of a concern whenever there are pirates around. And in this case/scenario the pirate is there to prevent the DRM guy from throwing or applying his puny weapon. It’s even more funny when you realize that the DRM guy attacks the one (innocent ?) person who might be able to help.

    We all know the only reason to use copy protection techniques on legal media would be to try and prevent illegal copying. And the people who implement these techniques like the RIAA/MPAA also claim it helps preserve their rights – which may or may not be a legitimate beef. (I won’t open that can or worms!) Therefore, Digital Rights Management (DRM) is imposed/used on nearly all copyrighted media. Or should I say, all “in demand” and/or “valuable” copyrighted media? But again, it just doesn’t matter since any kind of effective pirate would know (eventually) how to defeat these DRM techniques.

    So if you’re a smart DRM guy you might as well not even try to get tough with puny balls of copy protection. Because the pirates will defeat you.

    And as far as your murderer analogy goes, yes! You could say that a particular murderer exists to give the police something to do. There have even been cases such as the one involving Jack the Ripper too. But it would be absurd to say that all murderers exist to give police something to do. That’s like saying all people who dress up in a green unitard will throw a Nerf ball at someone – or that all readers here do it with their pants off. ;-)

  8. Ushindi

    @Anon: You DON’T seem to read well, sorry. I didn’t say DRM doesn’t hurt anyone, I said it only hurts the consumer. I’m also an online subscriber to a number of groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which you mentioned, and Demand Progress. Please, read more carefully before you comment on others.

  9. Badballie

    Very true, DRM has created more pirates than it has stopped. I personally buy original legal games but have stopped opening them completely its a lot easier to just get a pirated and cracked copy to play than it is to fight with online activation and massive updates just to play the single player section of a game. Online gaming is still out of reach of the masses

  10. vgamesx1

    I kind of agree, its sometimes easier to buy the game then download it else where, and I really thank reviewers on amazon and such as well for warning me about such DRM, like what was it Crysis Warhead? and Maximum edition both had a virus/malware like DRM, and few others to.
    thus I didn’t even bother with those.

    I for one think the programs such as Steam, Desura, etc.. are the best way to keep customers happy while protecting media, I can download and play my games anytime I want, while I am the only one that can use them. because most games downloaded with steam also have to be launched through steam, it makes it the perfect DRM that doesn’t interfere with you, your games, or your computer.
    of course there are still ways around it, but mostly its just older games that aren’t updated to use steam to launch, thus can but launched without it.

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