Those annoying locks
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 10 January 2013, 3:02 am
I find the locks on my car highly annoying. Every time I want to drive my car, I first need to unlock the door, then I need the key again to start the car. Why can't I buy a car without locks? It's an evil conspiracy from the car companies, I'm telling ya, I recently looked for a new car and they wanted me to pay extra for a system where I could open the door and start the car without taking the key out of my pocket. And it isn't as if the lock on the car door was actually offering much protection, my car got broken into last year by somebody literally using stone age technology: He smashed a window with a stone.

I find the lock on my apartment highly annoying. Yet another key I have constantly to carry around with me. But the insurance company insists that I have a certain quality of lock on my door, otherwise they refuse to insure me. It's an evil conspiracy from the insurance company, I'm telling ya. And when I got burgled a few years back, the thieves used crowbars on the terrace door, and the lock helped not at all.

I find DRM on computer games highly annoying. A reader asked yesterday what I thought on the always online DRM for the upcoming SimCity, and I think their explanation that it is a technical necessity is hogwash. Just because SimCity has multiplayer features doesn't mean it is technically necessary to not have an offline mode. I'm pretty sure that at some point we won't be able to play SimCity single-player because the servers are overloaded or something, whether they call it "Error 37" or not. It's an evil conspiracy from the game companies, I'm telling ya. And some hacker is certainly going to find a way to crack that DRM.

But why do all of these locks exist that seem to annoy honest customers more than they hinder the criminals? According to the FBI, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 43 seconds. The FBI also reports more than 2 million burglaries in the USA every year. Nobody knows how many million games are pirated every year. And those numbers are just those who overcome the existing locks and protections. If there were no locks on cars and houses, and no copyright protection on games, the numbers would be a lot higher.

So are the locks and DRM really an evil conspiracy from companies? Or isn't it the car thieves, the burglars, and the pirates who are mostly to blame. If there were no car thieves, we wouldn't have locks on our cars. If there were no burglars, we wouldn't have locks on our houses. And if there were no pirates, we wouldn't have DRM. Locks and protections are annoying, but the fault lies with the criminals, not the companies.
Tobold's Blog

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