July 7, 2017

This post first appeared on the Black Shell Media blog.

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a corporate attempt at fighting piracy by controlling exactly how and when you use media. There are, approximately, 10,742,489 kinds of DRM and copy protection out there, with almost every company or format having their own take on it. And with a total estimated revenue loss of $74 billion due to pirated games in 2014 alone, it makes sense why DRM is so prevalent.

Valve’s Steam is one of the primary examples discussed when mentioning DRM, especially online, where the words “digital rights management” are so controversial. Surprisingly, despite the slack it gets, Steam is one of the most elegant and integrated DRM solutions available. It offers unlimited copies of games on unlimited machines, but only one user can play on an account at a time. Overall, it’s a seamless system, like DRM should be.

. . . Or is it? Players who purchase their games cannot use the account on more than one co...

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