Good luck getting a positive comment about DRM or a negative comment about piracy on Slashdot.
Most everyone here is quick to point out the problems of DRM. Honest users don't like DRM because it's going to affect their ability to use the stuff they bought. Pirates don't like DRM, either. (Oftentimes the DRM gets broke which doesn't bother the pirates, but sometimes it slows them down to blocks them entirely.)
Based on this, there's a tendency for people to be dishonest about DRM - the same way you'd be dishonestly harsh about some kid who stole your girlfriend.
I'm generally accepting about DRMs existence - in part because it seems like the younger generation thinks they should have a right to pirate everything. The worse piracy gets, the more I support the creation and use of DRM - both to support the creators and to support the continued survival of the industry that creates our entertainment and our software.
I generally favor the removal of DRM after a set period of time. This gives creators access to the initial sales spike. After a year or so, removing the DRM can be done for the benefit of the customer.
Some of the myths promoted by the anti-DRM, pro-piracy crowd (which overlap but aren't necessarily synonymous):
- DRM always gets broken. Not true. It's true that the more popular a piece of software is, the more likely it is to get cracked. The PS3 DRM system held up quite well for years (and GeoHot's crack only worked for previous versions of the OS; he now says the PS3 is too hard to crack). Microsoft's DRM allowed them to ban a million XBox users - they can still use their XBoxes, but have to buy a new one if they want to play online. Both of those count as positive (and different strategies) for combating piracy through DRM. I also had some software I wrote under DRM. It was eventually cracked (after 10 months) and showed up on pirate sites. Still, that gave me 10 months of pirate-free sales, which is where most of the sales were anyway.
- Piracy increases sales. In case you're wondering: no, I didn't see any increase in sales after 10 months due to "pirates paying for the software they pirated". I actually saw a slight drop in sales, though I'm doubtful about blaming that on piracy. My experience makes me doubt that pirates pay for media after they've pirated it.
- DRM is only about control. The subtext of this is "if it was about getting consumers to buy their stuff instead of pirate it, it might be legitimate, but it's all about control and they have no right to control me. Therefore, by pirating I'm subverting their vile attempts to control me!" What nonsense. I will admit that this kind of thinking fulfills a psychological need among pirates to legitimize their piracy. I've worked with publishers and game developers and I know they hate seeing their products pirated, and the kind of fear that creates when you've invested tons of time and money and you need to get paid or else you'll go bankrupt. (I've heard even some of the smallest game-developer companies ask the question, "How do you prevent piracy?" Do you really believe some small-time company is out to control people?) Creating stuff is a gamble - a big gamble. All business ventures are gambles. It's like walking into a casino and dropping a big part of your life savings. It sucks when you think that pirates are (effectively) putting their hand on the roulette wheel and making it difficult for you to win on the gamble you're taking.
- People should create stuff because that's what they love to do, not worry about piracy. What nonsense. Creators invest tons of time and money into their product. We're not going to live under a bridge just so you can have free stuff. I'd recommend you try that argument with doctors, teachers, and everyone else in the modern economy. We've got bills to pay, and I'm not going to make myself into a sacrificial lamb so you can have great stuff. Maybe if you'd come over to my house and mow my lawn for free or pay my mortgage or buy my groceries for me, but since pirates want other people to act magnanimously towards them, but offer nothing in return, it really just looks like a psychological scam to get free stuff.
- People will still create stuff even if they don't get paid. Yup. Technically, this is true, but only due to semantics. You could say the same thing about any other job. Let's stop paying doctors and teachers. It's true that some people will stick around and continue to work in those professions, even though they're forced to live a life of monk-like poverty, but there will be a lot less of them. The same is true for people who create digital media - yeah, there will be some production going on, but there will be a lot less of it and it'll look like the low-quality shareware stuff. Sounds like a big loss to society, even if it's technically true that some people will stick around and keep doing it.
Still, like I said: I think DRM should be removed from media after a certain period of time, and I generally favor less obtrusive DRMs (like encrypted DVDs) instead of "you have to be connected to the internet to use this software; oh, and you'll be screwed if our DRM-authentication servers go down temporarily or permanently".