CD Projekt's GOG.com digital distribution platform, formerly known as Good Old Games before branching out into new games and non-gaming content, has launched a campaign against digital rights management: FCK DRM.
Launched back in 2008 by Warsaw-based CD Projekt, which got its start in 1994 as a local distributor of foreign games, GOG.com specialises in providing access to titles without digital rights management (DRM), the technology used in a typically vain attempt to prevent unauthorised copying and distribution but which usually just gets in the way of legitimate owners. The company's distaste for DRM even extended to the lore of its own games, with an in-game item found in The Witcher 3 talking about using Gottfried's Omni-opening Grimoire (GOG) to bypass Defensive Regulatory Magicon (DRM).
Now, though, the company has decided to go on the offensive, apparently no longer happy to sit back and watch DRM become simply the way things work. '[A] DRM-free approach in games has been at the heart of GOG.com from day one. We strongly believe that if you buy a game, it should be yours, and you can play it the way it's convenient for you, and not how others want you to use it,' the company explains in a blog post. 'The landscape has changed since 2008, and today many people don’t realise what DRM even means. And still the DRM issue in games remains – you're never sure when and why you can be blocked from accessing them. And it's not only games that are affected, but your favourite books, music, movies and apps as well.
'To help understand what DRM means, how it influences your games and other digital media, and what benefits come with DRM-free approach, we’re launching the FCK DRM initiative. The goal is to educate people and ignite a discussion about DRM.'
The initiative, which has its own dedicated website, describes DRM as 'a killswitch in your music, your movies, your books, your games [called] DRM, and it can block your access to things you've bought. Sure, DRM might not affect you right now, but corporations hold the key and they'll only let you in as long as you can repeatedly prove ownership. As long as you're connected to the internet. As long as their DRM works without fault. As long they're still around. So should the burden of proof be on you? Do you place your trust in someone who doesn't trust you?'
The site, naturally, pushes users towards DRM-free sources, but isn't exclusive to CD Projekt's own efforts: While GOG.com is the only listed source for DRM-free games, the site also promotes Bandcamp, 7Digital, and emusic for DRM-free music, Project Gutenberg and OpenLibre for DRM-free books, and the Moving Image Archive and Vimeo on Demand for DRM-free video, while also pointing people towards the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Free Software Foundation's Defective By Design anti-DRM campaign. Those running other completely-DRM-free media sources are encouraged to contact the company via the amusing email address 'email@example.com' for listing.
More information is available on the official FCK DRM website.
January 24 2020 | 12:00