Concerns about piracy have been around long before there was such a thing as media protection, and pirates were just guys with parrots and eye patches. One thing that’s true about both pirates of the high seas and software-swiping pirates: they both steal stuff that doesn’t belong to them.
There are a lot of complaints against DRM. One guess who the most vocal complainers are: people stealing software. And the truth is, they’re right. The media protection brought by DRM is upsetting and irritating, especially if you’re a hacker. It makes the job of copying and illegally distributing your work much, much harder for them.
Does DRM have its limitations? Absolutely. However, it’s also the best solution we have to protect ourselves, our product, our companies, and our profit.
The issue is not just about dollars (though of course that’s a large part of it), but also about reputation. If your intellectual property is being copied and distributed without your approval, chances are it’s being changed in other ways besides having the DRM stripped. Although your company name is still associated with that software, the pirated product is not the same as what you actually produced.
This inferior imitation doesn’t just take money from your bank account, it harms your entire company reputation. Those who download pirated software rather than purchasing if new have no way of knowing the original is vastly superior. They grouse and grumble about your crappy product, and there’s no way for you to explain that what they have is not really your product.
DRM isn’t just about preventing copying, either. Media protection also applies to individual customer entitlements, expedites license activation and renewal, and assists with implementing different business models such as subscription fees, pay per use, or pay per user. Will DRM prevent all instances of piracy? Nope. But it helps. Much like wearing a seatbelt, media protection protect the developer, the parent company, and the consumers themselves, even if they hate to put that thing on when they get in the car.