Now that I revisit this and think a little harder, you are contributing heavily to the problem, and as someone with a little bit more steam than me, I’d much rather see you get in Microsoft’s face on this one.
DRM isn’t the way to go on anything. Software/Media companies wouldn’t have so many problems (problems, ha, I don’t see them going without food) with piracy if they weren’t such evil, moneygrubbing bastards themselves. Take, for instance, DVDs. At the time that DVDs came around, I think the average VHS pricepoint for a new relase was about $15. Now DVDs are nothing more than some mylar on a plastic disc, certainly much cheaper to manufacture than a big, clunky VHS complete with moving parts. Not to mention the fact that since everything is produced digitally, movie companies are probably saving billions on film, editing time, and special effects. Now, does this translate to lower prices for the consumer? Nope, not at all, as a matter of fact, a bigger profit margin through cheaper manufacture wasn’t enough, on average DVDs were at least $5 more expensive than VHS tapes. Why is this? Because the publishers knew they could get away with perceived value. DVDs are new and upcoming, and therefore inherently more valuable. The same thing is happening with Blu-Ray now. I wouldn’t hold my breath for the day that Blu-Ray movies cost an average $20 for new releases. I’d bet on $25 being the new standard price.
Now you take the software companies, who now have the option to distribute software via the internet. You would think that removing manufacturing/packaging/shipping from the costs would translate to the consumer, but nope, they cost exactly the same, except for Microsoft products, which actually have the gall to cost MORE(again, perceived value, not actual value). This is pure insanity. The free-market system as we used to know it is completely dead in todays hyperactive global economy. The same thing has been happening to gas for years. Oil companies are reporting record profits every year and shutting down refineries because they have so much fuel, but the price keeps going up and up, because the demand is completely fixed.
I don’t know what the solution to all of this is, but I know I don’t like it, and I know I’m not shedding a single tear over anyone in Hollywood who is losing their new mink coat because a 13 year old just downloaded their latest song rather than paying $15 to get a CD that cost $.05 to make and really only has that one good song on it.