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September 5th, 2012, 16:16
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Give how quickly most DRM is cracked, I'm curious what the cost benefit of it really is. It can't be cheap to implement these things, so are they really increasing their revenue enough to make it a cash flow positive venture? MY gut says no, but I don't know the finances well enough.
I expect that it depends on which intangibles you bring into the analysis, which will tie into the agenda of the person(s) doing the analysis. There's going to be a metric crapload of assumptions under the hood and a 5% swing in a few of them will probably skew the numbers a fair bit. What price do you put on pissed off customers? What percentage of pirates are "casual", in that they'll steal stuff that's easy but won't bother with stuff that takes a little work to get around? What percentage of pirates are "honest", that mythical being that is genuinely a "try it and buy it" pirate? What's the COPQ (cost of poor quality) associated with bugs in the DRM itself? What's the cost of increased lead times due to integrating the DRM with the product? And so forth…

We've fought the same battle in automotive for years with the make/buy calculations, and it seems that it usually boils down to picking the intangible factors that will justify what the powers-that-be want to do and throwing the rest of the factors in the crapper.
Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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