I’m reminded again, this weekend, that many companies engage in security practices that are, at best, inconvenient to their customers, and at worst, a poor attempt at security.
As an example, consider my son’s use of his computer.
Every so often, he’ll damage or break a CD of one of his favourite games.
OK, for most people, this would simply be a learning experience.
But my son’s autistic. A broken favourite CD is cause for an absolute screaming, inconsolable meltdown that will last for hours, and will cause recurrences throughout the week.
So we adapted – we make copies of every CD-ROM, and we work from the backup.
When a disk gets damaged, it’s the copy, so we can make another copy from the original, and there’s no loss.
But there’s always that bugbear of “copy protection”. We first encountered it with a Thomas the Tank Engine game. Seriously, Thomas the Tank Engine needs copy protection?
Today, it was Frogger 2. This game is so old, it’s for Windows 95 and 98.
So, there’s no chance to replace it, and without the ability to copy it ahead of time, this was the original disk that was shattered.
Did I ever mention how much I hate copy protection, and how stupid I think it is?
Pirates in Singapore (or pick some other country – Italy, whatever) simply make a bit-for-bit copy, and the copy protection doesn’t even give them pause.
Real users at home, on the other hand, are unable to make backup copies for their own use.
Once again, I am reminded that I didn’t buy the game – I bought the plastic CD, and the game just happened to be on it. When I break the CD, I have no right to the game.
That just plain sucks.