DRM is all about punishing the customer.
At some point, your DRM will let your best customers down, and you’d better have a damned good story then.
Right now, the person I’m talking to does not have a good story. They’re treating me like a pirate. Guess what I’m about to become?
Update: After nearly an hour on the phone, to no avail, I continued to hack away at the issue, and finally ”solved” the issue by doing some kind of update. It looked a lot like the other stuff I’d been trying, but apparently this one update was different and seemed to do the job.
I am being purposely opaque about the product in question.
DRM systems are complex and difficult to administrate even when you know what you’re doing. If you’re an end-user and something goes haywire, you don’t have a prayer. You just see “Error: You can’t do that” for any one of a hundred reasons. You twist knobs and hit switches until something works.
In this case it looks like some of the internal utilities created by the team who developed the DRM have been pressed into service as customer-facing tools. As you might expect, these tools are horrible. They leave a bad taste in my mouth, and I’ve written more than my fair share of horrible tools. I still don’t know if things are working, or if this house of cards will fall apart again. It is a terrible thing that these tools have to exist.
As customers, we deserve better. As engineers and designers, we need to improve.