With the announcement of a 5-install limit for Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 and the problems legitimate consumers have had with Spore, people are once again railing against the evil that is DRM in the PC gaming landscape. Indeed, no form of copy-protection has been able to prove effective, and nearly all of them have proven bothersome, from the minor inconvenience of checking the manual or a CD-Key to the nightmare of online activation. With numerous workarounds for Steam games, it's been proven that even digital distribution doesn't work. That is of course to say nothing of digital distribution plus SecuROM, which did no favors for Bioshock. Indeed, not a single method of protection has proven effective. However, what is the alternative? Obviously, there's a massive problem with pre-release copies of the games being leaked, presumably by less-scrupulous employees or game media outlets. However, even the complete eradication of all corruption in every game publisher, disc manufacturing plant and gaming media service would only buy a couple of days worth of protection. Indeed, PC gaming seems like a lost cause, especially compared to console development, in which piracy requires physical tampering of the machine (save for the Dreamcast, but that's another story). So the question then becomes “what can be done?” Without income, games cannot continue to be made. This isn't a charity, after all. The programmers, designers, advertisers and investors aren't going to do something that is a liability simply to please some PC elitists. The continually shrinking PC section at most game stores is a testament to that. The problem here is that torrents are way too easy to find. A simple search on Google will show you a multitude of torrents for any game you desire (save for older, out of print games, oddly enough). It doesn't matter if it's “evil” megacorp EA's Spore or fan favorite Capcom's Bionic Commando Rearmed, it will be pirated. Therefore, when every company is victimized, we can rule out the idiotic 'solution' offered by pirates: “make your game worth buying.” Unfortunately, the problem is the lack of any real policing on the Internet. Much of it is the wild, wild west, and sites like Google will lead you to information about how to make a nuclear device, let alone torrents for you to effortlessly steal games. Until we get a policing policy in place that makes people stealing on the Internet as accountable as people stealing from stores, the slow and agonizing death of the PC is all but assured. However, the policing of the Internet could very well become a nuclear weapon used on a housefly. I don't think there's any debate: The entertainment industry has more lobbying money than any “digital rights” group. Eventually, we're going to have a much, much larger push toward legislation to clamp down on the problem. Blacklisted websites, over-regulation of ISPs, banned protocols, capped bandwidths, it's all possible with enough lobbying to enough politicians. The Internet as we know it could come to an end, at least in the United States and other countries which respect copyright law. We've already seen the beginnings of this with the DMCA, and it's going to get far worse in a relatively fast manner. The pirates may not even realize it, but they're going to ruin the Internet long before they ruin these industries. There's too much money at stake for the status quo to continue.