iD does it.
Epic does it.
S2 does it.
Hothead does it.
All studios in question have provided DRMed content for Linux and NOBODY caught that it was there- which it is. If you use your line of thinking, it's already too late and you'll never be rid of it. Which is bogus. In years past on the old, old IBM PC, and on things like the Apple 400/800 or the Commodore 64, they had proto-DRM on those platforms as well. That and the e-book crowd's finding out that if it's not actually like a paper book, people don't want it- DRM prevents it, so there's few takers. Franklin, in fact, was driven out of the PDA market as a result of THEIR DRM crap. It comes and goes over time. Right now, it's the big rage because of a BUNCH of snake oil salespeople have them all convinced that piracy is lost revenue (which can't be really proven except at the extreme end of it...) and all the media people think they must control ALL aspects of everything people do with their stuff because "being the gatekeeper is the source of the revenue..." which is how it used to be with things. Eventually, people will be fed up with it like they were with the old prior attempts of doing it and like it was in the past, it'll fade away, with them hoping that people won't remember that they tried to treat their potential customers like thieves.
My take on Steam:
Don't know if it is still being worked on or not, of if even Valve ever got to work on it or not. Beyond that, my opinion of the thing is that it is useful as a delivery system and launching platform. Other than that all the calling home business and requiring users to be on-line in the first place is what I dislike the most about it. The way I see it, commercial software is entitled to assure that their copies are legal and try to prevent illegally obtained copies from working. However that entitlement doesn't give the producers/publishers/developers of that software the liberty of hindering people's rights or entitlement for using other software, which would seem like it is the whole deal with modern day DRM. If Steam is only the gate-keeper (doing the validation [locally preferably]) so people can run those titles which are protected with such measure (acting as a launching platform), I don't see any major wrong-doing in that. However the potential it has of doing stuff (bad stuff) behind your back when you're not looking is (in my opinion) what has most people angry about it (and the fact that it also has proven to be not all that reliable). The way I see Steam is similar to what GameSpy used to be years ago: A middle ware, that would organize and categorize your installed, allows you to search servers for on-line games (mostly the purpose of GS back then) and launch the games connecting to the specified servers. Additionally Steam can also act as a delivery system so that On-Line content can be directly obtained from a "central location", installed and then launched (and if protected, validated). Steam seems to already do all these things, however for some reason it doesn't seem to be all that reliable when doing them, is crash prone and above all, it's gained peoples suspicions about it and it doing things behind their backs.
My take on this crapware side-talk:
While I do agree that Steam seems to be one such product, it has proven that at least there is a market for on-line delivery systems and that they can not only be profitable, but also massive. However, its implementation is what has gained it its crapware status. On the other hand, we have much more intrusive, offensive and harmful crapware that is said (and some people believe it) to be necessary. The first that comes to mind is Norton, which not only has been the hegemonic resource hog, but also which fails at doing what it is supposed to do. Then would be the lamest excuse of an OS ever conceived: Windows Millennium Edition, which failed critically at being anything like WinNT and Win9x and it only succeeded at being the fastest booting (to a crash) OS, not to mention its mental instability and identity crisis. Then I'd have to count MSO as crapware as well, even though it kind of works. If anything it succeeded at subjugating the world to Microsoft's feet by making the world slave of their single file formats, from a single software vendor (even though many resisted and insisted on using RTF for years, in the end it proved to be futile). It also became an attack vector and has been riddled with endless issues over the years (heck, there has been bugs since version 8 still found in version 12!)... And then, we have Vista... Windows Millennium Reloaded Edition. Though intrinsically much better than ME at the core, there are just too many things that went wrong with the OS that Microsoft should have really held off until it was really ready. One year and a Service Pack later, it is barely usable on fairly decent hardware, not to mention it IS still very annoying... Simple tasks suddenly became herculean and cumbersome, and what used to take a few seconds on XP now can amount for several minutes. Security became annoying, almost an undesirable thing to have, and still on 32-bits, the system is restricted on 3Gb for user-space apps and 1Gb for system resources split of RAM. I'd thought that by this time and age, Microsoft would have made their consumer OS (at the very least, their Ultimate edition) PAE compatible. I guess that's a privilege reserved for their server editions only (which I know for a fact that DO support PAE).
There's much more crapware out there like Outlook Express (which still holds a special place in my heart... for hating it), responsible for more malware distribution/installation that any other program in the history of computing, or AOL and MSN IM clients, which have also done their part.
Honestly, if I could get leads on a bunch of good A/AAA content indie titles and then get them to work with us on simultaneous release (no matter who publishes the Windows version...) for Linux, I would help those studios get it out there.
No sense. Anything can be hacked. The main problem with DRM is ( not only in the Linux world... in Windows it's too just not so openly spoken about ) that just have to alter code at the right place to nullify the checks. The most classic example are the above mentioned CD checks. The old trick is to NOP out the check in the EXE and you are done. Another old trick in the hat which devers seem to never learn are serials. It just takes one guy to disassemble the verify code and woopie we have another key-gen which renders your serial check code futile. Granted todays DRMs are more sophisticated but the problem is the same. In the worst case you memory hack the bitch ( most prominent example the CS:S memory hack shown on myg0t once upon time ). The only thing that can help is calling home and obtaining a key or other verification. But again there we have problems since it relies on secrecy. As we know from cryptography security based on secrecy of the algorithm is worth nothing. The old coder wisdom for MMOs applies here too: the client machine has to be considered completely unreliable and compromiseable. So anything arriving at your end coming from a client is possibly fudged. And once somebody finds out how to verifiably fudge data to fake being a legit copy you lost another DRM round. The end result is that simply all and every DRM out there can be cracked so why wasting money on it in the first place.