I see a big difference between installing such a dependency and craking a game, regardless of the amount of work required.
And I don't. From an end user perspective, I don't see any difference between installing some dependency and installing some crack. They are both additional steps required in addition to simple installation that is required to get the game to run (somewhat) as it was not intended. Steam games are intended to run on the client and require some manual manipulation to get around it and SecuRom games are intended to run with that check in place and require some manual manipulation get around it. From an end user perspective, I don't see the difference, other than perhaps the "morality" or it. And I don't see that either if one has actually purchased the game.
And FWIW, I'm not the one that's been trying to efine (or redefine) what DRM Free means, I'm merely taking the logic argued by others to it's logical conclusion.
I get that "intent" may be important here, and maybe at the end of the day that's really all that separates DRM games from DRM free games. Maybe the fact that a seller "intends" or "doesn't care" if users make one set of "adjustments" to get the games to run in a manner other than which they were intended is all that makes something DRM free while they would object to another set of user "adjustments" to accomplish the same thing. But that frankly doesn't make me feel all warm and cozy inside because consumers should define what DRM Free is.
For me, the end user, I want to be able to install and play my games on how ever many of my machines that I own (and I currently own about six) after initial purchase and download (or trip from store) without any need for any sort of third party check such as a client or internet connection. And for me, the end user, it appears I can accomplish that with Steam games by either manually copying and pasting some folders and maybe some dependencies or by manually copying and pasting or using the necessary crack. So for me, then end user, if the first example is DRM free, then for me, the end user, the second one must be also, since they're both almost identical. The both "alter" the way the game was meant to be played as sold. (Steam games are meant to be played within the client, even if they weren't necessarily meant to played while online).