FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies

Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission and the Technology Law and Public Policy Clinic at the University of Washington School of Law will host a conference on the use of digital rights management technologies, a widespread practice that is expected to become increasingly prevalent in the U.S. marketplace in the coming years.

Digital rights management (DRM) refers to technologies typically used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, and copyright holders to attempt to control how consumers access and use media and entertainment content. Among other issues, the workshop will address the need to improve disclosures to consumers about DRM limitations.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
WHERE: William H. Gates Hall, Room 133
University of Washington Law School
15th Avenue NE & NE 43rd Street
Seattle, Washington
Directions: http://www.law.washington.edu/About/Direction.aspx
AGENDA: Opening remarks; demonstrations of DRM-related technology; panel discussions regarding burdens on, and benefits for, consumers, and other market and legal issues involving DRM; a review of industry best practices; and consideration of the need for government involvement to better protect consumers.

The Commission invites interested parties to submit requests to be panelists and to recommend other topics for discussion. The requests should be submitted electronically to drmtownhall@ftc.gov by February 9, 2009. Interested parties should include both a statement detailing their expertise on the issues to be addressed at the Town Hall, and complete contact information. The Commission will select panelists based on their expertise and on the need to represent a range of views.

Interested parties may submit written comments or original research until February 9, 2009. Comments should refer to “DRM Town Hall – Comment, Project No. P094502.” To file electronically, follow the instructions and fill out the form at https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-DRMtechnologies. Paper comments should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex A), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material, however, must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). The FTC is requesting that any paper comments be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail in the Washington area and the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

The Town Hall is free, and open to the university community and all members of the public. Pre-registration is not required. Members of the public and press who wish to participate but who cannot attend can view a live webcast on the FTC’s Web site.

Information about accessibility for persons with disabilities on the UW campus is available at https://www.washington.edu/admin/ada/newada.php. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via e-mail to cmcglothlin@ftc.gov or by calling Carrie McGlothlin at 202-326-3388. Requests should be made in advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed, and provide contact information.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(DRM FYI.wpd)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180