FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00097

Submission Number:
539814-00097
Commenter:
Eitan Shalev
State:
NY
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle

Hello, As a consumer, I see DRM-laden products as significantly inferior to their DRM-free alternatives. Digital Restriction Management forces consumers to use a product only in the ways envisioned and approved of by the creators of the work. This is contrary to any other form of property, with which - once I own it - I may use as I please. I'm sure tire manufacturers didn't envision tires being used as an obstacle course for military training. Should Michelin have the right to tell you that you may not do so? That's effectively what DRM is, wrapped up in a nice package of technology and law. As several cases in the past and another one from today show: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080724-drm-still-sucks-yahoo-musi... http://boingboing.net/2008/04/22/msn-music-customers.html http://www.ditii.com/2007/08/25/microsoft-wga-servers-suffered-worldwide... http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/08/ebook-drm-provider-g.html DRM binds the consumer to the manufacturer (or publisher) of digital media, and contrary to non-DRM-laden digital products, these goods are good only for so long as the publisher sees fit, or stays financially afloat. Should my vinyl records have stopped playing the day the last phonograph was manufactured? Or do I have a right to listen to my oldies for as long as I live, and then inherit those records to my next of kin? DRM is a scheme meant to allow publishers control where they should have none. Sure, it makes it harder (but never impossible) to unlawfully copy or use copies of their copyrighted products, but this is really cutting off your nose to spite your face. The good for these companies is negligible in comparison to the harm caused to the consumers, and to us as a culture as a whole. And the law should be inclined to aid the millions of citizens out there, not the few companies out there trying to restrict the use of goods once they've been sold. In short, DRM does little good to the organizations it's meant to help, and nothing but harm to the consumers. I leave you with this thought: http://www.xkcd.com/488/ Yours, Eitan Shalev