FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00154

Submission Number:
539814-00154
Commenter:
Joe Plante
Organization:
University of West Florida
State:
FL
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle

DRM is a pretty complex issue. Software publishers want it to help lower piracy, but at times, it gets in the way of enjoying software. Sometimes it gets intrusive where it hurts parts of Windows, and other times you just want to play a file on whatever platform you want. Movie studios definitely like having it on DVDs and Blu-ray, but as you know with DVD, that copy protection has been bypassed. I like maintaining a stable Windows PC, and when I install a game, I worry that the stability could be affected by a piece of DRM. However, not many DRM schemes have worked, and in many times on the PC, has been circumvented. So, some people use the argument of "it's safer to pirate the game than to buy a copy." Some DRM tracks information about your PC to decide whether or not to allow you to play a game. Usually, it's minor details like your CPU and motherboard, but we can never be sure unless you know how to reverse-engineer the executable. DRM used to be worse than it is today. Sony BMG once had CD copy protection, and it could get into the way of using the DVD drive on your computer. Some CDs even had DRM that damaged computers, like the case of Celine Dion CDs damaging Mac firmwares. http://hardware.silicon.com/desktops/0,39024645,11033357,00.htm DRM also could hurt PC game resales since games like Bioshock allow a limited amount of activations. Activation is basically a program on a PC connecting to a server online to ask permission to operate. One worry is that companies may see this as an opportunity to lower used game sales, since many companies don't make any profit on them whatsoever. Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read my concerns. If you have anything to ask me, feel free to contact me at .