FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00412

Submission Number:
539814-00412
Commenter:
Brian Haas
State:
FL
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle

DRM is an excellent idea in theory and companies need to be able to protect their IP (intellectual properties). But not at the expense of legal consumers. Book publishers would not take readers' books away if they read the books in more than 3 or 4 locations. Yet software companies are limiting the amount of software installations on legal users' computers, removing legal consumers' access to the software or DRM-protected items due to hardware changes. When a consumer purchases a piece of software, they are not renting the IP. They are, in essence, purchasing a license to use that software. If a user violates the law in any way with that software, the license should be revoked and there must be penalties. But a legally purchased, legally used license should never be revoked, under any circumstance. Unfortunately, the majority of the DRM problems documented in the media thus far have affected legal owners. The other point I would like to make would be that DRM efforts thus far have been wholly unsuccessful at preventing piracy. In fact, piracy groups seem to have no problem cracking DRM protections and releasing software, music and movies before the products' launch dates. The amount of piracy through torrents and "warez" groups seems to have increased exponentially, despite these efforts to reign it in. Even the gaming industry is realizing this (see http://www.socrossblog.com/2008/12/valve-and-drm.html). If DRM were a successful, proven method of preventing piracy, I would be much more likely to accept some restrictions on the legal use of software and other IPs. So far, the only think DRM has succeeded in is alienating legal users, restricting the legal use of purchased goods and made it harder for US commerce to move into the 21st century. Thank you very much for your time