FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is a completely failed endeavor. It does not in any appreciable manner accomplish it's stated goal of reducing piracy or protecting copyrighted/trademarked works. It's only real achievement is to hinder the legitimate uses of legally purchased goods by their purchaser. I have watched the implementation of DRM as it has become more prevalent, and gauged it's impact on the availability of pirated goods, and that impact has been nil. For example, not a single music release protected by DRM has prevented copying of that music. Nor have I seen any computer games released with DRM that were not immediately available to the pirate community upon the day of their release. Even supposedly closed systems like the XBOX or Playstation that should be able to effectively utilize DRM have thriving pirate communities. The simple fact is that no DRM can or will work as a means of stopping piracy. I am shocked that something as utterly useless as DRM still garners supporters, considering the cost to implement and the total failure to prevent loss. I'm also dismayed that something as completely detrimental to legitimate consumers is allowed to exist. Based on it's uses and it's complete lack of success at completing it's stated goals, I think DRM should cease standing for Digital Rights Management and should instead be thought of as Draconian Revenue Maximization as it seems apparent that only legitimate customers who are forced to re-purchase the same goods repeatedly are the target of this technology. The time has come for the Fair Use Rights of the citizens to be protected for a change. Rather than continue to reward poor product development and unreasonable use restrictions, it's time to encourage manufacturers to utilize technology to ENHANCE products and IMPROVE the customer experience rather than treat all customer as criminals. History shows that products worth buying sell and are profitable. The honest customers willing to pay for good products far outnumber those that would pirate goods. If DRM were to cease to exist, no appreciable loss would be seen, as it is clear DRM only affects those that have actually purchased goods. Those who wish not to purchase have no problem finding goods that have the DRM removed. If you think my assessments are off target, I suggest a little test. Pick ANY mainstream music, software, or movie product released in the last year that was protected by DRM and see if it does not have a DRM free pirated version available online. I can think of none that qualify. If you manage to find any, look at the sales for that item, I doubt they are leaders in their market segment. Now, is DRM really all that necessary?