FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
In addition to the well-publicized problems caused by current DRM technologies, it would be prudent for the Commission to explore the limitations imposed on the consumer regarding the sale of used software. The DRM "protection" present in games such as Spore and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 limits the number of computers the game can be installed on to a relatively small number (less than 10 in both cases). This limitation is not effectively communicated to the consumer, who may unwittingly be prevented from selling his/her game as a result of using up all of the available activations. The rights of the consumer as it relates to the resale of software are virtually nonexistent from the moment the plastic wrap has been removed from the box. The consumer is not made aware of this fact until they have opened the box, inserted the disc into the drive, and begun the installation procedure (at which point the consumer must invariably agree to a license agreement). If consumers do not agree with the license agreement, they have no recourse. They are not able to return the product, and in many cases are prohibited from selling the software due to the terms of its EULA.