FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Its great to hear that the FTC is becoming involved in this subject matter concerning DRM. While I understand completely the perspective of the corporations wherein they need to protect their products. However using DRM as a counter measure in this fashion is not only inefficient it is also insulting to the educated consumer. By adding DRM to distrubted software a companies is by default assuming that their clientelle are thieves and for their own gain choosing to inhibit the rights of the purchaser of the product. When I buy software I should be entitled to being able to do whatever I want with my copy of that program as I have purchased it and not rented it. There is no need for it to attempt to inhibit other software that may or may not be used in aiding software pirates in the case of such DRM measures as "Starforce" and "Securom" this takes place. This invasive and hostile anti piracy measure assumes that it has the right to do as it pleases on my computers operating software with little or no concern for the incompatability and other issues that may arise from it use depending on the operating enviroment. If I buy a product I fully expect to be able to resale the product if I so choose as the one copy of the software belongs to me wether it be at a resaler or a garage sale or any legal venue. DRM Such as Securom and others prohibits this which limits the purchasers right as a consumer. Further more DRM software such as Securom limits the number of times I can install software that I have purchased and should be entitled to install it as many times as I see fit on my machine without having to call their corporate head quarters for permission to use my own software. This I also feel goes against the way a consumer should be treated no one is by default a criminal nor should they be treated that way. The above three reasons are even worse when you consider a large portion of the software using populace would have no idea about the presence or specific functions of the DRM software. This would make and problems arising from its use more time consuming on the end users part as well as more costly to fix if a problem did arise from the use of DRM software as it its primary function is hostile by design. I would further argue that these companies are adding this malware to their software in an inefficient attempt to protect their intellectual property from a growing group of illegal downloaders. From the purely consumer standpoint its difficult to want to pay for a program that is bogged down by unwanted malware if an exact same thing is available free of cost and DRM. I'm sure the growing availablity of torrent based users on illegal sitse such as "The Pirate Bay" should stand as evidence to the ease with which DRM is cirucumvented and how little DRM does to stop this illegal downloading issue from growing. In my opnion DRM is only perpetuating the issue. While I do not endorse piracy in any fashion large software manufacturers or distributors such as Microsoft and Electronic Arts give you little choice as to the matter of DRM. As a consumer im severly limited on choices that do not entail damaging my home and office computers and networks with malware. While I do not have a solution to this problem I can hope that the FTC helps establish limitations on this issue that restore consumer rights as well as protect the non technologically inclined end users from otherwise hostile software.