FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on Digital Rights Management (DRM) and its implementation in today's technological devices. I am not, in any sense, a fan of DRM. It is quite often implemented poorly and with little to no regard for the end user. Such an instance can be seen in the Spore PC game from last year. The game installed a virus-like program without the users knowledge. The same can be said of Sony Music's attempt a few years back which rendered a number of user PCs crippled or inoperable with its rootkit software. Even when DRM is implemented well, such as in Apple's iTunes content, it still reduces consumer choice. If I want to play a legally purchased video from iTunes on a non-Apple approved device, I would have to break the law, as removing or disabling any sort of DRM is in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Leaving alone the fact that the DMCA is a horrible law, it is still a law and as such turns well meaning users into criminals merely for watching their iTunes video on their Zune or Blackberry. In short, DRM is an abhorrent practice which allows unelected, unaccountable content creators to legislate the behavior of the general public without oversight or recourse.