FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00061

Submission Number:
Shahab Babakhani
Computer Sales and Service
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I just wanted to weigh in on the subject of DRM, or "digital rights management", being used in a variety of digital mediums. I believe this software only serves to limit consumer's rights, not to protect publisher's rights. One thing that is very important to look at in this matter is piracy. Let us look at computer games, an industry in which there is a lot of compliant about piracy hurting publisher's bottom line. They claim that DRM is needed to counter this. But why does every new release get cracked and released online within hours of its retail release? Many times these DRM infested games are available for pirating BEFORE the game ever hits store shelves. These companies are not stupid, they know that their DRM does nothing to stop piracy. So why do they continue to include it? I believe their goal all along has been to stifle the second hand market. Second sale is a right that publishers have long wanted to eliminate, even going to court over it. Having to input a separate serial key that is easily lost, requiring registration, and limited installs are all very good ways to make it very hard to resell your game when you are done with it. Look at Spore, you will find it very hard to find a used copy and even if you did would want to take a gamble and hope that there were still installs left? I work with computers for a living and when a game I install starts to "phone home" so to speak every 15 mintues while I am playing in order to validate what I am doing and how, well that sounds a lot like spyware to me, the same spyware I get paid to remove from people's computers on a daily basis. Please do not be fooled by the industry's cry of piracy. Piracy has been going on since before 5.25" floppies. It will continue to go on. You can only limit it. To do that you only require that a disc can not be casually copied, and a disc check to make sure the disc is in the drive. Anything else is over the line and not about piracy at all, but about restricting right to second sale. Thank you for your time and consideration of my comments. I love computers and the software that is published for them. I gladly pay for the software I use and love and while I support the men and women that develop this software, I despise the industry that has decided to squeeze every last penny it can out of the end user at the expense of the end user's rights. To be sure, there are a few exceptions out there, most notably Star Dock, but the rest need some regulation. Sincerly, Shahab Babakhani Computer Sales and Service