FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
The scope of DRM as addressed in this forum is wrong and can only lead to poor long term decisions. As with any solid legal framework, you must always start at the fundamental level and expand outwards. You are starting with an ad hoc commercial problem (the periphery). This forum SHOULD NOT be from a perspective of "How can companies protect their profits". Instead it should start from questions like "What is data?" (hint: it isn't just digital), "What are the rules that determine ownership?", and "Upon what basis can can data access be limited?". This forum seems to seek to determine the solution before defining the problem. Ask yourself, "What have I purchased when I have purchased a CD?" Any set of rules needs to be consistent and cohesive no matter what the data is. The data might be my DNA sequence, entertainment media, my biometric data, my travel records, paintings, song lyrics, etc. As technology progresses, these areas cannot be separated. Right now we have a mess. We have EULAs which are draconian but unread, we have people being sued by their own record companies because they sound too much like themselves, and people patenting other people's DNA. If you attack this problem only on behalf of commercial entities, you will continue to have the same conflict. Citizens will be in a war with commercial entities and "All's fair in love and war".