FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM takes many forms. Making my objections to them many and varied. SecuRom (and related software) is additional, unadvertised, and mandatory, software that is installed concurrently with program purchased by the consumer. Oftentimes it interferes with the performance of the computer it's installed on, can not be removed, and may even open so-called back doors making it accessible to hackers and harder to defend against viruses. Additionally, there are authenticators and product keys. These are less invasive, but directly violate the First-Sale Doctrine of 1909, and later the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C. Section 109) by preventing or interfering with the transfer of a copy of a product once it has been obtained. Product keys are often good only for one activation, rendering the product useless to anyone but the original purchaser. This is a direct, willful, and unlawful violation of consumer rights. Losing the product key (which, invariably, will not be replaced by the manufacturer) may even result in a consumer being banned from using a product they have lawfully acquired, which violates 17 U.S.C. Section 106 and 106A. Setting install limits, as sensationalized in Electronic Art's 2008 Spore, to limit the fair use of a product appears to also be in conflict with 17 U.S.C. Sections 106 and 106A. Overall, DRM to date has been a clear and unlawful violation of consumer rights, and one that the American people should not stand for.