FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is very important to protect the initial sale and recompense of the developer and publisher. However, DRM must accomplish this without violating the privacy of the owner (purchaser of said product) and they should be able to use it in any way they see fit as long as it is for their own personal use and not to directly make a profit. DRM must not invade the individuals privacy, it should not force them to patch to play (the product should be complete and runnable without access to the internet unless specifically stated, a major failure with games for windows products which require you to login to windows live). Licensing when you purchase a video game should only include that skew (platform you purchased it for), however the owner (purchaser) should reserve the right to modify and use said product on any platform he can without reprocussion (emulator's and rom's). It should be noted that even games with similar names built for different skews are different, so purchasing a copy of Commandoes for Wii is an inherently different product then Commandoes for PC. However, if you can through the use of an emulator enable your copy of Commandoes for Wii to run on your PC or other device (including a portable device), this should be considered legitimate. Developers and Publishers should make no effort to prevent this use. DRM to be effective without hindering owners and the marketplace needs to be nearly invisible and non-invasive. Some of the best forms of DRM are physical. ex1. Bard's Tale and the Zork series required the owner to periodically check the owners manual. (Ciphers with a physical key are also good) ex2. writing to a particular Hard Drive during installation then generating a key with a one time online registration are good, but alternate registration via phone should be available as well as support for using this product on more then one machine if the original is damaged (Bioshock did this to fairly good effect, taking the mac-address of each machine to generate a single use key). I personally advocate as part of a hardware solution is making a writeable portion of a disk that can be flashed to prevent use on other machines in effect providing the key as well as the cipher on a single disk. (The best example would be the smart cards at several universities, most of the date is stored in traditional magnetic tape and online while critical data, in this case the key to allow play and decide authorized machines is contained in the smart chip). Video Games DRM should allow resale, otherwise the product loses all value upon initial sale and damages any chance of recompense from pirates because once it has been bought once, it in effect isn't valued as a new game but only as a perishable one use one owner item. While this isn't very economical for the developer/publisher, it maintains the rights of the consumer over property they purchase. The consumer should always have the right to transfer ownership of said property. Please withhold any identifying and personal information except my first and last name from the public record.