FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00193

Submission Number:
Daniel Russell
Control Shift
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Digital Rights Management Software quite literally causes problems with computer use at a base level. I work in the Technical Support business, and I do get frequent requests on how to bypass DRM technology constantly. People purchase software, and expect to have the freedom to use it, and what's more think they have unalienable, government protected freedoms with their software because they paid money for it. I explain in base terms that people do not have these rights because they have been traded away for money, and they get very upset constantly. They tell me things like I hate computers and Why did I buy this anyway, I don't think I'll make further purchases from Microsoft, or other companies that use this type of garbage. In my business life I believe DRM needs to be considered a form of malware that obstructs users from getting full use of their software. This headache of DRM amongst my generation (I'm 27 years old) has put a hamstring in the way we do business, how I need to solve problems, and more over causes a negative consumer impact on products to be purchased and used. It was a bad idea in the first place made by overly greedy software creators, and now is simply a relic that can be easily bypassed by thieves, pirates, and other criminals. People would not pirate software if the software was 1) reasonably priced 2) easily copied and 3) easily made to be reinstalled upon computer failure. This country's failure to protect the people's rights regarding software has been huge, and the backlash from illegal piracy rackets powered by law abiding citizens has been grandiose. Ignoring this problem, and stating DRM is a necessary evil is to give software users everywhere around the world little hope to access a wealth of information. Countless times it has been proven that DRM free software makes for GREAT software. As examples I look at Mozilla Firefox, Ubuntu Linux, OpenOffice, a lot of software developed by Apple Inc for use on Apple Computers, and much of the GPL Licensed software. Check the Creative Commons, Free Software Foundation, and Larry Lessig for more data. If you want to know what DRM Free software helped make, check the iPhone's Web Browser - it is based on WebKit - an Open Source and totally DRM free Web Browser. While the iPhone itself does have some DRM restrictions, it does go to show perhaps the BEST part of this device came from Open Source effort with no DRM restrictions on who uses it, or builds upon it.