FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
As an American consumer I feel that I have a stake in these proceedings, and am therefore and interested party in this discussion. Currently I work in a technology related field and feel that I can offer an interesting perspective on the topic of DRM. For years now I have been both the victim and savior (to friends and family) of DRM related problems. In all of its iterations and forms DRM is far from a perfect technology. For years the consumer has slowly become an unwilling participant in lab rat trials to perfect the holy grail of "copy and distribution protection". Every new version of DRM brings a new set of problems that are forced on the consumer. The "consumer" (my grandmother) does not care how the technology works to get her mp3 or piece of software from point A to point B for use. She merely cares that it works and more often than not.... it doesn't. If a seat belt/head lamp/fuse in a car doesn't work as intended is there not a recall? Do we not as a nation hold other industries accountable for delivering on the products they sell? Why has the technology/music industry been allowed for SOOOOOO long to skate by with excuses like "The consumer just doesn't understand the product" or "We will get it right in version X of the software"? If you read nothing else in my comment to this work group, I urge you read this:-----------------Any DRM can be easily circumvented or broken given little effort via analog recording. The industry knows this but ignores it and continues to fight a useless but profitable battle. This battle is a FRONT for the ability to trouble the common consumer and force them to pay for multiple copies of the same product. The average consumer does not have the knowledge required to troubleshoot legitimate file copies that inevitably will fail and cause NUMEROUS problems resulting from DRM protection. The industry knows this and preys on the consumer for increased sales of the EXACT SAME MEDIA. If the FTC would like evidence of this look no further than Apple charging higher prices for non-DRM media. Is the Non-DRM content of which they are selling any different from the DRM content they sell? NO! Is the price the same? NO! They are ripping off the consumer and making money of an industry created copy protection mechanism!!!!--------------DRM is a fraud and a theft to Americans that the FTC needs to stop.