FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I abhor the more aggressive forms of Digital Rights Management (DRM) in use today. I am specifically NOT buying new games from Electronic Arts (EA) right now, because of the draconian DRM they include in their games. EA is the worst about DRM these days. My basic stance on DRM, is that it should not interfere with the legitimate buyer's enjoyment or use of the product which they have bought and paid for. I, the buyer of the product, should be able to install it on my computer as many times as I want. If it is music, I should be able to play it on whatever device I want, share it with my friends (just like I could with CDs, and cassettes), etc, and resell it when and if I am done with it (just like I was able to do with CD and cassette). If it is a video, I should be able to view it on any device I own, without a loss of digital quality, or any insane hoops to jump through, and without being treated like a criminal. The people they should treat like criminals, are the ACTUAL criminals pirating their products and/or making money off of their intellectual property -- that is what the legal system is in place for. My involvement with the company selling the product should END once they have my MONEY! I do not object to serial numbers to unlock the content. I do not object to most of the various forms of DRM invented and thought up before 1998 or so. Since then, however, companies have dreamed up forms of DRM forcing me to have an internet connection to use their product, forcing me to call them and get new serial numbers/keys when I have installed their product on my computer more times than they think I should. They also have managed to install ROOT KITS on my computer along with the music I bought from them. And there are now versions of the DRM which make it almost impossible to remove from your computer, even if you only download the DEMO of the software. This is unacceptable. The real insult to these injuries is that most if not all of these modern DRM tactics are not DISCLOSED to the consumer in plain English on the packaging, BEFORE the consumer buys the product. Instead, it is buried in an EULA hundreds of paragraphs long, in legal jargon. These tactics have resulted in consumer boycotts and, ironically, massive pirating of various software (as reported on the news in many outlets) as a form of protest. I urge all companies employing these draconian DRM schemes to knock it off, before they drive THEMSELVES out of business.