FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
As a consumer, I abhor DRM. Many times in the past I've had problems with software and hardware locking me out of legitimate uses. DRM on my MP3s bought from one service provider serves to prevent me from listening to my music on music players that are not affiliated with the music provider. For instance, my iTunes music cannot be played on players other than iPods while my music from RealNetworks is similarly restricted. If DRM is implemented in the auto industry, for example, this would be similar to purchasing a Ford branded car and being required to use only Ford-branded gasoline. This issue is compounded by the fact that certain DRM measures, such as Starforce, has caused my computer to malfunction. In two separate cases, it required a complete reinstallation of the operating system. DRMs such as Starforce are not clearly labeled on the product and install themselves onto my computer without my knowledge or approval. If they were clearly labeled on the packaging, I would not have bought the products that had them embedded to begin with. With the advent of computerization, companies are ignoring consumer rights in order to retain control of their products in an unprecedented way. DRMs need to be tightly restricted.