FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
A company has the right to protect it's intellectual property and prevent the piracy or thievery of its own products. A company does not have the right to undermine, exploit, damage or destroy an individuals computer in an attempt to achieve these means. A number of DRM methods are secretive and manipulative, cause a multitude of problems, and do little to actually prevent the piracy of a companies IP. A company has no right to install software, drivers or code of any sort without the user's consent. A software user has the right to be properly informed of any and all changes that a piece of software, including DRM protection, will make to his or her computer, operating system, data or any other digital material the DRM may affect. Not only does much DRM operate in the dark, without user knowledge or consent, it can create massive problems for users, including software incompatibility to rare instances of hardware failure. Despite all these issues, DRM does little to curb the massive influx of illegal piracy. New software is pirated at shocking rates, easily available all across the web, despite stronger, more restrictive, and more dangerous DRM. DRM needs to be responsible. DRM needs to be fully disclosed to a consumer. DRM needs to be properly tested and guaranteed to function as well as any other commercially released code. DRM schemes which are effective in preventing piracy without causing undue difficulty or risk endangering a user's property or data need to be developed.