FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is nothing but a hindrance to those who legally purchase software/music/etc. Why should we not be able to truly own what we pay for? When i purchase a piece of software, i would like to be able to keep using it in the future. When you are limited to "3 installs" of a product you purchase, you really aren't buying, you are renting. For instance, what if a virus, or hardware failure, forces you to reformat your computer a few times? This is a common occurrence and can possibly happen up to 3 times over the course of about 2 years. After that third time, you will be forced to pay for the software again. This just seems ridiculous, especially since there are no regulations that force software manufacturers to bring up this limitation in a clearly visible area. This can only lead to annoyed customers and later frustration for those who make the software. Also, what happens when the authentication servers are taken offline? Say a company goes bankrupt and is forced to shut down the servers that verify that the software is legal. Suddenly, every copy sold can not be installed. This is all done in a supposed effort to combat piracy. The issue here is that all DRM schemes have been broken in the past, none are infallible. Basic limitations that stop the average person from just copying a disk are fine, but not ones that force you to install invasive software or go online to register the product. No matter what publishers do, some hacker will break it, its inevitable. Why should dollars be wasted on advanced DRM schemes that do nothing but annoy and limit paying customers? If the assumption that all DRM can be cracked with enough effort is true (and it is), than the only person affected by extreme limitations are those who have done nothing wrong.