FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM technologies are an end run around the first-sale doctrine. They also are an attempt around the implied warranty of merchantability by allowing the publisher to later change my ability to use this product. They allow a publisher to suddenly decide I can't use the product, or maybe only between the hours of 2am and 3am, or hold me up for more money. DRM will not just be confined to music and software, but is already implemented in printer cartridges and will soon be everywhere. To see how it affects non-technical people today, one only need look at the Cable Card snafu which allows cable companies to charge for cable boxes when they should be able to purchase them. Imagine a world where companies can decide when you can use your toilet - "Sorry Ma'am, you only have a license to use it twice a day." - this may seem extreme, but this is the world DRM is creating and captured regulatory agencies are abetting.