FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00312

Submission Number:
Alex Mansouri
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
To understand how bad DRM is in the world one has to look no further then secuROM. SecuROM is classified as a rootkit to many users do to the fact it accesses hardware and makes your system less secure. Most company do not declare when they use DRM like secuROM clearly, this causes the average user to install it. Unfortunately for the user, secuROM cannot be removed via an uninstaller, so many will have to reinstall their operating system in an attempt to remove it. secuROM also has a nasty habit of causing hardware to not work. After purchasing the game "Bioshock" both of my CD/DVD drives failed to read/write disks. The final nail in the coffin is the fact that secuROM limits the number of installs for any given user. This would be the equivalent if you bought a new TV, you would only be allowed to move it to a new location 3 times. Then the TV would automatically break and require the company to come and fix it. Another great example of DRM is Sin's of a solar empire vs. Spore. Sin's of a solar empire (6 in 2008) was predicted to drop in sale due to its lack of DRM, yet it was not even in the top 10 most pirated games of 2008. Spore on the other hand had a very draconian DRM, which was not well received. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/10/spore_drm_amazon_effect/ ) Unlike Sin's of a solar empire, Spore manage to claim the prize as the single most pirated game of 2008. Spore also managed to get amazon.com flash mobbed by hundreds of negative reviews for several weeks. I myself am a computer geek, I understand how bad DRM is and so do many other geeks out there. The average consumer does not understand what is happening to them yet. They know that their computers/music/movies dont work, yet they fail to understand that they are broken by design. I use Linux on my laptop, now fair use says I can back up any data I own. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on the other hand thinks I should not be allowed to do this, so they have made it so I cannot view movies on my computer without breaking the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. For the movie "The Dark Knight" you can download a copy from their website to your computer. Unfortunately this copy also has DRM, and will only work on Apple or Windows machines, and only with certain video players. So in order for me, a linux user, to actually use my product, I would have to break the law. Does this seem at all fair to the consumer? Groups such as The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure and Electronic Frontier Foundation have criticized DRM as a trade barrier to the free market. In short please get rid of it, DRM does not stop piracy, and only hurts the average consumer.