FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I feel that DRM can be a useful tool to protect one's investment in technology or intellectual property. However I find that most implementations of it are extremely frustrating for me the consumer. The world in which my generation lives in, one with such reliance on technology and mobility clashes with most current forms of DRM. I find it extremely inconvenient and feel almost punished for having access to three separate personal computers that I use along with a mobile phone, video game console as well as television and radio. Below I will explain my experiences with particular media: 1. Movies, TV or Videos: I find it extremely frustrating that I cannot purchase a DVD and easily convert it to a format which I can upload to my Video MP3 player (ZUNE). I also find it very frustrating that I cannot skip portions of a DVD for which I paid for. COPYRIGHT information screens, trailers those should be skippable. If the DRM included on the media does not allow me to skip such things I would probably attempt to remove the DRM so that I could view it how I please. I understand that advertising may be a requirement. However having to pay full price to not have controll of the media is not something I like at all. Hulu which forces you to view Advertising in acceptable quantities without frustrating the user. I applaud hulu. 2. Music: I find it EXTREMELY frustrating and downright malicious that a company that sells music on a CD include a form of DRM (ROOTKIT) which can be exploited to cause loss of data, stolen information, botnet participation, and spam to be inflicted upon my computer. (SONY) I would never buy a CD or application if I knew this is what would happen to my computer. 3. Software: As a software developer myself, I understand how frustrating it can be to prevent people from using your software without purchasing it. An example of good DRM protection is STEAM from VALVE which requires the software be registered with an account, if you are connected to the internet you are required to log in. Another example is World of Warcraft, again this is account based with a monthly fee. Lastly I cite Netflix, they allow users to stream content over the internet to a program. Netflix only allows upto three computers to be registered at one time. After one of the devices has been inactive for several months you can register another, upto 3. My only concern is that you cannot force a registered device to be inactive. I think that DRM can be very useful however I believe that a majority of the companies who use it to protect their intellectual property abuse it to the point that it frustrates users. I no longer purchase any CDs that come from major labels for that reason. In conclusion, Hulu, Steam, and Netflix I applaud you! Sony, EA, APPLE, and others. You frustrate me and cause me not to purchase your products.