FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
When I think of all the many of DRM music and video services that have gone offline (MSN Music Store, etc...) and the additional hassles legitimate buyers have to go through to listen to their own music or watch their own videos (the recent Zune malfunction requiring an additional work around to listen to their own bought music, having to rebuy music if you reinstall your own operating system or buy a new computer too many times, etc...) it makes me sick to my stomach. The ONLY thing it does is make legitimate users, the people who actually want to buy their music and videos, fed up with the hassle and they will find it else where. That's because the alternative is dead simple. Amazon's music store is the first place I ever bought music besides off of CD's. They were the first to get it right. I could download a .mp3 music file and then transfer it to my external hard drive, put it on any mp3 player I happen to own. Reinstall any operating system I want on my current (or future) computer as many times as I want, burn it to a CD, or use it in any future music playing device that happens to be invented. I can do what I want. This is IMPORTANT. The argument that DRM prevents some people from casually getting copies illegitimately is bogus. Because no DRM is fool proof (it can't be! because it has to be used by the end user!) so it WILL be cracked. And then any chance of DRM had of preventing casual copying and sharing goes out the window because the hassle of putting up with DRM is offset by the ease of downloading the files without paying for them. So the only solution that makes sense to me, and countless many others I'm sure, is to make buying music as hassle free as downloading it illegally.