FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle #539814-00347

Submission Number:
Jay Turley
Initiative Name:
FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is an attempt to impose artificial scarcity on a domain of abundance. I understand how critical this is to the business models of media producers like movie studios, music companies, and video game shops, but trying to restrict digital media has been poorly implemented, and currently all it does is frustrate consumers. In 2008, we saw several large DRM providers go out of business, although due to consumer outcry, some chose to stay alive for a while. However, all the others essentially destroyed the media libraries of all those consumers who bought their media legally. While those who pirated their content had no such problem. DRM only hurts the legal consumers. My friends have songs they bought on iTunes that they can't play on their phones, because of DRM restrictions. Companies have installed rootkits on the PCs of their legal customers in vain and illegal attempts to control how they use their purchases. In addition, it simply isn't true that piracy and/or free availability (for which DRM is ostensibly the solution) damages sales. The most-pirated movie of 2008 - The Dark Knight Returns, was also the highest-selling movie of the year. The best-selling album of the year on Amazon, NIN's Ghosts, was given away for free on Trent Reznor's site. By enshrining DRM in our legal foundation, all we will be doing is selling out our privacy rights to the media corporations. I don't believe that my government should be in the business of helping companies maintain antiquated business models. New models like hulu.com, emusic.com, and even iTunes (which just started selling DRM-free music) prove that there is an extensive market for non-DRM'd media, and that money can be made. So I urge you to fight against the ridiculous notion that you should be helping content producers control how people use their products, and instead take a step into the future where the best content continues to make tons of money, without mistreating their customers. DRM is a bad solution looking for a problem, and the sooner we get rid of it, the sooner we can all move forward into newer and possibly even more profitable spaces. Sincerely, Jay Turley