FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I have a library of music on my computer, in iTunes. I also have a TiVo device, which can play music stored on a computer. This is a handy way for me to listen to music on the TV in my bedroom, which is connected to the TiVo. Unfortunately, I am unable to listen to some of my music, this being tracks I have legitimately purchased from the iTunes music store, on said TV in my bedroom, because the Fairplay DRM imposed by iTunes is not available to TiVo. This seems pretty ridiculous to me. Another point altogether, Trent Reznor released his most recent album for free on the internet, then had said album climb to the top of the Amazon Best Seller chart. It seems by this sample that a publishers choice to enable their audience to spaceshift their work has resulted in an increase in sales. This is quite contrary to "big content's" suggestion that DRM protects sales. Another band, Radiohead, did a "free"/pay what you think the album is worth also in 2008. I do not know the results of whether that was profitable for them, but it is worth consideration in any serious discussion of DRM. In summary, from my perspective, DRM decreases consumer value, and decreases market value. I also believe it encourages piracy as some consumers will resort to piracy to circumvent the restrictions imposed by DRM. And the entire DRM concept has been proven time and again to be fundamentally flawed. Every DRM system of interest has been circumvented. As such, DRM ends up as an ineffective deterrent, serving only to deter legitimate paying customers.