FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I think DRM is a necessary evil in helping prevent the spread of piracy. The goal of all DRM should be to give legal purchasers of software and media products the ability to use their content for any and all legal purposes, while preventing illegal users from accessing their content. Companies that sell media should fully and completely disclose the DRM system they are using, if any, and make explicitly clear to consumers what the limitations are. Companies also need to have policies and procedures in place to satisfy the concerns of customers, as well as provide support to those legal purchasers who are prevented from accessing their legally owned content because of the company's DRM system. I purchase a lot of music from both iTunes and the Amazon.com MP3 store, both with and without DRM, as well as computer games from Steam, XBox Live, and PlayStation Network. I have had mostly good experiences with all of them, and have never been prevented from accessing my content for legal purposes. The best systems are those that manage the publisher's rights, while giving the user additional value to access their content when they want and how they want. Particularly, the ability of Steam customers to download their PC games onto an unlimited number of machines, essentially giving them the right to access their games wherever they are, without disks, adds tremendous value to my purchases on Steam Thank you for your time.