FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
In this new world of digital media, it is important to understand the need to find the balance between a publisher's right to protect their media, and the consumer's right of ownership. It is a unique relationship between seller and buyer that exists nowhere else. In physical transactions, such as buying a television or toaster, once the item purchased transfers from seller to buyer, the seller relinquishes all claims of ownership. Such has been the case since the marketplaces of Sumer and Mesopotamia. Then along came the ability to record something of value, a book, a record, and the lines of ownership blurred. The ease at which high quality media can be recorded today has forced the hands of publisher's to seek a means to continue to provide a good, without facing the product life cycle problem of selling "the 100-year light bulb". Their current solution, Digital Rights Management, unfairly places power of ownership with the seller. Buyer's have exercised the only power they have left, the power of their wallets to say no, or to seek illegal means of ownership. The issue here is of ownership, and just as the publisher does not want more than one owner per sale, so too, does the consumer not wish to share ownership with the seller. Somewhere on this field lies a solution.