FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM has on countless occasions prevented me from using software goods I purchased legitimately and was attempting to use legitimately (within the scope of the EULA's). The DRM methods used most frequently by Windows PC game manufacturers have caused noticeable and irrevocable loss of performance on at least two of my computers. From what I can tell, DRM treats lawful consumers like criminals. It hasn't stopped me from purchasing PC games, but it does have some influence on my purchasing habits. DRM in the form of HDCP is another issue altogether. This technology has been known to render expensive hardware unusable. Meanwhile, circumventing it via unlawful means produces a better consumer-end experience. Pirating of software goods is not going to stop. "Hackers" and pirates will always remain one step ahead in this battle, just as they have from the beginning. DRM hurts consumer confidence, confuses the less technically inclined, and too frequently revokes the lawful use of a legally purchased product. From this consumer's perspective DRM in most forms appears illegally intrusive. While I would like to see the vast majority of DRM methods abolished, I understand that this is not likely. At the very least products employing any form of DRM should be required to be clearly labeled as such - much like explicit content warnings on audio CDs are.