FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Copyright holders to attempt to control how consumers access and use media and entertainment content through the use of DRM has largely influenced my buying decisions. As a married professional with a family, I have less time to deal with these kinds of measures and instead base my entertainment choices based on the kind of DRM. Companies such as Stardock have decided to increase value to the consumer (me) and not have DRM- this influences my purchasing decisions. At the same time, I have decided to forgo other purchases and technology since it limits my freedom. People have limited amounts of money, they decide to purchase different things. Prior to NAPSTER and file sharing, music companies were complaining that Video Games were eating into their market share. Now its electronic games, DVD's and other forms of entertainment are eating into their market. Software piracy is serious, and software, music companies and artists do need to be compensated- there are forms of DRM which consumers are happy with because they are invisible- Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service, Valve Software's Steam, and Stardock's Impulse are good examples of services with DRM that is invisible, and consumers are willing to partake and vote with their money. Services such as ITUNES are successful, though there are people like myself that chose to purchase music though conventional means because of the added value provided via the CD. People should be able to purchase software and music, and back it up for personal use. Does this pose a risk for piracy? Yes it does, but laws are currently completely out of balance to favor the content producers in a way to severely limit the freedoms of the content user. Content users should not be able just buy one copy of something and then give it to others, but at the same time they should be able to use it as often and wherever and on as many devices as they want as long as they own it.