FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is now far less of an issue than copyright law and its legal enforcement. While the majority of competing digitally distributed music services are now leading their sales pitches with their newly DRM free format, consumers are still being harassed by aggressive litigation and enforcement against any action that could possibly be seen as infringing on copyright or intellectual property. We're entering an age of user created content, as evidenced by the popularity of Youtube, consumer level creative software like garage band, and user content becoming a major part of popular video games like Guitar Hero and Little Big Planet. We're seeing the beginnings of something new - the consumer becoming the participator, the collaborator. But the promise and excitement of these early creative platforms has been overshadowed by legal fundamentalism. That our current copyright law and legal system make works of homage, collage, remix and reference into criminal acts is a far greater issue than that of DRM. DRM simply reflects our flawed legal framework for addressing intellectual property. We need to readdress that system before we discuss its side effects.