FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I have been on both sides of this issue for a few years because I certainly agree that people should not be allowed to take what is not rightfully theirs, but I have not agreed with any of the methods used thus far. Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars on music from stores such as iTunes, but I've since lost most of it due to some hardware failures and PC upgrades. If I had just stolen the files then I could have kept backing the files up all that I needed to. There's also the example of Sony's rootkit fiasco and, hopefully soon, the horrid DRM program known as SecuRom will meet the same fate. It is almost impossible to remove SecuRom from your OS and not only do the companies that use it know this, it's one of the main reasons that it's used. So again, I could have saved myself many headaches and thousands of dollars and just downloaded the games but I chose not to. Why? Because I thought it was just plain wrong to take what wasn't mine and I wouldn't steal a physical copy of these items off of the shelf at a retailer. But there is another side to all of this. The CDs that I buy at the store are my physical copy to own and they don't punish me over and over again just in case I stole it. I would never buy another CD again if I could only play it on five devices because that would be asinine. EA recently released a game that you could only install a certain amount of times before you essentially don't own it anymore, and that is when I realized that the companies were going to far. Since then I have not bought any media that uses DRM, instead opting to download it all. I will continue to support companies such as Stardock and artists such as Nine Inch Nails because they do not punish the honest people who want to pay them for their work. It's sad to me that I'm now one of those despicable "pirates" that you hear about. From what I read there are more people like me everyday that realize that the pirates aren't even touched by the taint of DRM and are free to use their files like they should be able to, but the honest people are still being punished. I hope that these DRM talks will start a change in the course of how DRM is used.