FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
The concept of digital rights management is this: You, the consumer, are not allowed to "own" anything. You are merely renting goods, in perpetuity, from a media provider. The media companies claim to implement DRM to protect themselves against piracy but it is actually a scheme to force consumers to buy the same media over and over. Music and video piracy is always going to exist, underground organizations that make wholesale copies of books, music, and film operate without regard to DRM. The only people impacted by DRM are legitimate, honest customers. Imagine if you had an entire library of books and one day when the store that sold them to you went out of business your books suddenly became illegible. Another scenario would be that you buy a CD and it can only be played on the first CD player you ever listened to it on. These scenarios are plausible. If Apple ever went out of business, millions of people would be left with music libraries they could never listen to again. Customers should have the freedom to play content they've purchased on any device they own so long as they respect existing copyright laws and common sense. Should a consumer infringe on a media holder's rights, the courts will decide that consumer's fate. DRM tries to be a technological answer to a legal problem and fails horribly. Media companies need to stop fearing legitimate customers.