FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
DRM is an ineffective and burdensome mechanism to protect publishers from theft of their intellectual property. DRM is stifling adoption and innovation in terms of digital content. For instance, the DMCA and the lack of DRM-free video formats means that average consumers cannot adopt high-tech video solutions as well as they have with MP3 audio. At the same time, DRM has done little to prevent illegal trading of copyrighted material. What is needed is a way to punish people who illegally trade copyrighted material, while allowing consumers to fully utilize their legally licensed media. I would like to see DRM replaced with watermarking technologies that would allow consumers to freely copy their licensed material. Illegal copies could be traced back to the source, and the copyright violators could be punished in accordance with the law. Meantime, legislation would make it illegal to develop, use or distribute software that removes the watermark from a file. This legislation should replace the current DMCA.