FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
Discussing the limitations of DRM? How about discussing the LIMITING of DRM instead. Current DRM is little more than restrictive, invasive, malicious spyware. There is no wonder whatsoever that it has been ill-received by so many people. If anything, it has only seemed to encourage piracy because no one wants that stuff on their computers. And frankly, who can blame them? My first primary complaint is in regards to DRM's invasiveness. I don't object to anti-piracy measures that limit themselves to just the product they are attached to. I adamantly object when said software infects my computer, applies itself willy-nilly to whatever it pleases, breaks my other programs and components, shuts down the program it is supposedly protecting because it fails to recognize repairs and upgrades to the computer, and reports unknown information to unknown persons who really don't need to know my business. Need I point fingers or do we already know who the primary culprits are? My second primary complaint is the whole ownership issue. Did I PURCHASE the product or was I only RENTING it? Clarity on this point is absolutely required (and I'd prefer to see it in bold letters on the packaging my product came in). Because if I PURCHASED it, then I should have the right to remove it from my computer and have the DRM be removed simultaneously without any extra steps. And I should also subsequently have the right to re-sell that original copy to someone else at my next garage sale without causing them any grievances for installing or registering it. And my final primary complaint is the furtive gathering of information. If you really want to know my business, then make me fill out a questionaire as part of the registration process. If I really don't mind the kind of information being gathered, then I'll actually answer the questions. No more of this behind-my-back stuff. I WANT developers to make better products I'll be interested in. A voluntary questionaire is not an unreasonable in the least. As for how to best notify the consumer in regards to any DRM on any product? Keep it short and simple. If you must have a legalese version, please be sure to include it after the cliff-notes version. And I still want specific warnings in bold letters on the outside package of my product so I know before I even buy it. Stores have extremely restrictive return policies on opened software.