FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
There are many problems with copyright law as it currently stands, and DRM in particular. I am sure that you will be getting many long and detailed comments, so I will keep this one short and try to cover only my main objection to DRM and especially the special status granted to DRM under currently copyright law (i.e. the DMCA). First I must state that DRM is an attempt to mechanise law enforcement. This basically abrogates the presumption of innocence under the law. However, philosophical objections aside, DRM fails in two ways. In statistics, these are called "type I error" (or "false Positive") and "type II error" (or "false negative)". As applied copyright protection, this means that DRM both fails to prevent the determined criminal -- strike that, the even halfway competant criminal -- from making copies (type II error) while at the same time it prevents law-abiding citizens from actions that would otherwise be allowed under basic copyright law (type I error). Basically, it fails to accomplish it's stated goal of preventing piracy, and it prevents citizens for excercising their fair use rights regarding the material. DRM is doubly deficient and the additional protection for DRM mechanisms themselves over and above the protection of the material granted by copyright is a gross violation of ... well, sanity with regard to copyright. It is past time for the protections granted to DRM mechanisms by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) to be scrapped.