FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
I would like to firstly thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions on this matter. I respectfully ask that you do not continue to allow DRM practices to continue. Companies will always have to be concerned about piracy, but there are other ways to minimize it without essentially taking away a consumer's right to the ownership of the end product that they purchased. Likewise, piracy will never jeopardize the financial standing of a company who has supportive customers behind them. However, when companies decide to use DRM, they are essentially limiting their own customer base by taking away the rights of the end consumer. I, personally, do not purchase materials that take advantage of DRM technology, nor will I at any point start purchasing such products. I also actively educate those I come in contact with to consider the same philosophy. I do not take lightly the infringement of my basic rights as an end consumer. If I purchase a product, I should be able to freely use and utilize that product for years to come if possible. I should not be limited to only installing it a certain number of times. After all, I am not involved in piracy, I am simply a consumer who has worked hard to obtain the income necessary to purchase said product. I would like to ask you to consider other methods of ensuring the survival of the authenticity of products. If companies choose to put measures in place to stop piracy at its source, they will get measurable results. However, that source is not the average end user. An example of the source would be a website that hosts pirated software. If such a website is shut down and penalized, that is an appropriate penalization. However, when the average, paying customer is penalized because of piracy that could potentially happen with the product they purchased, that is inappropriate, and should not be permitted. I would also like to respectfully ask that any companies concerned with the piracy issue remember that the average person who will be using your product is a paying customer. While piracy is a well founded fear, I personally feel that you have more to fear by stripping the average, paying customer of loyalty to, and respect for, your product. A loyal customer is a returning customer. I thank you for reading my comments.