FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies - Event Takes Place Wednesday, March 25, 2009, in Seattle
As a consumer who enjoys using media in a variety of ways, I find that digital rights management (DRM) can really hinder how I wish to use media in the confines of my home and the devices I purchase. Digital rights management technology hinders me in allowing to play media that I have purchased in a way that will 1) make it easy to use and 2) make it simple to change methods. For example, if I want to make a home theater PC (HTPC) that will play DVDs that I have stored on a hard drive on my computer, thus eliminating the need to store the original DVD on a shelf to only collect dust, I can not do this because the DRM know as CSS makes it impossible to do. This is a direct violation of fair use. Even if there is a way to crack the DRM and do what I want with the media I have purchased, cracking/breaking said DRM is deemed illegal by the DMCA and I could be fined or imprisoned for doing so. Digital rights management also only hurts the law abiding citizens, as it is in no way a deterrent for pirates and thieves. If someone wants to pirate DRM-ed media, they'll find a way to do so. It also requires a ton of unnecessary education on the consumer's part. While I'm not saying that consumers shouldn't have to do research, I am saying that DRM does make things more complicated than it should be. A person should be able to purchase a song digitally and have it play on as many devices as possible (Amazon's Mp3 Store has REALLY helped this). Please understand that I only wish to be able to use media that I purchased (regardless of format) in a manner (or manners) that I would like.